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Cup #6 in SimplyJenW’s Tour of China blacks:
This one is kind of a side trip. I have been primarily focusing on Fujian black tea because the cocoa notes of tea from that region have me always wanting more. But this is a Keemun. I have only had a few of these, but the cup is generally more astringent, bolder, and smokey. It is more of a ‘wake me up’ tea than a ‘relax me out’ tea. I am not super versed in English Breakfast teas of all makes, but there are many that have Keemun as some portion of the blend, or they are a straight Keemun. Me personally, I can’t drink Keemun without additions. After the first several sips of this one, I had to sweeten. This one is in the mid range as far as price for a Keemun at Upton at a little over $7 for 125 grams. Now I am wondering how this compares to a more expensive one, but since it is not my black tea of choice, I may never know.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec
ashmanra

If you want to try a keemun that needs no sweetening, I would recommend Harney and Sons Keemun Mao Feng. It is milder than most keemuns and because it is harvested so early and contains so many buds (which are higher in glucose) it is sweeter than many keemuns. I, too, LOVE Fujian province teas – they are my favorites! But several keemuns are dear to my heart as well. Harney’s Keemun Hao Ya A is rich, bold, and cocoa-y, and with afternoon sweets tastes pretty good with no additions, though at breakfast I nearly always add milk and sugar to any tea I am drinking.

SimplyJenW

Yes….I will try a bunch more Keemuns at some point…and Harney tea is always on my shopping list. How does Harney’s English Breakfast compare to the ones you mentioned? It is also a Keemun. The Adagio English Breakfast which is also a Keemun is definitely smoother and less astringent than the one I tried today after sweetening them both.

ashmanra

Keemun Hao Ya A is definitely the strongest of the three. Bold, rich, cocoa! And that hint of smoke that you usually find in keemuns. English Breakfast would be in the middle, I think, with Mao Feng being the mildest and sweetest of the three. I have English Breakfast or Queen Catherine practically every morning, and Mao Feng for afternoon tea time. I only had a sample of Hao Ya A, but I plan to get a tin on my next order. I think it will probably be an afternoon tea with guests as well.

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ashmanra

If you want to try a keemun that needs no sweetening, I would recommend Harney and Sons Keemun Mao Feng. It is milder than most keemuns and because it is harvested so early and contains so many buds (which are higher in glucose) it is sweeter than many keemuns. I, too, LOVE Fujian province teas – they are my favorites! But several keemuns are dear to my heart as well. Harney’s Keemun Hao Ya A is rich, bold, and cocoa-y, and with afternoon sweets tastes pretty good with no additions, though at breakfast I nearly always add milk and sugar to any tea I am drinking.

SimplyJenW

Yes….I will try a bunch more Keemuns at some point…and Harney tea is always on my shopping list. How does Harney’s English Breakfast compare to the ones you mentioned? It is also a Keemun. The Adagio English Breakfast which is also a Keemun is definitely smoother and less astringent than the one I tried today after sweetening them both.

ashmanra

Keemun Hao Ya A is definitely the strongest of the three. Bold, rich, cocoa! And that hint of smoke that you usually find in keemuns. English Breakfast would be in the middle, I think, with Mao Feng being the mildest and sweetest of the three. I have English Breakfast or Queen Catherine practically every morning, and Mao Feng for afternoon tea time. I only had a sample of Hao Ya A, but I plan to get a tin on my next order. I think it will probably be an afternoon tea with guests as well.

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Bio

Tea enthusiast, trying to keep up my cardio for the zombie apocalypse. I have come to accept that I am a western brewing black tea drinker as that is where my ‘tea heart’ lies. I started on loose leaf as a way to have my dessert and not suffer the caloric issues. Once I tried it, I was hooked.

I drink what I like, which is mostly China blacks, a few traditionally scented blacks and Earl Greys, plus a flavored tea here and there. I don’t mind spending a bit on premium varieties on occasion, but an expensive tea has to deliver. My favorite places to order are Harney & Sons and Upton Tea Imports. TeaVivre is great for Chinese tea.

My ratings are pretty subjective. If it falls under 70, I may not take the time to post about it unless I had something specific to say. If it is 70-80 I like it, but I will probably not rebuy. Favorites are over 80 and up, but sometimes the less expensive or more easily obtainable version of a similar taste will win out for my cupboard space.

Usual teapot steeping method: 24 oz teapot, 3 perfect scoops of tea (4 1/2 actual tsp), freshly boiled water, 4 minutes. Lightly sweetened.

Usual mug steeping method: 15 oz mug, 1.5 perfect scoops of tea (just over 2 actual tsp), freshly boiled water, 4 minutes. Lightly sweetened.

Usual pan method: 1 1/2 cups water, 2 perfect tsp chai (3 actual tsp). Simmer for 3 minutes. Add 2/3 cup skim milk. Simmer for 2 more minutes. Strain and sweeten.

Usual pitcher method:
5 or 6 Perfect Spoons of tea (this means about 7-9 actual tsp), freshly boiled water, brewed essentially double-strong in my 24 oz teapot for 4 minutes. Fill my Fiestaware Disc pitcher (about 60 oz.) halfway with ice. Add brewed double-strong tea to the pitcher. Stir it a little and enjoy. No additions.

(*SRP is my Sample/Stash Reduction Plan starting on April 12, 2012. I got so far, but just decided it was too fussy to keep track.)

Location

Ohio

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