|"Strong, floral, and perfume-like. For a very specific palate and mood. "|
But Kenyan tea farmers do grow plenty of camellia sinensis. By the looks of its website, the company Royal Tea of Kenya (RTK,) wants the rest of the world to know about Africa, its people, and its teas.
The homepage places profiles of prominent Africans above its teas. One might say the company has its priorities straight. But as a shopper, I had a hard time getting information about their teas. For now, it seems, RTK is a wholesale company only.
RTK's Founder's Tea is a basic, black, dust that has a fruity smell right out of the package. Quenched in boiling water for 3 minutes or so, it makes a frothy brew...nice and hearty-looking, like an English, Irish, or Scottish breakfast blend. Other than that, this tea is unlike any strong black tea I've ever encountered.
The aroma is undeniably floral. It fills the room with the scent of a florists' shop or an expensive incense. The flavor, too, is overwhelmingly floral--and strong! I like strong tea, but I learned the hard way, you don't need a teaspoon per cup of this blend! Less than half a teaspoon per cup makes a brew vibrant enough for even the toughest tongues--like mine.
When I reduced the proportion of leaves to water, Founder's Tea is very drinkable, indeed. It's an unusual blend that reminds me of Jasmine, but with less sweetness. It is so astringent, it's almost dry. But the finish is smooth and elegant--the type of tea that would pair well with lemon. I recommend that one drinks it very hot, in small sips. This is not a gulping tea to enhance food. It's more suited for an aperitif or a palate cleanser. I also predict it would be lovely on ice.
This is a fine tea with a narrow application. In other words, one must be in the mood for a flowery tea and be prepared to savor it using a China cup and saucer. Under those circumstances, it rates an 8.8.
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