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85

I decided to go for black tea over yerba mate – I like the yerba mate but it makes me too jazzed for writing. Saving that for later in the day when I’m flagging…
So, I opened up the bag of the Keemun Encore – wow, the leaves are so tiny! I really like the scent of this. It’s creamy and smokey in this wonderful dark way like the back of a cool cabinet.
After brewing it, I’m getting really strong smooth overtones of cream and honey. I tried it black first. Drinking it was… interesting. None of the sweetness of the scent translates into flavour, but the smokiness definitely does. It is pleasantly astringent, with a funny aftertaste that lingers. It’s almost metallic, along with the smoke. I’m actually picturing a soldier from the 1930s opening a cigarette case in a cave. How’s that for oddly specific tea imagery?
In its favour, the liquor is really really nicely thick. I’m not sold on the taste – going to add some milk to this cup and then try a second infusion. Not bad, the scent is great, the taste is slightly un-complex and a little “funny”.

ETA – I added milk and have completely changed my opinion. The milk brings all the creaminess and smokiness from the initial scent right to the front and takes away the metallic flavor. With milk, it is a really really nice drink. Still not wildly complex or anything but just really pleasant. Wow, what a difference!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Skulleigh

If you like this, definitely try Keemun Rhapsody and Concerto. Rhapsody is my (nearly) every day tea at work (I alternate with a jasmine oolong) and Concerto is my treat. It’s so tobacco-y and chocolate-y. I love them both.

BlueKittyMeow

Oh, neat – I’ll add them to my list of things to try. I love the tobacco/earthy flavors. Thanks for the rec :)

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Skulleigh

If you like this, definitely try Keemun Rhapsody and Concerto. Rhapsody is my (nearly) every day tea at work (I alternate with a jasmine oolong) and Concerto is my treat. It’s so tobacco-y and chocolate-y. I love them both.

BlueKittyMeow

Oh, neat – I’ll add them to my list of things to try. I love the tobacco/earthy flavors. Thanks for the rec :)

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Bio

I’m a writer and as such, am obviously an emotional rollercoaster. I used to drink tea a lot more, but kind of stopped and switched to coffee. Now, after too much stress, I’m completely unable to drink coffee anymore, so I figured tea would fulfill some of my “awake” needs as well as calm my emotions. I’m working my way through a huge selection of samples of pretty much everything, leaving notes so I remember what I like.
I love being adventurous and trying new things, even (especially?) things that sound strange or off-putting. Aside from tea I also enjoy tasting wines. The last really interesting one I tried was a dandelion wine! (And yes, it actually was delicious. Extremely bizarre and herby, but delicious).

I don’t have a set of numerical ratings set down yet, mainly because I’m very intuitive (read: disorganized and opinionated) about how I rate things. Basically, If something is in the 70-85 range, it’s pretty good, totally drinkable. Below that, in the 50-69 range, it was probably incredibly boring. I really hate boring tea. Below 50, I wouldn’t drink it again and might not have finished it (I actually really hate leaving ratings below 50, it makes me feel bad. I’m probably too nice). If it’s above 85 then I really liked it. Super high ratings are reserved for teas that totally blew me away.

Location

Massachusetts

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