Rare Tea Company’s Lost Malawi English Breakfast | Tea Review

by Tea in Spoons

As I was looking through my tea collection, I realized I had one more tea from the Satemwa Tea Estate to share!

The previous two weeks, I tasted a white and a green tea from the Satemwa Tea Estate in the Shire Highlands of Malawi. So, it only seemed fitting to taste this black tea in tandem.

Description: “Handcrafted black tea blended from harvests across one small, independent estate in the Shire Highlands. The oldest tea estate in Malawi and still family run.”

Instructions: Use 2.5g of tea per 150ml of water. For the optimum infusion use 85°C (185°F) water.  If you like milk, please use water at 100°C (212°F). Infuse for 1 – 2 minutes, tasting regularly You can infuse this tea at least twice.

Review: The chocolate coloured black tea leaves were small unified pieces that were slightly larger than CTC teas. The leaves had a warm earthy, cocoa, malt, and woody smell. It was reminiscent of the malted chocolate drink, Milo.

Since the website mentioned that the black tea would be “sweet and chocolatey with the addition of milk,” I wanted to try the tea with and without milk. When adding milk, the instructions suggested using 100°C water compared to 85°C without. This is most likely to accommodate the cold milk/milk substitutes cooling down the hot water. I used oat milk because I find it doesn’t have an intense flavour or an overly thick/gritty texture.

After a 1 minute infusion using 85°C water, the unfurled leaves were small broken brown reddish and green pieces with an earthy, malty, sweet, and fruity smell. The liquor was a golden reddish brown colour with a similarly sweet, malty, and chocolate smell as the dry leaves. Infusing the leaves again for 2 minutes, the liquor had a stronger brisk cocoa, malt, and fruity taste with some astringency at the tail end of the sip. The liquor was less brisk when cooled.

Upping the temperature to 100°C, the first 2 minute infusion smelled fruity and cocoa. The dark reddish brown liquor tasted sweet, malty, and chocolaty, with an underlying baked goods and wheat taste. After adding two splashes of oat milk, it brought out a rich, creamy, sweet nutty chocolate note to the tea. The sweeter taste was followed by some earthy notes and dryness at the back of the mouth.

Infusing the leaves again for 2 minutes, the liquor had a lighter reddish burgundy colour with pitted fruit and malt smell and a sweet earthy and cocoa taste. After adding the oat milk, the liquor had a milky creamy texture and delicate malt chocolate and an earthy taste that lingered on the tongue.

Overall, I really enjoyed this tea, especially with the oat milk. It really brought out a nice sweet malt chocolate taste that was enjoyable during the morning and afternoon. Having tasted the tea a few times with and without milk, I personally enjoyed the tea best with a 2-minute infusion and 2 splashes of milk. I appreciated that Rare Tea Company made the effort in the recommendations to use hotter water and how much each cup would cost! I really enjoyed tasting all these tea from Malawi and the Satemwa Tea Estate and want to try more in the future (4/5 rating).

  • Type: Black tea
  • Origin: Malawi, Africa
  • Caffeine: Unknown
  • Ingredients: Black tea
  • Company: Rare Tea Company

The question of the post: Do you add milk to your English Breakfast?

Edit: Nicole from Tea for Me Please kindly added my post to her weekly Friday round-up! Check out the post to read about how to pack teaware for events and what to do with unused tea tins.

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Vicky Cuevas April 2, 2021 - 3:42 pm

I love this tea by The Rare Tea Co! I always add milk to my English Breakfast tea.

teainspoons April 3, 2021 - 4:02 pm

I normally don’t but I think I will try in the future!

Eustacia | Eustea Reads April 3, 2021 - 8:18 am

Hmmm normally I don’t add milk to my teas, unless the tea is very bitter and I need to soften it a bit (if that makes sense?)

teainspoons April 3, 2021 - 4:04 pm

Yes! That makes sense. The recommendations for this tea had a lower temp for making tea without milk, which I think helped with the bitterness.


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Tea in Spoons is where I share my love of teas through tea reviews, tea travel, tea tips, information, and more. New tea adventure every Thursday!