When I opened the tin of this, I was intrigued by the smell. Smoke. Not as intense as a lapsang, but more obvious than most Keemuns I’ve tried. The other person to write a tasting note about it compared it to Bohea, and I think that’s a pretty apt comparison, actually.
I was a little bit concerned about the amount/quality of the smoke scent when I steeped it. It seemed vaguely ash-tray to me. I detest the smell of cigarette smoke, so making that mental connection was going to be a very, very bad thing. I had to determinedly tell myself that it wasn’t ash-tray, it was just smoky tea…
The smell is still a little bit worrisome (to me), but the taste is really lovely. It brews to a light amber, and now that it’s cooler the taste is a bit bready and easily the sweetest of any smoke-heavy tea that I’ve tried. The sweetness really blossoms on your palate after you swallow, and sticks around. It’s sort of making my mouth water, actually.
Absolutely delicious! Set the rating for this one at 87 or so, but I think the sweet flavor will merit pushing the rating upward.