Initially, this smelled very smoky – ironically smokier than Upton’s Finest Russian Caravan – and very Keemun-y. I was a bit worried because I’ve been having some pretty kick-ass Keemuns lately and this one didn’t smell like it would match up at all. As it cooled, the smell became less smoky and began to get fruity and sweet, somewhat like plums. So maybe this tea will luck out and not end up competing against super-awesome Keemuns.
The taste turns into a good news/bad news type situation. The good news is that this tea isn’t Keemun-y enough to compete against my favorite Keemuns. There’s a little Keemun edge to the end of the taste, a little raw leafiness, but it doesn’t strike me as a Keemun. The taste is mostly Darjeeling, smoothed out by the Keemun and tiny, tiny bit of Lapsang Souchong. It ends up tasting just a little bit like a thin, light, sweet Yunnan.
But, here comes the bad news: it’s just not all that special. Yes, it’s smooth and sweet and has a nice flavor that doesn’t require any additives but all that just ends up being okay. Nothing really sings or sparkles or jumps out and, while it isn’t a flat, one-note tea, it doesn’t have a very complex or deep flavor profile. So, yeah, it’s just okay. I’d buy it at a grocery store if I needed tea but otherwise, not so much.