Saturday, December 12, 2009
Tea Tasting Saturday #53 - Milima Kenyan Tea
After doing multiple tea reviews a few times lately, I'm relieved the Kenyan tea category includes just one tea. And I can hardly believe there are only two more Saturdays left in the year!
Category: Kenyan Black Tea
Purveyor: Harney and Sons
Dry leaf appearance: Black tea leaves with a few brown leaf bits throughout.
Wet leaf appearance: The steeped tea leaves had a very reddish, henna-like appearance and reminded me, alas, of a few unfortunate home hair coloring experiences.
Steeping temperature and time: 1 teaspoon of tea, 212 degrees, 5 minutes.
Scent: Dry: The dry tea had that wood shavings scent I've found with a lot of my recent teas. Wet: This is the first time I've found the same woodsy scent in the steeped tea leaves.
Color: Medium copper brown.
Flavor: I brewed the first cup for the full 5 minutes and knew immediately it was way too strong for my tastebuds. So, I added a little skim milk and voila, enjoyable tea materialized! Out of curiosity, I made another cup using the same tea leaves, steeping for just four minutes. It tasted just as strong as the first time! So if I make this tea again, I will steep it for just 3 or 4 minutes -- and have milk handy. I liked the (softened) taste but didn't find anything particularly distinctive about it.
Additional notes: Michael Harney says that in Kenya, "tea production is scattered among nearly half a million small farmers, all operating independently. This huge number makes quality control an almost insurmountable challenge." He notes that Milima is Swahili for "In a High Place." Lovely!
Next week's tea: British Black Tea Blends