Java Kertasarie Estate Black Tea from Simpson & Vail

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Simpson & Vail

Company Description:

The medium-brown leaves brew to a greenish-brown leaf, with a flowery aroma. The amber cup of Java Kertasarie Estate is medium-bodied, brisker tasting than a Ceylon and has a flavorful infusion with a delightful oak cask aftertaste.

Taster’s Review:

There are a few words that come to mind immediately when I taste this tea – bold, brisk, lively – but I don’t think that these words quite do this tea justice.  That’s because I use words quite often that they’ve become quite generic when describing tea.

And this tea is quite unique from other black teas I’ve tasted.  The Java Kertasarie Estate is in Indonesia, and I don’t recall having tried teas from Indonesia before.  Now, you may be thinking – does it REALLY make that much difference where the teas come from?  How much does that really affect the flavor of the tea?

My answer is, quite simply:  It affects the flavor immensely.  The climate, weather conditions, humidity, soil quality, amount of sun, and amount of shade… even the surroundings – like what kind of trees or flowers are growing in the surrounding area – affect the flavor of a tea.  And then, you have more controllable factors as well, such as harvesting and drying techniques which also affect the flavor of the tea.

As the description of this tea from Simpson & Vail (above) suggests, this is definitely brisker than a typical Ceylon tea.  It has a deep woodsy note to it (I’d describe it as oaken, which matches the Simpson & Vail description as well).

The is very vibrant and strong tea that pairs very well with sweets (I decided to indulge in a couple of cuccidata cookies when I drank this tea) – this pairing resulted in a slight honey-esque tone that I could detect, that I didn’t taste as strongly when I drank it without the cookie.  It’s still there… but, it is somewhat disguised behind the stronger essences of oak.  There is also an underlying floral essence and a hint of fruit to this tea as well.  It is delightfully complex and one that I’ve enjoyed tasting immensely.

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