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Recent Tasting Notes
Not easy to find a Keemun that isn’t one dimensional. Usually flavor falls flat…somewhat like a mediocre merlot. Bleh!
I don’t care much for who scores the best Keemun as long as I can find it and brew it up!
So happens, that the best I’ve found thus far is Teavivre’s Organic Superfine Fragrant. (And yes it is in stock!)
This tea is layered…like an old vine wine. Smooth and not harsh.
I prefer plenty of leaf when I brew and 2-3 minute steep. Don’t steep longer!
There’s nothing wrong with drinking Keemun any way you want to. Tea snobbery is vulgar!!!
Plain, with sugar and/or cream is outstanding! Robust!
Hello to old friends!
Thank you Teavivre for this sample tea!
My first tasting was gongfu style with Eric and Sam at Happy Lucky’s Tea Shop on the eve of the USA Pro Am #6 Cycling race.
It was quiet because the streets downtown were about to be closed off in preparation for the next day’s huge racing event!
Sam was loading a big cooler with ice for the tea booth (to be located in front of Happy Lucky’s) when my granddaughter Schey arrived to join the tea tasting.
We tasted three other tea’s, finishing with the Keemun.
There was an audible ahhhh with this final tasting.
I showed restraint, appreciative of the sweet aroma before I slurped once, twice then three times from my small cup (splaying the tea throughout my mouth, catching air). We only taste tea the ‘loud’ way among ourselves when the shop is quiet, not to startle anyone. I mention how this is done because it’s worth trying out (quite a bit like tasting wine).
We all liked this tea, and I couldn’t wait to have a whole pot of tea to myself the next morning!
The next day, Saturday morning which was race day, I made a pot of Superfine Keemun…Western Style…with a slightly longer steep than most people would do.
This is the best Black Tea I’ve tasted from Teavivre! Fragrant, with sweetness, slight black pepper and barley, cocoa with almost no smoke.
I added cream and sugar which enhanced the sweet cocoa flavor and
revealed the richness of this fine Black Tea.
This is the Keemun I want in my cupboard! It’s not dry or harsh but has depth and complexity.
After my pot of tea, I was ready for the Cycling Race! I drove close to Old Town and walked to the Finish Line area around the corner from the tea house.
A big TV screen showed the race (ABC I think), and I watched the racers fly behind my house from Horsetooth Reservoir, then down Mulberry the next street over, through town and past me sooo fast! Here are some photo’s!!!
The day was FUN! Vendors gave away samples of Ice Cream, Yoghurt, Jelly Belly’s, Dried Fruit, Cow Bells, Beef Jerky, Water Bottles, Chips, Cliff Bars, Healthy Snacks…all kinds of things. No sales, just free STUFF!
Next week, Tour de Fat! http://youtu.be/DjJlWZgWuUU
It hurts my body to get out like this and park far away and walk and stand even with my cane. Real pain.
But if I stop and stay in my house 24/7 I’ll lose my joy!
Nobody is going to come to me, I have to go grab what I can and do what I can!
The day ended as I began the evening before, with a stop for tea with my friends at the tea house. They gave me free iced tea and scones. Much needed relief and the joy of friendship!
Mmmmm, soooo yummyyyyyyy. :). I wouldn’t dream of sweetening this tea. It’s divine on its own. I get notes of honey and sweet hay, with the mouthfeel of honeydew melon. Yep, this tea is JUICY! I will be buying more and keeping this on hand. Even after I accidentally let it cool all the way (and I’m talking colder than just lukewarm), it was still delicious and refreshing. The first steep was only about forty-five seconds, while the second steep was a bit longer, maybe a minute and ten.
The beautiful golden color of this tea really set it apart. Although it resembles Golden Monkey (one of my favorites), it isn’t quite as strongly scented or flavored as GM. The soft scent of yeasty bread with just a slight vegetal aroma wafting around in the background.
I brewed this lightly tonight, 2 tsp per cup @ 205 for 2 minutes. I’ll resteep tomorrow for 3 minutes, then compare with fresh steeping @ 205 for 3 minutes. It will be fun to compare the tastes of the three brews.
A typical black tea color of reddish brown filled my cup after the pour. The steam lifted the mild aroma of malt and yeast heavenwards, while the first sip was amazingly sweet. No bitterness or astringency apparent. Then the wonderful taste of malt caught my attention. Not too pronounced, but definitely there. A very pleasant, fresh, mild cup of tea.
I know from the samples I tried before that this tea can be big and bold, perhaps an extra minute of steeping is the key to the boldness capable. But I’m really liking this lighter version. A restful cup before bed, with a couple of cookies. This is what tea drinking is all about.
8/25/13 Resteeped yesterday leaves for 3 minutes at 205F. The tea is very similar to yesterdays’ brew; mild, sweet, less malty than yesterday, but still a good mild fresh cup. I seriously doubt any goodness is left in these leaves, but i will steep a second time with this tea in the future.
This was just a little sample with my last order, but I requested it because I thought it would make a nice iced tea – and it did. The baby and I have been sipping away at it all day. I get a lot of the orange, but there are bits of apples and other fruits hiding away in the back. I can’t remember how much this one costs, but I could see this one being an easy one to drink down in the summer. It’s just a touch tart, but not unpleasantly so.
Tying to catch up on things, though it won’t go well. I have company for the next week or so and I’m sick. So yeah. My order from teavivre came and I’m trying to drink a few of the sample sizes I picked up so that I don’t technically have to add them to my cupboard :) saving a couple of them for mornings when we’re in the hotel.
A far as this one goes, it’s not blueberry enough for me (though that may be the sick factor) and I don’t like the tartness in it. I was hoping for something a little sweeter. However, if you add a little sugar and don’t tik of blueberry, this is would be a great cold brew for summer. :)
Very excited to try this tea. I don’t mind jasmine teas but I do not like very strong jasmine. I read good reviews of this tea so wanted to try it, and couldn’t pass up on Teavivre’s anniversary sale.
I couldn’t smell much of the dry tea. However, this package was opened by Canadian customs – yes they opened the actual bag holding the tea – and taped it shut. All I could smell was the chemical smell of the tape. Slightly worried the tea is contaminated, but I figured I am using hot water so that should kill any biological contaminates anyway (whatever makes me feel better – right?). In good news, the rolled tea pearls are so cute!
The smell of the brewed tea is not very strong, almost no smell. But as the tea begins to cool it starts to smell like grassy peach, or like peach leaves. Very subtle scent. The hot tea is very little taste. But as it begins to cool the fruity peach taste takes form. There is not too much sweetness. You can taste the jasmine underneath the peach but it is very subtle. To me this green tea is more roasty, so there is not too strong of a vegetal or floral taste. The peach blends well with the jasmine and green tea.
I liked this one best when it was luke-warm. Looking forward to trying it cold.
Dry: Very dark green tightly rolled leaves, somewhat glossy. Lovely light slightly floral and sweet green fragrance. Fresh is the word I would use to describe this tea right out of the bag.
Steeped: I steeped 7g in my large infuser. Like other oolongs, this one needs a lot of room to expand and the large whole leaves unfurl nicely. Lovely clear yellow (tinted towards olive) liquor. Smells sweet and light with a floral-fruity oolong note.
Taste: Smooth and sweet from the first sip with a silky mouth feel. A little bit drying on the tongue, but not in an unpleasant, sour, or bitter way. Fresh and fragrant oolong with a slight fruity note. Not tasting anything buttery, vegetal, or roasted in this tea- just a light, pleasant, and enjoyable oolong. Holds up to several re-steepings, though I stopped after three to move onto something else. I have really been enjoying my Teavivre order- everything has been wonderful so far.
This sample arrived today from Teavivre, and I didn’t wait long before trying it out. The dry leaves were lovely and intact, and it was fascinating to see how much character each little leaf contained. The smell was deceptively simple, and primarily grassy.
When steeped, its other flavors came out to play, and I must say the 2nd and 3rd steeps continue to be my favorite. The liquor remains the same very pale yellow, but the sensation of each sip is light yet silky. The understated notes of butternut squash, nuttiness, and dry grass balance each other beautifully.
I’m trying to build more whites and greens into my cupboard, and this was a fantastic place to start!
You can read my full review here:
Upon opening the canister the powerful heady aroma of this tea scents the air with smokey goodness. The dry leaf is tightly rolled, fine, and very dark.
I’ve come to the conclusion that with most good teas, less is NOT more, and i’ve been using more leaf per brew with very satisfactory results. I used 2 tsp per cup, brewed at 185F for 3 minutes.
This produced a pale rootbeer colored liquor that was clear and full bodied. Full bold malty flavor fills the mouth and drowns the senses with this one. A sweetness underlies the strength of the yeasty malt flavor, with no sense of bitterness. This is what a good black tea should be, in my opinion.
Second steepings of black teas usually disappoint, and this one is no different, but the second steeping here was good, not bad, and i regularly re steep this tea.
An another note I’ve brewed this into a killer iced tea that finished with a sweet taste of dark chocolate!
This is a tea that i drink frequently, and re-order regularly.
A very good tea, indeed.
This morning I had the last of this beautiful white and I enjoyed it just as much now as I did before. I will need to order more of this, though I keep telling myself I need to stop falling in love with some of the more pricey teas. I just recently picked-up a larger size of David’s Gyokuro Yamashiro and I told myself that then, too. :)
Anyhow, short re-steeps are lovely with this gorgeous Silver Needle so I should be able to enjoy it quite a bit longer today. Subtle, sweet, and fragrant. What’s not to love?
Dry: Downy jade-colored tea buds. Fresh, soft, delicately fragrant, and notably sweet.
Steeped: Lovely clear gold liquor. The steeped aroma is more subtle than the dry buds, very slightly floral in a pleasant way.
Taste: This tea is a lovely experience. I am having a difficult time describing the taste because it is so mild and pleasant. I picture a dewy wildflower meadow, green with lingering sweet aromas and subtle floral notes. This is very fresh and delicate. I can see how some people are tasting melon or cucumber. All I can say is that I am really enjoying it!
The dry leaf smells SO cocoa-y. One steeped, the cocoa’s somewhat subdued. It’s still empathically present, though. There’s also some malt to this one, and a bit of sweetness. This is the same general profile I’ve gotten from all of the Chinese black teas I’ve tried so far – there haven’t been too many, as I’ve only begun experimenting with these recently – although I’d say this one’s a bit lighter than others.
I’m feeling more and more that while I can certainly appreciate Chinese black teas, they’ll probably never number among my favorite varieties. I know that puts me in the minority here, but that’s okay. I do think I’d enjoy a cup of this or something like it once a while, and, as I said in another note for a tea with a (to me, anyway) similar profile, I wonder if I might get into these intense chocolate-y teas a bit more in the winter.
Thanks to Rie for this sample!
I compared this tea yesterday to the grade 1 version of Keemun.
I find this tea to be maltier (if that’s even a word) and smoother than the grade 1 version. I think it is a little bit less sweet. I do get more notes of the peppercorn.
Hmmm, I am not sure which one I like better because I like each one for a little different reasons.
Mmmm, so delicious. I used 1 tsp of leaf for this cup.
This Keemun is so smooth with some sweet fruity notes and a tiny bit of malty smoke in the background somewhere.
It is good chilled as well.
I am going to have to compare Teavivre’s Keemuns because I am going to have to keep one of them stocked for sure!
Which level of Keemun is most preferred by you Steepsterites!?