Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Kent & Sussex Tea And Coffee Company: Cold Steeping Adventure! A Tea Review

Today was announcement day at Wizards of the Coast, and wow what a doozy it was! Ixalan has pirates and fluffy feathered dinosaurs, we are going back to Dominaria (I am sooo excited about this!) and Hour of Devastation is terrifying looking. There are other things, but that is mostly what I care about, especially the dinosaurs and Dominaria! More tasty Dominiarian swamps and dinosaur tribal deck inevitably incoming.

It is hooooottttt, humid, and gross, so I thought today would be a perfect time to delve into the world of cold steeping with a pair of teas from The Kent & Sussex Tea And Coffee Company! Two very different teas, one black from Africa and one herbal from Crete, starting with Malawi Thyolo Dark Fired Tea.

Malawi makes good tea, I have a perpetual internal debate if Kenya or Malawi is my favorite source for African tea (especially white tea, my weakness) this specific black tea has been fired at a higher temperature, which is where its name comes from. The aroma of the leaves is sweet and malty, with strong notes of molasses and crisp woody tones and a very gentle toast note at the finish.

After letting the tea rest in my fridge overnight, the aroma of the tea is sweet, with notes of malt, berries, molasses, and a bit of a cocoa finish. So I spent the first fifteen years of my life in the South, meaning I know iced black tea...however I have taste and know that Southern style iced tea is terrible, but I do still crave a good iced black tea once in a while. This is a great choice for cold steeping, the taste is strong and rich, but never bitter or astringent (one of the big benefits of cold steeping over straight icing) with notes of molasses, malt, dried blackberries, honey, and a finish of wood and toast. I want to go back in time and give my younger self (and family, of course) the knowledge of cold steeping and this tea, a lot of summers would have been tastier with this tea around.

And now on the entire opposite side of the spectrum, Cretan Blend Tea, a fascinating (and immensely fluffy) blend of herbs all from one of my favorite historical regions of Greece, Crete. It combines Wild Organic Dictamus, Organic Malotira Mountain Tea, Wild Lemon Verbena Leaves, Wild Salvia (sage), Rose petals, and Helichrysum microphyllum, the aroma is truly fascinating! Peppery, herbaceous, rosy, lemony, medicinal, camphoraceous, and a finish of straw. It is complex and smells delicious, if, like me, you find the smell of herb gardens and flowers drool inducing.

Oh man, this is refreshing!! Crisp herbaceous notes of sage and bright notes of lemon verbena blend with undertones of straw flowers, roses, honey, and a wonderful fuzzy and cooling mouthfeel. The ingredients in the blend have a fascinating history, Dictamus was prescribed by Hippocrates for stomach problems and by Aristotle for healing wounds (assuming you were a goat shot by an arrow) Theophrastus and Dioscorides both describe Malotira or Sideritis, whose name means he who is made of iron, as a panacea and prescribed it for just about everything. Helichrysum (also called Curry Plant) and while I cannot find any specific famous Greek philosophers or physicians who used it, it was used in Ancient Greece for pain and wound healing. So when drinking this blend you are not just drinking a tasty tea, you are also drinking something with a fantastic history.

This tea was sent for review purposes by the company.

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