Auggy sent me this one, and I’ve been putting off trying it. I was warned that it was a pretty expensive tea and I then made the mistake of looking up the price. NEVER DO THAT! Following that I’ve spent a lot of time being scared of it. What if I oversteeped it like mad and ruined the leaves?! O.O At that price you’d think they were made of diamonds!
I would like to say that I was feeling brave today and decided to make it but that’s not true. I just wanted something I hadn’t tried before, really, while also being something that might kickstart my aching brain. (Slept in too long, slight headache) So here we are. With a cup of tea comparable, in price, to liquid platinum… Oh dear.
The aroma isn’t as strong as I had initially expected. Full, but not very loud. I’m getting a lot of that grain-y note and some dark cocoa. Also, weirdly, something creamy. It’s not cream, but it’s got sort of like that quality a smell can have when a bit of cream is added to it. Slightly sweet and smooth and a little fat. It really does have a very sweet aroma over all which I think have to do with the grain note primarily.
At the first sip I got a bit of a surprise. The aroma had led me to believe I was about to encounter something unbelievably smooth and creamy and I had completely forgotten about the semi-smoky aspect of Keemun. Probably because there aren’t any smoky notes in the aroma. So at first I went O.o and then I went ‘aaaaah…!’
So yes, there is the mild smokyness up front and underneath that there it is. The creamy smoothness. And it really is creamy! It feels all thick in the mouth and everything.
First I’m getting the mild smoke and then the thickness and finally the grain. There’s a sort of earthy, dusty aftertaste building up here that kind of reminds me of floral scented teas. That seems a bit out of place to me, completely unexpected.
I can’t find any of the cocoa that the aroma had, but I’m getting tons and tons of the creamyness. I haven’t added milk to the cup but I could have sworn, in a blind tasting, that there was milk in it.
It seems that Auggy was really getting a lot more out of it than I am, and I blame our differences in steeping. I tend to go for a much shorter steep with more leaf (although I still don’t think I use enough leaf to call it gong fu) and I’m thinking I’ll try and do a longer steep the second time around on these leaves. See what else comes out.