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Note: This tea spent five years aging in the tin prior to this post.

I found this to be an especially nice black tea. It blends the smoke of a Lapsang (though obviously much less intense) with a woodsy tobacco sort of flavor – so, it’s a Keemun. If you’re not into smoky woodsy teas, this might well be your least favorite black tea aside from Lapsang Souchong – but if you are, this is pretty good.

A Keemun will generally take being left on the shelf for years pretty well, so in my case the unintentional five year aging served to dramatically mellow out the bite, bringing it down to almost pu-erh levels of not-bitter. I found that to compliment the flavor pretty well – so while I wouldn’t necessarily recommend five years… this is one you can give a few of aging for a mellower profile, and it certainly holds up fine if you’re slow to finish the tin.

I can’t rate it especially highly because it didn’t wow me, but it’s definitely good, and I wouldn’t turn it down. I tend to spoil my palate with super-fancy teas, and I can see this blowing some minds if one is new to loose-leaf brewed right.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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Bio

Her Highness Rozen Maiden No.5, Shinku, is my tea-soulmate.

I am a tea nerd. I only brew looseleaf, I keep an instant read thermometer with my stash and never, ever brew a cup without getting the water temperature I want first. I can’t stop buying teas that capture my heart, even if I have more than I could ever finish before they go stale – though I do my best to keep delicate ones sealed until I’m ready to dig in.

I rate things on a different scale than I think most people do. For me, 50 is not a bad grade, 50 is take it or leave it, I probably wouldn’t turn it down but I wouldn’t ask for it. 50 is indifference, sub-50 is dislike.

Also, I live near Lupicia SF, and can get there and back in the span of my lunch break. I’m jealous of myself.

I like just about everything, but my true loves are shincha, gyokuro, pu-erh, and lapsang souchong. Grass clippings, dirt, and campfires, mmm mm.

What I won’t touch is blasphemous grossness like candy-flavored rooibos, fruit-and-vanilla white teas, etc. – don’t even get me started.

Location

SF Bay Area