So, what is the deal with Keemun in this one??
I ask because on the David’s website, no Keemun is listed in the ingredients. That’s probably shame on me, because they do say teas from Yunnan, but they didn’t specifically list Keemun until I looked at the package that had been shipped to me.
Now I’m super picky about smoke. As in, don’t like it. Don’t like the smell from campfires, from cigars, all of it is super offensive to my nose. So I was on hyper alert and sniffed the heck out of the dry leaf to see if any of that Keemun was there. And I guess I lucked out – because maaaaayyybe in the back corner of the smell, that last tiny speck of a whiff might have hidden some smoke. But it didn’t set any warning bells off so into my Breville it went: 3 tsp. leaf, 500 ml. water, at the below parameters.
Once brewed that tiiiiny scent translated into maybe a few little sips with smoke on the back end. I added some milk and it went away though. Whew! This led me onto more important things – comparing this breakfast tea to my gold standard, Upton’s East Frisian Blend. (see: all 20+ plus reviews of me singing its praises.)
I’ll just cut to the chase here and say that this one didn’t win. Although this tea is less astringent, even with a slightly longer steep time, it’s also got that thinner mouthfeel that I’m 3 out of 3 for with David’s blends. Even with the milk, it just doesn’t quite measure up. Both breakfast teas are very malty like good blacks are, but Frissy has more of a caramel-sweet note that is so homey and comfortable.
Also – as this one cools, or as I’ve left it alone for a second to write this review, that smoke is coming back on my radar. Smoky tea/milk – not my favorite.
Sigh. I feel like I’m being so hard on David’s! I don’t want to be, either, so I’ll say something positive here – I love their perfect tea mug, I loved their shipping and packaging of the teas that they sent to me. Everything is done with care and I know they genuinely love their customers and their products. And I KNOW I will love some of their teas – but I may have to wait for a store to come here (which – well, I live in Atlanta, Teavana Central) so I can sample smaller amounts at a time.
Who knows, maybe that Chocolate Chili Chai will be a contender..