Well, I’m certainly not tasting orchid!
Auggy sent this to me with fair warning that it was going to be merely average. I pretty much love trying all tea, so… this one was quite fun to dig into!
The smell of the dry leaves was black tea with a hint of something deeper… maybe cocoa accents? I really didn’t sniff them for long. This one is chopped into somewhat tiny pieces, a pretty standard black size. It isn’t anything to look at.
So I brewed this up in 6 oz. of water (per Auggy’s suggestions), and the resulting cup was very dark and beautiful. The scent off the cup reminded me of raw cacao, deep and powdery (don’t ask how I got powdery from a smell), with a chaser of a tart-like smell that I often associate with the Keemun taste. As for the taste… it’s pretty smoky, actually! Not a smoke like a lapsang or a gunpowder, which taste of actual smoke. More like a quality. There’s flashes of a cacao-like taste, and an underlying tart quality that gives way to a bit of astringency in the mouth. In the aftertaste (and in the flavors that linger on the palate after the sip has been swallowed), there some sweetness. Orchids? Hell no. Not even close. It’s just a general sweet. I couldn’t distinguish a flavor from it.
Even though Auggy advertised this as a “meh” tea, it was definitely serviceable. And as I described, very flavorful! I really liked that this wasn’t weak or lacking depth. Is it stellar? No… it’s a bit rough around the edges. I feel like the flavors don’t extend and lengthen. They’re stunted a bit. But that’s okay, because the ones that manifest are pretty good. I could see myself craving something similar to this. Of course, the only Keemun I’ve had in comparison is Adagio’s English Breakfast, which tastes very different from this. This is more full-bodied and interesting than that EB, which tastes more “default” and more along the lines of a variation on a Ceylon.