96

This tea is a tea revelation. If you read my notes, you probably think I have tea revelations on an hourly basis. At the rate I’m going, they happen no more than weekly.

This Keemun is a deeply rewarding tea. It has many moods, nuances, and overtones. It’s very rich and one does not need to seek out subtlety or wonder “could that really be a fleeing taste of chestnut?” or “is this deeply walked-in shoe leather a figment of my imagination?”

Ku Cha, which provides very speedy delivery and excellent service, has a real winner here. The full-bodied tea makes me want to stand up straight, starch my collars, and salute. The aroma and taste is a bit playful yet staunch at the same time: some very light smoke, some fruity grape (or is that wine?) some cocoa, some floral. This is a tea with a lot of character and depth. I know that Keemuns are not particularly old teas, but this one seems to have travelled ancient paths and seen many sights and made many sage observations.

I made a large mug and figure that it probably costs about $1.00 TOPS. Possibly more like 75 cents. It’s a little more costly than the average tea, but the extra price is worth it. I could most certainly buy this again.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 15 sec

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I really love big, bold, brash teas. Smokiness enthralls me. I don’t seem to do subtle.
I don’t do rooibos.

My rating system:
0-30:
Never again in a hundred million years

31-55: This tea probably has some redeeming qualities but I won’t would not seek it out again.

56-70:
Shows some promise but also has a fundamental flaw. I probably owe these a second taste but am unmotivated.

71-80:
Good with at least one strong quality; I probably would not buy it but would drink it cheerfully.

81-90: Worthy contenders; they might be ranked 100 on somebody’s else’s scale. I like them a lot but have not fallen in love. Will probably buy and use.

91-95: These are the true loves, the chosen ones, the ones I dream about and crave. Unless they are in a limited edition—la! how you tease me!—I will always keep in my cupboard.

96-100: I cannot be separated from these teas and would develop a panic attack if I were to run out.

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“She is too fond of books and it has turned her brain.”

Elderly dowager. Quintessential cat lady.

Tea which must be in stock always:

Black Dragon LS by Upton Teas: My choice every morning.

Florence & Lapsang Souchong by Harney & Sons

a good Gen Maicha

Samovar: Russian Blend, Maiden’s Ecstasy, Ryokucha

Mariage Frères: Confucious, Vivaldi, Eros, Aida, Marco Polo

American Tea Room: Brioche

Leland Teas: Bogart

Life in Teacup:
An Xi Tie Guan Yin Grade II modern green style & also Charcoal Style

Location

In the midst of the middle of the heart of nowhere in particular.

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