Is it just me or is Steepster responding really slowly these days?
Anyway, the finest grade of Keemun. How extravagant. I remembered liking the Keemun from Nothing But Tea a lot, but I can’t help feeling like TeaSpring, being specialists in Chinese teas and shipping directly from China, ought to be my first choice when it comes to my plain Chineses. Or at the very least thoroughly explored before making the choice to go elsewhere. They have a couple of other lower grade Keemuns too, so there should be some exploration ahead there, I think.
The dry leaves greet me with a very sweet aroma and a clear note of smoke. A little spicy too, but mostly surprisingly sweet.
After steeping it’s got a VERY sweet aroma, yes, even caramel-y. I’m reminded of all the Jackee Muntz reviews I’ve seen speaking of heavy caramel notes and glancing suspiciously at my cup. Might this be what I’ve found here? It’s all thick smelling, like you would expect the liquid to be all viscous. The smoke note is still present but not overwhelming and again a tiny little spicy note as well.
Oooh! Strong! I did involuntarily give it an extra 30s though, as I decided to give my cup a wash while it steeped and I was too slow. I must remember not to do that again.
The flavour is surprisingly heavy on the smoke considering it took a secondary position in the aroma. It’s all prickly all over my mouth. Underneath that we find the sweetness.
A sweet note with heavy smoke on top, that sounds a bit like LS but the sweetness is definitely different here. This is more sugary whereas when you really pay attention to LS that comes across as more fruity.
I’m not sure I would call it caramel-y though and the tea seems slightly bitter on the swallow, but I can see where it might turn really caramel-y with a little care and attention to steeping time.
On the other hand, I currently have a cold, so maybe my nose and tastebuds aren’t entirely to be trusted at the moment. Rating is subject to change. It is a very good tea and you can taste the quality, but right now I don’t feel it’s beating Nothing But Tea’s Keemun Superior which I scored at 95 points, but under better conditions I might try again. Considering how much more expensive this is, at the moment I would prefer the NBT. Once I’ve tried it under better circumstances, we’ll see if the rating will change.