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Recent Tasting Notes
Finishing off this sample from Harney today. I keep telling myself I am not much of a keemun person but perhaps my tastes are changing because I like this better than I remember. It still has a smoky top note with a bit of tobacco, but today I am noticing some fruity notes I don’t remember. Good with milk or plain, I still think I prefer the keemun mao feng from Harney though. It is nice for an afternoon wake up call.
Hmmm. I really haven’t been a huge fan of Keemuns in the past but I felt like I should try this sample again, plus I feel it’s good to broaden one’s horizons. When I look back on my tea tasting journey, I used to hate a lot of things which have recently grown on me.
This tea is very dark and I’m definitely getting the chocolate here. The aroma is a bit… interesting. Getting a bit of tobacco here, reminds me slightly of cigars and I’m also picking up on the smoke in the finish. It isn’t really a sweet kind of smoke like you might get with a lapsang, it’s more sturdy and earthy and as my cup cools I’m picking up on some bitterness so I’m going to try a shorter steep next time.
I know a lot of people love this one but I’m finding it a bit strong for me. I can definitely see why people put keemuns in breakfast blends, I think I might enjoy this more with a little something to help mellow it out. I definitely don’t hate it but I also don’t think it’s destined to become a favorite of mine.
A while ago I would read tasting notes for unflavored black teas with descriptions of notes of chocolate and such, and I would wonder what on earth these people were tasting because I never tasted that when I tried black teas. I’m pretty sure I tried this tea at the Harney Soho store ages ago after reading notes on here about it, and I didn’t really get it. Now I’ve gotten into Tan Yangs and other Fujian blacks, and lately I’ve come across a lot of tasting notes about Tan Yangs talking about how a particular tea is like a Keemun minus the smoke. Thanks to SimplyJenW, I get to try this Keemun again now and make the comparisons!
Honestly, the descriptions of smoky notes in Keemuns have me figuring I won’t like them as much because I’m not a big fan of smoke in my teas. And the steeped tea certainly smells smoky! It reminds me a tad of the wood-fired tieguanyin I had once in levels of smokiness… not like a campfire, but something roasted on one, perhaps. I do also smell more Tan Yang-like chocolate and molasses notes underneath it. The flavor delivers on the scent, and I can definitely see the resemblance to a Tan Yang. I first taste very delicious chocolatey and molasses-y notes, and then the light smokiness grows in the latter part of the sip. Definite sweetness present here.
This is partly rated on the fact that I can objectively tell that this is a very good tea and I can appreciate it as such. But it also falls into the range of teas that I wouldn’t seek out again… I’m just not a fan of smoky notes in my teas. But I’m really thankful to get to try this tea to further my tea education and also narrow my black tea searching!
I got this as a wrapped sachet with my first Harney & Sons order last year, and never bothered opening it. For some reason, it just didn’t sound appealing. However, I’m trying to clear out my samples drawer to make room for more, and figured I’d give this a try.
Holy strawberry yum.
It smells so juicy and amazing, right off the bat — sort of like strawberry kiwi Snapple tastes, if that makes sense. And steeping it doesn’t mellow the aroma a bit, but actually makes it stronger and fresher and juicier.
The strawberry is definitely there in the flavor, as is the guava. The tea isn’t very strong, but it’s still pretty evident, mellowing the fruit flavors a little and keeping this blend from being cloying. (In fact, this green/black blend probably would have been better with the H&S mango tea, instead of the black they used.) I don’t taste the coconut, but I hate coconut so I’m fine with that.
This is so delicious, seriously. I am definitely including a tin in my next order.
I bought a tag-along of this as I really wanted to give it a good test run. It smells AMAZING! It’s almost not fair, as I’m not sure anything could live up to that scent. The taste is pleasant and smooth, but I do find myself willing it to be more vanilla-ry to match the scent. I’m still on the hunt for my perfect vanilla, but this is a nice place filler for now.
This was surprisingly strong. I didn’t expect the flavours to come out nearly as much as they did so I was pleasantly surprised. The ginger and lemongrass lingered nicely. It’s quite smooth and creamy, which will be the coconut. Being a coconut lover I wish it came out to play more, but a lovely drop all the same.