Review of Royal Tajiri Tea:
December 2nd, 2011
Exquisite! I think I've found a new favorite black tea.
The dry leaf is rather plain and uninteresting looking, brown, with a dusty appearance. Yet it is wonderfully aromatic, foretelling the wonderful brewing experience that followed. I knew that I had found something exceptional the moment I first smelled the dry leaf of this tea.
This tea has a very fresh, vegetal quality that I've only ever encountered in the freshest Darjeeling teas, and overall, it is more like a high-end Darjeeling than like any other Kenyan tea I've ever tried. Yet it has a malty richness unlike Darjeelings. Surprisingly sweet. Aroma has tones of asparagus, honey, malt, muscatel grapes, and a hint of wintergreen.
Very dark color, but light overall quality. Flavor has some edge to it, but this tea is smooth overall. I prefer to brew this tea for one long infusion...it does not become very bitter, and the complexity of the aroma and unusual juxtaposition of malty and vegetal characteristics comes out more this way.
This is without a doubt among the best and most interesting black teas that I have every tried; certainly the best black tea I've tried to come out of Kenya, or anywhere in Africa for that matter.