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Recent Tasting Notes
Note: Their website currently calls this just “Hao Ya A” but when I got the package of it, it is labeled “Guangxi Hao Ya A.” It’s description is that it is their highest quality of Keemun.
A good Keemun is one of my favorite black teas. But I am very particular about my Keemuns. I have sampled many supplier’s Keemuns, from standard grades on up thru 2nd and 1st grades, to Hao Ya A and B grades. I find that while high grades typically look more refined and have a more uniform leaf size, usually a small size, it doesn’t mean their flavor is always superior in my opinion.
A really good Keemun has that unique flavoring of a hint of smokiness mixed with pine/oak nuances and some hints of fruit notes, followed by some notes of chocolate. It’s hard to describe but once you take a good one, I find it not replicated in any other tea.
I pit this particular Keemun Hao Ya A against 3 other Keemuns I found enjoyable from previous samplings in a blind taste test which I and my wife took part in. I equalized all the parameters, side-by-side cups of equal size, same hot water source, equal steep timing, equal sweetener (sugar, I’m not a hard-core tea drinker of black teas who omits sweeteners). This tea came out as our number 1 pick of the 4 Keemuns. It’s leaf quality was not notch and it’s flavor profile was really very good. This is one I could recommend fully to those who love a really good cup of Keemun.
THANK YOU TEA EMBASSY FOR SENDING ME THIS SAMPLE! (more like full size bag lol..yay!)
But awe man. I must’ve effed this up a few different ways. I either over-steeped, over-steeped with too much tea to not enough water, or had the water too hot. Cause I think I scorched it and it went bitter bitter bitter. :( Trying again later tonight, but you know what? It was still drinkable after what I did lol, so that tells me its still a pretty damn good blend.
It’s been awhile since I’ve had a Zhen Qu gold-tipped Yunnan. The last one I tried was – dare I say it? – a year ago. That one was sheer and utter perfection. This one was…almost perfect. With a liquor color like leather and a taste like honey and cream, how could it not be close to perfect? Hard to pinpoint what it was missing, but it wasn’t much. Truly an excellent Yunnan Gold.
Full Review: Pending on www.teaviews.com
One of the most delicious teas I’ve ever had. I love the marzipan and the creamy texture. It’s sweet but not too sweet. I often want green tea with a little more kick, so the mate is perfect. The coconut is subtle and mixes well with the cherry. I brew it a little on the weaker side so it’s more soothing.
When the boiling water hit the leaves the kitchen filled with the scent of bergamot. First taste without milk is very citrusy. Added a dash of milk which smoothed out the rough spots. At first it was too hot to get a full taste, but once it cooled off it definitely has a creamy fullness to it, which I believe is from the tea itself rather than the milk. A healthy amount of bergamot without being too strong. This is the kind of Earl Grey I imagine Picard drinking to help him think. Next time I’ll try my preferred parameters – water a little less than boiling.
Tried it a little hotter than my usual temperature. This preparation brings out a hint of bitterness and spice, which would be welcome on a cold autumn morning. Still pretty mild, which is nice for me. I generally prefer mellow black teas rather than rattle-your-teeth strength. I’m having this in the early afternoon as I settle back into work.