Tales of a Wookie Wife: Fueled by caffeine and good intentions. Feed hairy man. Clean house. Be fabulous. Repeat. You can learn more about me here.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Review - Kai Tea

**As usual, not paid or compensated in any way, I bought this tea to try, all on my own, just because I wanted to and love tea.**

This tea is amazing.  Such a wonderful flavor to it.  Flavor-wise, I really couldn't be happier.  Its organic, its smooth, its aromatic...Its everything a good tea should be, in my opinion, and it is sweet enough that I only had to add about half my usual amount of sugar.  Although I'm not exactly a connoisseur of loose-leaf organic teas (yet), price-wise it seems to be about normal for an organic tea, but I wasn't at all upset about the price and I think it is well worth it.  If I had the money to keep our house stocked with this, I would.  But, for now, the little $4 sample bag up there has been a very nice indulgence.

Here, you can see for yourself it is also just beautiful.  Very gorgeous colors and an aroma that is nice even before it starts to brew.

However, if you're sensing there is a "but" in this review, there is.  It is in this next picture, and if you're a tea-drinker you will probably notice it right off.

Now, I bought the cream earl grey tea and these instructions would have been just fine for this type, but look closer to the rest...the instructions for all the types of tea are all the same, minus the brewing time.  The temperatures are all the same.  Now, I desperately, whole-heartedly hope this is a typo because it would be a shame to ruin such a good tea that, from the flavor, has been cultivated with some care, with such poor instructions and, honestly, I really, truly hope that if your business is tea that you'd be well-educated in it enough to know how to brew a cup to bring it to its fullest, brightest potential.  When someone follows your instructions and brews their first cup, you want it to be a sublime experience, not an experience that could, in all honesty, turn them off from your brand completely by making their fist experience a (quite literally) bitter, distasteful one.

Had I bought a green tea and didn't know better and followed their instructions, it would have come out bitter, horrible, and I'd have been miffed at the price I paid.

My experience in brewing tea, along with my research on traditional methods, show that brewing at anything above 180 degrees when it comes to green tea in particular is a HUGE no-no unless you like ruining perfectly good tea.  In fact, most sources I've found recommend keeping the temperature between 165-170 degrees.  All that is a very far cry from the 200 they recommend on their package.  Green tea leaves (and white), being more delicate than black, can't handle the heat, so-to-speak, and will scorch and turn bitter in water that is too hot, not to mention green tea brews in 1-2 minutes, that's half the time of their instructions.

Don't believe me?  Take a cheap, store-bought green tea, bag or loose, any brand, and brew one at 200 and one at 170 and you should notice a marked difference in the taste on the temperature alone.  If you factor in their time difference...Well, the first few times I made green tea it was by instructions similar to those and for years, until I had it prepared properly, I was convinced I hated the stuff. 

Other than the fact that the instructions really irk me, I love this stuff.  At first I'd planned to buy more as I loved the flavor so much, but after seeing it around town a few times, I just couldn't bring myself to buy it.  When it comes right down to it, I just can't give my money to a company that seems to know so little about how to consume their own product.  Every time I'd reach for a bag, I'd just think of all the people who probably thought they'd been over-charged after buying their green tea and following the directions.  So 8/10 for flavor, but 1/10 for knowing their product.  :(


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