97
drank Keemun Hao Ya A by TeaSpring
911 tasting notes

So it’s official – good Keemuns are really good! Adagio’s Anhui, Chicago Tea Garden’s, Jackee Muntz and this one – they’re all a little bit different but they’re all good. They each have similar notes of rye and sweet and smoke but in different strengths and proportions. Adagio’s and CTG seem to sit on one side of the spectrum for me with softer, smoother notes and lots of complexity. Jackee sits on the other end, representing the Keemuns with a stronger, more straight-forward flavor and texture and oh yeah, if the stars align, major sweet-in-the-form-of-caramel notes.

This one strikes me as sitting pretty much in the middle of that spectrum, with some delightful characteristics of the Keemuns to either side. The dry leaves smell sweet and slightly smoky, which somehow combines to give me the strong impression of chocolate – more milk than dark, but listing slightly towards the dark side. Post-steeping, the smell is slightly smoky, rich and silky, with a bit of a dark grain/yeasty note that is too sweet to be bready and instead translates into almost crème brulee-ish. You might see where I’m going with this…

The taste is lovely. Not quite as complex as CTG’s or Adagio’s Anhui Keemun but still with that overall gentle smoky taste and almost-bready/grain-ish/woodsy solid note. Then a bit of stars-aligned Jackee pops up in the insanely smooth and silky feel. The end taste is especially smooth with no hint of a raw or acrid note that a lot of Keemuns seem to have. Instead, it’s silky, rounded and heavy. If this tea was a shape (other than, you know, the shape of whatever container you pour it in to) it would be a large, frictionless, dark garnet sphere – that’s how smooth it feels going down. It also has a strong sweet note – not quite as sweet as full-on-caramel-mood Jackee, but sweet enough that, combined with the thicker grain-ish/yeasty/solid note and the smooth, decadent feel, it makes me think a bit of crème brulee or custard.

Ultimately, I like the edge and greater complexity of CTG’s and Adagio’s Anhui Keemun just a hair more (a very tiny hair, in fact) but this is a really good tea. Those that find non-caramel Jackee a bit strong would probably really enjoy this one, especially the sweet notes and silky feel. Actually, anyone that enjoys Keemuns would probably like this one unless you tend to go for rougher, rawer feeling/tasting Keemuns – it’s truly delightful.

A big thanks to Angrboda for the share!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Lori

Thank you so much for this detailed review- I have been getting curious about keemuns in general and this provides some insight…

Auggy

Thanks – glad it helped! I know I ignored at least one type of Keemun (the not as happy quality ones that tend to strike me as raw, green or Nilgiri-like tasting) but I’m not really a fan of those so I ignored them. :)

Angrboda

I only have the Adagio one left to try. I know you said it was expensive, but I looked it up and went GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!!!!! O.O die!
I thought this was on the pricey side when I bought it. I have been educated otherwise.
I can’t actually remember what I thought of it or even how I scored it, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t find creme brulee… And just when I was sitting here wondering what to have tonight! I think we have a candidate.

Auggy

Yeah, the Adagio one is a bit wow. But it is good! Though I think for the price, I’ll stick with CTG’s because it’s lots cheaper and only a hint less wonderful.
I think the creme brulee is where my mind landed because of the heavy, rich texture of this plus the not-quite-caramel sweetness, similar to the top of a creme brulee.

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Comments

Lori

Thank you so much for this detailed review- I have been getting curious about keemuns in general and this provides some insight…

Auggy

Thanks – glad it helped! I know I ignored at least one type of Keemun (the not as happy quality ones that tend to strike me as raw, green or Nilgiri-like tasting) but I’m not really a fan of those so I ignored them. :)

Angrboda

I only have the Adagio one left to try. I know you said it was expensive, but I looked it up and went GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!!!!! O.O die!
I thought this was on the pricey side when I bought it. I have been educated otherwise.
I can’t actually remember what I thought of it or even how I scored it, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t find creme brulee… And just when I was sitting here wondering what to have tonight! I think we have a candidate.

Auggy

Yeah, the Adagio one is a bit wow. But it is good! Though I think for the price, I’ll stick with CTG’s because it’s lots cheaper and only a hint less wonderful.
I think the creme brulee is where my mind landed because of the heavy, rich texture of this plus the not-quite-caramel sweetness, similar to the top of a creme brulee.

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Bio

I’m trying to be a better tea logger and actually post semi-regularly again! I’ve let my tea tasting senses become too complacent – it’s time for some focused and attentive tea drinking!

Sometimes my notices for PMs and such have been questionable. Email me at your own risk at aug3zimm at gmail dot com.


1 – 10 – Bleck. Didn’t finish the cup.
11 – 25 – Drinkable. But don’t punish me by making me have it again.
26 – 40 – Meh. Most likely will see if the husband likes it iced.
41 – 60 – Okayish. Maybe one day I’ll kill off what I have in my pantry.
61 – 75 – Decent. I might pick some up if I needed tea.
76 – 85 – Nice. I’d probably buy but wouldn’t hunt it down.
86 – 100 – Yum! I will hunt down the vendor to get this tea!

Not that anyone but me particularly cares, but there it is.

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Texas

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http://pinkness.danzimmermann...

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