95
drank Keemun 1110 by The Republic of Tea
1279 tasting notes

Gosh, I’m so behind on comment replies it’s not even funny! I’ll get to it eventually! I promise! I’ll try and get it done at some point this week. I’ll be home alone for the rest of the week, as Husband is on his way to the UK right now, so suddenly I’ve got a lot of time on my hands. (He’s going to the funeral of the friend whom we lost recently. Unfortunately there wasn’t time enough for me to get my new passport in time that I could go too. Yeah, in theory I could have got one of those temporary emergency ones that you can use for just the one trip, but you know what they cost? The same as a normal passport! Which is none too cheap to begin with. I’m not made of money! O.O So I’m staying home.)

This one also came from Auggy and that alone makes me very excited to try it. Apart from being my taste twin, Auggy is, in my opinion, the Keemun Expert, just like JacquelineM is the Vanilla Expert. I don’t know if either of them will agree with that label, but that’s one of the major things I associate the both of them with tea-wise and I consider them more experienced than me in these fields. So when Auggy shares a Keemun with me, I stand up straight and pay attention! (Or sit and learn at the feet of the master. Which ever you prefer.)

The aroma of the leaves seems fairly strong. It’s smoky, which is a good sign, and has something to it that reminds me of leather and tobacco. I don’t like tobacco or anything to do with it. I think it’s a filthy disgusting habit which makes the smoker reek to high heaven, and at work I’ve seen lungs blackened and with tumors the size of my fist, but the smell of the actual tobacco leaf when it is pure and not mixed with a myriad of other chemicals, that is nice. When I was little, my grandfather smoked a pipe, and I suppose the smell of the tobacco leaf reminds of that. So it’s more of an association thing, I suppose. It still reminds me of him even though I haven’t seen him with a pipe for 25 years.

After brewing isn’t the strongest I’ve ever met, but I am catching a whiff of grain down there as well as something both slightly smoky and slightly floral in just the right balance. Nice! Hold this thought!

The flavour makes up for the fact that the aroma isn’t very assertive. It’s got a lot of grainy body and there is also a pretty good caramel-y note to it, which is running through and under the entire flavour. It’s just there and I can’t really tell where it starts or ends, permeating everything with carameliness. I think this is the first time I’ve had a Keemun giving me that caramel note for absolutely sure and certain. I have heard tales of this beast, and I’ve had a tentative brush with it before, but it’s definitely here in this cup. Towards the bottom of the cup it’s a really strong note and the last, lukewarm mouthful is very sweet.

The whole thing is topped with that note again of slightly smoky and floral, although instead of being exactly balanced, it’s leaning more towards the smoky side of things. Getting this bit right is for me probably what makes or breaks a Keemun more than the body of the tea. There has to be some, obviously, but smoky versus floral is really the very most important thing for me to REALLY enjoy a Keemun.

All in all, this was a very smooth experience. Not a hint of anything rough or prickly about it. Not even the smoky note, which frankly seems a little bizarre, but is true all the same. I should have thought the very definition of smoky would include pricklyness in some form or another, but even so this does have a clear smoky note, and it isn’t prickly. I can’t puzzle that one out. It just is that way.

I think I like it.

I should have liked the aroma to be a little bit more assertive, and I’m thinking that’s probably something I can adjust with temperature and leaf measurements, so it’s a very small beauty flaw. Probably especially the former, I think. I wasn’t too quick about getting the kettle after it finished, see.

So is it the Perfect Keemun? No. And no amount of adjusting in brewing can make it so. Why not? Because I can’t go out and buy it!

And so, the hunt continues.

ETA: Turns out the aforementioned beauty flaw was definitely something to do with temperature. The kettle was only set to 70°C. DUH! Second steep, at proper temperature, went down a treat. :D

Bonnie

I enjoyed your discourse on Keemuns!

Angrboda

Turns out the aforementioned beauty flaw was definitely something to do with temperature. The kettle was only set to 70°C. DUH! Second steep, at proper temperature, went down a treat. :D

Helena

I’m with you on the tobacco stuff. I can’t stand it. I’m glad the tea tasted good though :D

Lynxiebrat

I remember when my Dad used to smoke a pipe…I loved the smell of it. Much better then the cigarettes. Smoky flavored tea…not sure if I would like that, but of course willing to check it out.

Auggy

How funny – this one leans much more floral for me. Orchid all the way! (But I agree – it’s quite lovely!)

Angrboda

Bonnie, thank you. Finding the Perfect Keemun would be a lot easier if I hadn’t already worked out what I want it to taste like…

Helena, I know, right! I just don’t understand what makes people want to do that to themselves.

Lynxiegrl, when my grandfather smoked a pipe I was probably too young to form any opinion on it. It was just something that he did. I probably believed it had something to do with how to be a grandfather. :p Smoky tea is awesome, but then I’m biased. How do you feel about smoked food? Fish, for example? If you like that, do give the smoky tea a try as well.

Auggy, how odd! I’ll have to try it again and see. It may have something to do with it not really developing fully what iwth my kettle mishap. I’d forgotten to set the temperature, so it was made like a green tea. Hardly the best conditions. :p

Lynxiebrat

I love smoked turkey and salmon. and I definitely want to try it out…I mean plenty of things I didn’t think I’d like I ended up loving. And other things that I thought I’d love, I detested! lol. So it is an adventure.

Auggy

I imagine temp didn’t help. But hopefully at a black tea temp you’ll still like it! I find it super-pretty. Not quite oomph-y enough to take over as my favorite Keemun (CTG’s still has that) but I like it enough that I’ll probably buy it again!

Angrboda

I don’t think I’ve had it done properly yes. I had the second steep on the correct temperature, but wasn’t paying too much attention to it. Which indicates that it was good, because I think I would have noticed had it been thin. :)

Auggy

Funnily enough, I’ve had this one a couple of times recently and picked up more smoky prickle. Still very orchid-y, but a bit more balanced. I kind of blame you for influencing my subconscious. ;)

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Comments

Bonnie

I enjoyed your discourse on Keemuns!

Angrboda

Turns out the aforementioned beauty flaw was definitely something to do with temperature. The kettle was only set to 70°C. DUH! Second steep, at proper temperature, went down a treat. :D

Helena

I’m with you on the tobacco stuff. I can’t stand it. I’m glad the tea tasted good though :D

Lynxiebrat

I remember when my Dad used to smoke a pipe…I loved the smell of it. Much better then the cigarettes. Smoky flavored tea…not sure if I would like that, but of course willing to check it out.

Auggy

How funny – this one leans much more floral for me. Orchid all the way! (But I agree – it’s quite lovely!)

Angrboda

Bonnie, thank you. Finding the Perfect Keemun would be a lot easier if I hadn’t already worked out what I want it to taste like…

Helena, I know, right! I just don’t understand what makes people want to do that to themselves.

Lynxiegrl, when my grandfather smoked a pipe I was probably too young to form any opinion on it. It was just something that he did. I probably believed it had something to do with how to be a grandfather. :p Smoky tea is awesome, but then I’m biased. How do you feel about smoked food? Fish, for example? If you like that, do give the smoky tea a try as well.

Auggy, how odd! I’ll have to try it again and see. It may have something to do with it not really developing fully what iwth my kettle mishap. I’d forgotten to set the temperature, so it was made like a green tea. Hardly the best conditions. :p

Lynxiebrat

I love smoked turkey and salmon. and I definitely want to try it out…I mean plenty of things I didn’t think I’d like I ended up loving. And other things that I thought I’d love, I detested! lol. So it is an adventure.

Auggy

I imagine temp didn’t help. But hopefully at a black tea temp you’ll still like it! I find it super-pretty. Not quite oomph-y enough to take over as my favorite Keemun (CTG’s still has that) but I like it enough that I’ll probably buy it again!

Angrboda

I don’t think I’ve had it done properly yes. I had the second steep on the correct temperature, but wasn’t paying too much attention to it. Which indicates that it was good, because I think I would have noticed had it been thin. :)

Auggy

Funnily enough, I’ve had this one a couple of times recently and picked up more smoky prickle. Still very orchid-y, but a bit more balanced. I kind of blame you for influencing my subconscious. ;)

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Bio

Ang lives with Husband and two kitties, Charm and Luna, in a house not too far from Århus. Apart from drinking tea, she enjoys baking, especially biscuits, reading and jigsaw puzzles. She has recently acquired an interest in cross-stitch and started a rather large project. It remains to be seen whether she has actually bitten off more than she can chew…

Ang prefers black teas and the darker sorts of oolongs. She has to be in the mood for green and white, and she enjoys, but knows little to nothing about, pu-erh.

Her preferences with black teas are the Chinese ones, particularly from Fujian, but also Keemun and just about anything smoky. She occasionally enjoys Yunnans but they’re not favourites. She has taken some time to research Ceylon teas, complete with reference map, and has recently developed some interest in teas from Africa.

She is sceptical about Indian blacks as she generally finds them too astringent and too easy to get wrong. She doesn’t really care for Darjeelings at all. Very high-grown teas are often not favoured.

She likes flavoured teas as well, particularly fruit flavoured ones, but also had an obsession with finding the Perfect Vanilla Flavoured Black and can happily report that this reclusive beast has been spotted in a local teashop near where she works. Any and all vanilla flavoured teas are still highly attractive to her, though. Also nuts and caramel or toffee. Not so much chocolate. It’s a texture thing.

However, she thinks Earl Grey is generally kind of boring. Cinnamon and ginger are also not really a hit, and she’s not very fond of chais. Evil hibiscus is evil. Even in small amounts, and yes, Ang can usually detect hibiscus, mostly by way of the metallic flavour of blood it has.

Ang is not super impressed with rooibos or honeybush on their own. She doesn’t care for either, really, but when they are flavoured, they go usually go down a treat.

Ang used to have a Standard Panel of teas that she tried to always have on hand. She put a lot of thought into defining it and decided what should go on it. It was a great idea on paper, but in practise has been discovered to not really work as well.

Ang tries her best to make a post on Steepster several times a week. She tends to write her posts in advance in a word doc (The Queue) and posting from there. This, she feels, helps her to maintain regularity and stops her from making five posts in three days and then going three weeks without posting anything at all.

Angrboda is almost always open to swapping. Just ask her. Due to the nature of the queue, however, and the fact that it’s some 24 pages long at the moment, it may take a good while from she receives your parcel and until she actually posts about it.

The Formalities

Contact Angrboda by email: [email protected]
Contact Ang on IM on Google chat

Find Ang on…
Steam: Iarnvidia (Or Angrboda. She changed her display name and now is not certain which one to search for. She uses the same picture though, so she is easily recognised)
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Livejournal: See website.
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Bio last updated February 2014

Location

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http://angrboda.livejournal.com

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