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Recent Tasting Notes
I am plowing through this 2oz bag I got! It smells very similar to the Tea Embassy’s Almond Cookies Green tea, which is also being drunk at record speed. Both have a powerful almond and coconut smell and that strong smell carries through to strong flavor once brewed. Both are quite delicious with this one being non caffeinated! I didn’t understand why it was called Wedding Cake until I went to a friends wedding the other day and had a slice of cake. I was floored by how similar the cake tasted to the tea! My friend said it’s vanilla cake with almond frosting. It was delicious, just like this tea. The rooibos is a bit drying as it tends to be, but the fantastic taste distracts me from that most of the time. I think I’ll make a permanent spot in my cupboard for it in the non caffeinated section.
I LOVE THIS TEA!
I first tried this at the Smith-Byrd Tea House in Prattville, Alabama. They have this wonderful endless tea policy! The tea pots are only two cup pots, but you can get unlimited pots of tea and you can ask for a different flavor whenever you like! They said that this is so you can try (and hopefully buy!) several different teas, and that is exactly what I did! But I digress.
This tea is delicious! To me, it tastes exactly like an almond cookie, almost like marzipan! My mother on the other hand thought that it tasted more like almond extract. This is a very sweet tea. I needs no sweeteners. The texture of this tea is incredible as well. The flavor is so full and bold that I feel like I am actually eating a cookie! I love it! Some people may think that this tea is too sweet, but I think it is perfect!
This tea is also good for a few re-steepings. I believe I have re-steeped it two times without it loosing flavor, but generally I only re-steep it once because sometimes the green tea gets a little bitter. Over all, this is a fabulous tea!
This tea smells fantastic in the bag! I wanted to grab a spoon and chow down. I got a lot of almond and a little coconut when I sniffed it. I may have brewed it too long, or maybe it was a combination of what I had just eaten, but the first couple sips tasted bitter. A few more sips into it as I was deciding if I should dump it and try brewing again, it started to taste less bitter. I added a little sugar and a few sips later it is tasting pretty smooth. The almond and coconut go together so perfectly that it’s a little hard to pick them out individually in each sip. I find the aftertaste has a slight bitterness to it that is pleasant with coconut on the end. True to it’s name, it is much like an almond cookie and is delicious to the last sip. I may have found a new almond tea love!
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.