92
drank Anhui Keemun by Adagio Teas
1270 tasting notes

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.

Auggy

The steeping making a difference makes total sense. When I’ve had this, I went with more of Adagio’s recommended (3min) than what works so well for CTG’s Keemun (1min). I’ve tried CTG’s at a longer steep (good but not as good as at a shorter steep) but I still need to try this one at a shorter steep. I must do some parameter mixing and matching and see what happens!

Angrboda

I have the leaves standing around while I’m trying to get around to getting a second steep underway. I always start at 1 minute for a black, but I think I might press it all the way up to two on the second one this time.

Angrboda

There is indeed a lot less creamyness and a bit more roughness around the edges on the second go around. Fits rather well with this box of chocolates that totally accidentally keeps on throwing its contents into my mouth completely without me being able to stop it. (No really! I’m being forced to eat chocolates here!)

Thomas Smith

Hmm, this has me taking another look at Adagio. Haybe I’ll have to go and try their “Masters” teas.

Now I’m really curious what you might think of Tea Spring’s Xian Zhen Keemun.

Angrboda

I shall check that one out the next time I place a TeaSpring order. I’ve tried their Hao Ya A which I really liked, but it was a bit out of my league price-wise, so I’m definitely going to explore their Keemun selection. Thanks for the tip! :)

Auggy

I MUST place a TeaSpring order and soon. That’s just all there is to it.

Angrboda

I checked the price of the Xian Zhen. It’s even MORE expensive than the Hao Ya A… headdesk 25g sample it is.

Thomas Smith

It’s really tasty. Think I’ll work up a review this afternoon.

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Comments

Auggy

The steeping making a difference makes total sense. When I’ve had this, I went with more of Adagio’s recommended (3min) than what works so well for CTG’s Keemun (1min). I’ve tried CTG’s at a longer steep (good but not as good as at a shorter steep) but I still need to try this one at a shorter steep. I must do some parameter mixing and matching and see what happens!

Angrboda

I have the leaves standing around while I’m trying to get around to getting a second steep underway. I always start at 1 minute for a black, but I think I might press it all the way up to two on the second one this time.

Angrboda

There is indeed a lot less creamyness and a bit more roughness around the edges on the second go around. Fits rather well with this box of chocolates that totally accidentally keeps on throwing its contents into my mouth completely without me being able to stop it. (No really! I’m being forced to eat chocolates here!)

Thomas Smith

Hmm, this has me taking another look at Adagio. Haybe I’ll have to go and try their “Masters” teas.

Now I’m really curious what you might think of Tea Spring’s Xian Zhen Keemun.

Angrboda

I shall check that one out the next time I place a TeaSpring order. I’ve tried their Hao Ya A which I really liked, but it was a bit out of my league price-wise, so I’m definitely going to explore their Keemun selection. Thanks for the tip! :)

Auggy

I MUST place a TeaSpring order and soon. That’s just all there is to it.

Angrboda

I checked the price of the Xian Zhen. It’s even MORE expensive than the Hao Ya A… headdesk 25g sample it is.

Thomas Smith

It’s really tasty. Think I’ll work up a review this afternoon.

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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.

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Contact Angrboda by email: [email protected]
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Bio last updated February 2014

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