Let me say instantly, for those who like to get to the point: I really like Ntingwe Kwazulu tea from Taylors of Harrogate and recommend it highly. The blurb on the package says: “This tea has a fresh, brisk flavor and a bright liquor.” I say yes to the fresh and bright liquor, however I found the taste more deep and smooth, with absolutely no bitterness, even when I brewed it longer than the required 4–5 minutes. The taste reminds me of sitting in the patterned shadows beneath tall cypress trees of a swampy river on a hot spring afternoon. I could sit there forever.
That said, you might like to know a bit more about who is doing the recommending and the tea itself.
I come at this tea-choosing business from the eye of a seasoned woman who wants, quite simply, a good cup of tea that will not break the bank. I prefer black tea, straight and pure, enjoying sweetener and lemon on rare occasions, milk or flavorings rarer still. I want to be able to easily purchase the tea. I can be mildly influenced by tins and fancy packaging, but I have learned the truth of the old saying, “One man’s tea is another’s poison.” It really is opinion, and opinions, to put it politely, are a penny a dozen in this modern world of social media.
The Ntingwe Kwazulu tea is grown in Kwazulu Natal province of South Africa, a land often called the garden province, where the tea industry has been on the rise for the past ten years. The Ntingwe estate tea has been called, “One of the five finest teas in the world,” but from what I was able to discover, this claim was first made by the buyer from Taylors and Harrogate, who certainly has a vested interest, then picked up and used for promotion all over the place. Still, the tea has taken off in popularity in Britain and around the world, so many people share a favorable opinion of it.
Ntingwe also met a supreme and unexpected personal test. I had just come in from an hour of running around a play-park with my three year old grandson, when I found the delivery of my tea on my front porch. I was exhausted and expected dear grandson to at least have his energy trimmed and be ready to play with Thomas the Train long enough for me to enjoy a sit-down and cuppa of the new tea.
I eagerly opened the package, and was met by what appeared to be grounds. It is that fine. This caused my heart to sink. But keeping an open mind, I brewed a mug full, too tired to go for my little pot.
I was just inspecting the lovely color—rich and tending to red—when I heard, “Nana…what’cha doin’? Come play train…put my track back to-geth-er.”
Thinking I surely had chosen a poor time for tea tasting, I lifted the cup and took a sip. My eyes flew wide. I took another sip and let the tea linger on my tongue. I looked at my dear grandson looking back up at me, and grinned.
I finished the tea while answering a dozen questions and demands of a small boy, which continued as I brewed another cup in my small pot. Later, I savored an after dinner cup sweetened with a bit of honey. I found the tea both relaxing and reviving to keep me going until said small boy went home.
Ntingwe Kwazulu tea passed a very unique and important test, and for me, it is one of the five finest teas of the world.
It may be hard to pronounce the name “Ntingwe Kwazulu,” but it’s certainly not hard to enjoy one of CurtissAnn’s novels! Visit her site, CurtissAnnMatlock.com, to learn more!
© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.