Rington’s Kenyan Gold Tea from Rington’s Premium English Teas

kenyanRingtonsTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: Rington’s Tea

Tea Description:

Unlike some traditional teas, Kenyan teas are produced in ways that make them perfect for teabags – fast infusing and full of flavour. Tea grown east of the Rift Valley is widely considered to be some of the best quality tea in the world, that’s why our Kenyan Gold blend is sourced exclusively from this region. We specially seal these teas on the estates to ensure they are as fresh and flavourful as possible, producing a fuller, smoother taste. It’s what Ringtons are good at.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Kenyan Gold Black is a bagged tea from Ringtons, a UK tea company. At first glance, it looks like a typical bagged black tea. It’s in a square paper bag, and is about half full with finely shredded leaf. The scent is typical “black tea”. I used one bag for my cup, and gave it 3.5 minutes in boiling water. It brewed up to a fairly dark golden-brown, so I added a splash of milk.

I half expected this one to be either bready or chocolatey, given that it’s a Kenyan tea and described as “gold”. Possibly my previous experiences led me astray a little, though, as this one really isn’t either of those things. What it is is moderately malty, with the molasses-like sweetness that implies. It’s fairly one-note in that respect, though, except for a very mild smokiness kicking around in the background. It’s quite a strong, hearty brew with a lot of body, and is almost thick-tasting and chewable. Such texture! The flavour lingers nicely into the aftertaste, making this a very satisfying, flavourful cup. It doesn’t have much subtlety, but that’s a very small criticism.

I enjoyed this one. It’s a reliable, everyday kind of tea – not particularly unique, but strong and wonderfully malty. It’s a tea I’d definitely revisit.

Breakfast Blend Black Tea from Rington’s Premium English Teas

breakfastblendTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Rington’s Premium English Teas

Tea Description:

Ringtons English Breakfast Tea is a superior black tea blend from Assam and Kenya, with a strong and refreshing taste. With a medium/high caffeine content, this bright and lively blend is strong enough to help wake you up in the morning.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

The first thing I have to say about this one is that it really surprised me. I don’t drink a lot of bagged tea at the moment, but it generally seems much of a muchness to me when I do. At least in the UK, the flavour profiles of “breakfast blend” style black teas seem very similar – sweet, malty, strong, and otherwise fairly nondescript. Until now. At first glance, Ringtons English Breakfast looks like your typical bagged black tea. It’s in a square paper bag, and is about half full with finely shredded leaf. The scent is typical “black tea”. I used one bag for my cup, and gave it 3.5 minutes in boiling water. It brewed up a pretty strong-looking red-brown, so I added a splash of milk.

I wasn’t expecting much, except perhaps a quality black bagged tea – an everyday sort of experience, I thought. Not at all. It’s delicious! The first thing I picked up on is the strong baked bread flavour, which I’ve never before experienced except in fairly premium loose leaf varieties. It’s sweet and malty through the mid-sip, perfectly smooth with no bitterness or astringency at all. Right at the end of the sip, there’s the tiniest hint of milk chocolate. I don’t know what varieties of tea went into this blend specifically, but I’m guessing there must be an Assam, probably a Chinese black, and something else that I can’t quite put my finger on. It’s not floral, exactly, although that was my first thought, so I don’t think it’s a Darjeeling. Maybe a Ceylon, or something Kenyan? It’s certainly intriguing!

I thoroughly enjoyed this cup. It has a real depth of flavour, and it’s almost completely unique amongst the bagged breakfast teas I’ve tried in my time. I’d happily drink this one again – I actually think it might be replacing my normal breakfast tea for a while. It’s just too delicious to pass up!

Rington’s Kenyan Gold Tea from Rington’s Premium English Teas

kenyanRingtonsTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black,

Where to Buy: Rington’s Tea

Tea Description:

Kenyan Gold is a luxury, top quality tea. Bright, golden with a full, refreshing flavour. From our “Extra Fresh” family of wholesale teas. This includes two cup Kenyan Gold tea bags that are flavour locked for freshness and shipped from the US.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

It is always nice to have a steadfast bagged tea to grab quickly as I am trying to join the rat race on time in the morning.  I am NOT naturally a morning person. The irony is that I start my commute at 6am.  Bagged tea is my friend on those mornings when the snooze button was just too tempting…like this morning.  Fortunately, Ringtons Kenyan Gold was there for the rescue!

Kenyan Gold is a lovely amber gold in the cup.  The smell of the liquid is of lightly toasted biscuit and malt, which are my favorite notes in tea…so I was pleased that the smell translated wonderfully into the taste in the cup!

There is a slight astringency that touches the back of the tongue and adds to the “brightness” of this tea, but not so much that it leaves the tongue feeling dry.  This tea accepted a touch of milk graciously and and deliciously as well.  I steeped this for 3 minutes and it was “Goldilocks” strength….not TO strong and not TO weak.  Just right for the tea drinker who likes a cuppa as a boost to their day, but not enough to knock their socks off.  Ringtons Kenyan Gold is a bright and pleasant way to start your day, and I’m glad I did!

Kenyan Chai from 52Teas

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Kenyan-Chai

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Tea Description:

We had some rich GFOP Kenyan black tea which I thought would be great for a chai blend, but I wanted to combine the Kenyan tea with spices that are more specific to Kenya . . . the Ras el Hanout that I used for this chai listed the ingredients as:

Tumeric, ginger, cinnamon, fennel, anise seed, cardamom, galangal, anise star, cayenne pepper, garlic, nigella, paprika, rosebuds, salt, ajwan seeds, lavender blossoms, mace and other spices.”

Whatever is in it, it is very fragrant, and it makes a lovely and interesting chai that is at once familiar and still just different enough to make it unique. You’re going to want to get your hands on some of this tea. I’m really looking forward to hearing what you guys think about it.

Learn more about this tea here.

Learn more about 52Teas’ subscriptions here.

Taster’s Review:

This is different.  And as I’ve said before, different is good and that definitely applies in the case of this Kenyan Chai from 52Teas.

I could smell the spices as soon as I opened the pouch.  The aroma here is different from the typical chai – I’m not smelling a strong ginger note like I would probably notice in a Masala chai blend.  I am picking up on a hint of cinnamon, but mostly what I’m smelling is tumeric.  Subtle notes of anise.  Some floral notes.  But mostly, tumeric.

The overall fragrance reminds me a bit of what I’d smell if I walked into an Indian restaurant, actually.  Or perhaps a restaurant that offers Middle Eastern Cuisine.

Which is in itself interesting since I’d probably be more likely to get a more familiar Masala chai tea blend at the Indian restaurant than I would get something like this Kenyan Chai.  Although at our local African Restaurant, they serve “chai” which is also the more familiar Masala blend type chai.  Incidentally, they also serve Middle Eastern cuisine at that restaurant.

To brew this chai, I put 1 bamboo scoop of the tea and 12 ounces of boiling water into my Kati tumbler and let it steep for 3 minutes.  The scent that filled the kitchen was rather delightful!

After it finished steeping, I took a wee sip to see if I wanted to add anything to the cup.  I decided to forgo the ‘latte’ with this (although I think a latte would be quite interesting!  I might have to try that next time!) but I did add a little less than half a teaspoon of raw sugar to the cup to accentuate the spices.  Sugar and spice goes nice together, and the sugar seems to elevate the flavors of the spices just a bit.

And wow!  I’m really liking this blend.  It’s certainly different, mind you.  This is not like any chai you’re likely to find anywhere else.  But as I said at the start, different is good.  It’s not overly spicy and these particular spices give this cup a more savory flavor than ‘spicy’ or even ‘warm’ flavor.  It’s more like a really unique, savory cuppa that I really like.

The black tea is rich and robust.  Now that I have nearly finished the cup, I don’t know if latte is the way to go with this.  I don’t know how well they’d fair with the creamy element since this isn’t a spicy-sweet type of chai, this is more of a warm-savory type of chai.

As I write this review, I see that there are still 20 pouches of this tea left which kind of surprises me!  If you haven’t gotten yours yet, you really should get on over to Zoomdweebies and pick up a pouch of it – this one is a unique and really quite tasty blend.

Breakfast Blend Black Tea from Rington’s Premium English Teas

breakfastblendTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Rington’s Premium English Teas

Tea Description:

The Breakfast Blend 100’s is a hearty blend of the finest Assam and Kenyan leaf teas.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

After having a few less than exciting experiences with some of the teas I’ve tried from Rington’s, I wasn’t sure what this Breakfast Blend Black Tea had in store for me, but I braced myself, thinking I probably wouldn’t really care for it.  But you know what?  This is actually quite pleasant!

The flavor is bold and robust.  I’m not getting a lot of astringency from this tea and there’s no bitterness.  To brew it, I put one tea bag into a mug and brought the kettle to near boiling (205°F).  Then I poured 8 ounces of water into my mug and let it steep for 2 1/2 minutes.  I’m not sure if it’s the slightly lower temperature or the short steep time that contributed to the smooth, pleasant flavor of this tea, but I’m finding it enjoyable.

Maybe I’m not quite the snob I thought I was.  Ha!

Yes, after having experienced several very disappointing bagged teas I had resolved that maybe, just maybe, I had crossed over to the land of tea snobbery.  But I’m not hating this bagged tea as much as I thought I would so maybe I just had a few experiences that weren’t up to snuff and I’m not quite as snobbish as I thought I was.

Sure, I still prefer loose leaf and I shudder somewhat when I encounter a bagged tea.  I still put my nose up when I pass the tea aisle in the grocery store.  But, I can appreciate the convenience of the bagged tea – it’s certainly easier when you’re away from home to pop a bagged tea into a teacup and add hot water than it is to do the loose leaf thing.  And it’s nice when you can find a bagged tea that you actually like.  (I’ve had so many disappointments when it comes to bagged teas that I’d find in a hotel!)

All that aside, I’m finding myself quite pleased with this cup of tea from Rington’s.  The flavor is strong without being too aggressive.  It has a lovely malty note and a rich taste.  While I’m drinking this straight up, I’d imagine that it’d take the additions of milk and/or honey (or sweetener of your choice) quite well.  And this would be a nice choice for iced tea, too!