Tea: Handcrafted Kenyan

A Black Tea from Murchie's Tea & Coffee Ltd

Picture of Handcrafted Kenyan
Brand:Murchie's Tea & Coffee Ltd
Style:Black Tea
Region:Kenya
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Loose?Loose
# Ratings:1 View All
Product page:Handcrafted Kenyan

Review of Handcrafted Kenyan

AromaFlavorValueTotal
9 of 105 of 55 of 595 of 100
SuperbExcellentOutstanding

This tea was exceptional, and was among the best Kenyan teas I've sampled yet.

The dry leaf of this tea looks intriguing: long, completely intact, irregularly twisted leaves. It has a very pleasing aroma, suggestive of a high-quality tea, evoking thoughts of sweetness.

Upon brewing, produces a fascinating cup with an aroma that is multifaceted and continuously evolving. It first smells like flowers and honey, reminding me of a few other fairly unusual black teas that have a honey-like sweetness and floral quality, characteristics I usually only encounter in oolongs. But beneath this there are fairly strong smoky notes, subtle but ever-present, and then I notice a vegetal quality, almost suggesting olives. As I sip, the aroma becomes spicy, suggesting cinnamon, ginger, mace, and the spicy qualities stay through the end of the sip. The smoky notes return to linger a bit just after I finish the sip.

The sensations on the palate are just as fascinating: the beginning of the sip is smooth but there is a bold astringency that follows, and the finish is peppery. This tea makes my tongue and mouth tingle a bit.

I found I had to drink this tea slowly. Some teas have a subtlety that can be easily lost if you drink them idly or without focusing on them. This tea commands focus, and the unusual sensations on my palate force me to slow down.

It also is fairly highly caffeinated, but does not make me jittery.

I found this tea easy to brew, but I think I'm experienced with very large-leaf teas like this. If you're not, keep in mind that the leaf is so loosely-packed that you really have to use a lot of leaf to get the same amount (by weight) of leaf. I used more like a loosely-packed heaping tablespoon for what would normally be a teaspoon of more finely-broken tea. If this tea is brewed more weakly, you will lose some of the complexity of the aroma, and especially the interesting mouthfeel and palate sensations.

Resteeps excellently. I prefer a 3 minute initial steep.

I highly recommend this one. It's my favorite tea from Murchie's yet, and I think is among the top tier of black teas that I've ever sampled.

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