I wanted a good black tea to pair with….a spoonful of frosting. Yes, that is my shameful mid-morning snack. My youngest daughter just made birthday cake number two – with four kids in the family and my godson plus hubby and me, one birthday cake isn’t enough! She did a beautiful job, and now as the birthday person I get first choice on beaters and pans. I chose the frosting bowl! Heh heh. But I really only scraped out about two teaspoons worth or a tad more.
I am really trying to sip down some teas and I am trying VERY HARD not to order more, but I can’t say I have had much success with that part! I have even given away two big boxes of teas lately! And still we have way more tea than food in this house. And way more tea than money. LOL!
I have enough leaf left now for one more pot, and I won’t be replacing this one. I thought I would back when I first bought it. My daughter liked it and it was not bad, but I have had Keemun Mao Feng from Harney and Sons and Organic Superfine Fragrant Keemun Black Tea from Teavivre, and those are superior.
I don’t regret purchasing this. It has served us well and is pretty good, but I am glad to open up space on the shelf for some other, more treasured teas to come in. It was really good with my cream cheese frosting, though!
Glory be, it’s a SIPDOWN! Why am I excited? I wasn’t letting myself buy any more Keemun until I finished the ones I already have. I am pretty sure this is the last of my last one. The little pile of empty tins is growing. The list of what I can order now is, too!
This was the first tea served because I wanted something fairly neutral to go with our first treat at tea party time. It was Orange Creamsicle Ice Cream, home made. Oo, it is yummy. I just made the basic vanilla ice cream in the Cuisinart book and added a tablespoon of Penzey’s orange extract.
Now I want to search for the perfect crunchy bits to add to it, like chopped almonds or toffee bits. I think it will be good as a float this summer, too. Maybe I will put it in ginger ale or cream soda.
I needed a black tea for tea party today to go with homemade chocolate chip ice cream and this cake: http://thenonpareilbaker.blogspot.com/2011/09/chocolate-cake-with-cream-cheese.html?m=1
Paired with such sweet food, the tea seemed to become even more roasty, more chocolatey. Oddly, I felt like I tasted vanilla with the chocolatey flavor today, no doubt some function of the pairing. Great stuff. So glad I skipped lunch…
This was the first tea of tea party today. I broke with our usual attempt of having black, oolong, and green, or some other form of variety and just made two black teas and one flavored black because I was pairing it with something that I felt needed black tea to carry it.
You see, the lovely JacquelineM sent me a tiny little tea book with recipes in it a while back and today I tried one of them for tea time. The recipe is Pear, Walnut, Bleu Cheese sandwiches on Seven Grain bread, except we could only find twelve grain so we used that instead! LOL! The Bleu Cheese is mixed with cream cheese to spread it on the bread. It was very tasty and I don’t EVEN want to know how many calories were in each little triangle!
The sandwiches were very rich, so I wanted a good, strong black tea to stand up to the flavorful Bleu cheese and to contrast with the delicate pear. It was delicious! Thank you, Jacqueline!
I made this to be the first tea for our tea time today. We had White Chocolate Meyer Lemon Tart, thanks to gmathis describing Meyer lemons last year so enticingly that I had to try them and find recipes to use them! I wanted a good, strongish, unflavored black tea to accompany the tart and this was a delicious choice. This Hao Ya A is very mild compared to others I have tried but we enjoy it and it is especially good paired with food. It can definitely hold its own.
I made a pot of this for tea time with my girls today because I wanted to compare it to the Premium Keemun Hao Ya from Teavivre that we drank yesterday. This is weaker than Hao Ya A from Harney and Sons which, to be honest, is too strong for me. Maybe I need to make it differently.
This Keemun has less delicacy than Teavivre’s. I didn’t like it plain and added milk and sugar. Once we started our snacks I had a second cup with just a splash of milk. It is certainly chocolate-y and a little smokey, but for the price difference and the taste I think I prefer Teavivire’s. This one from SS is $4.75 an ounce. Teavivre’s works out to $3.20 an ounce, resteeps well, and tastes good without having to be tamed by additions, at least for me. If you love bold, brash keemuns, you might prefer this one, and Harney and Sons more so. I prefer Teavivre’s.
We had this with lunch today. With our food, it was rich and chocolate-y, but after the meal the remaining tea seemed to get a tad bitter. I was drinking it plain and youngest added milk and sugar. It could have been my imagination, or just being really sensitive to the change in taste once it was no longer paired with food. I have a hard time with this tea. Sometimes I really like it, sometimes I find it weak, sometimes it is too strong. It is one of the few teas that have that chameleon effect for me.
This was initially a nice cuppa, very chocolate-y and great with our food. A while later I reheated the remaining tea and found it had gone quite bitter. Bleh. Which is much worse than meh.
I had a cup of this earlier today and thought it was a little bland. I added sugar to make it more interesting. A couple of hours later, the fresh buttermilk bread came out and I buttered a slice and added Smucker’s Red Plum Jam and had another cup without additions. This time the tea tasted richer and the little smokey edge came out to play. It is amazing what a food pairing does to a tea! We like to combine any good flavored tea with cheese cubes as it seems to make the tea so much sweeter.
This is a decent, mid-grade Keemun tea with good chocolate notes. It is not very expensive, and I got it on sale, so it was a good buy, but the next time I order something like tis it will be from Teavivre. Their black teas are higher grade and more affordable. Youngest daughter loves this one.
I had this one plain this morning and it was so…PLAIN! It had that classic tea smell but I didn’t get smoke or cocoa or any of the things I love about keemuns. I need to try it again with food and see if it improves – this is a good time to get out my new Thursday Next book and some Swiss cheese! If you like Keemun tea, stick with Harney and Sons!
This keemun has the classic keemun flavor you would expect – cocoa and a little smoke. But it tastes like a resteeping of leaves you had already enjoyed! A while back we tasted this one side by side with the Hao Ya A from Harney and Sons, and this is weak and pale by comparison. If you want full, powerful Hao Ya A flavor, get Harney. If cocoa notes and light smoke are a little much for you, this one should do nicely. My youngest daughter loves this tea and our tea party guest liked it very much as well.
Second attempt today on this one. This tea was so mild I thought perhaps I had measured my leaves incorrectly, or that my scant measure I usually use for my Beehouse teapot was not enough. I added an extra teaspoon of leaves. I detect no change in the amount of flavor. This tea is good, but it isn’t even close to being as strong as the Harney and Sons Hao Ya A. Even though I like it and it is a good keemun, it doesn’t have the character and body I find in even the English Breakfast tea by Harney and Sons, which is 100% Keemun, though it is not Hao Ya A. This would be a fabulous tea to serve to people who are new to tea. It is mild, smooth, not smoky, not bitter, not astringent. It didn’t hold my attention without sugar, although on this second pot I am leaving out milk, since I usually use milk to smooth a strong note, and this tea has none. Don’t misunderstand! I like it, it is just very different from the strength of Harney and Sons, and much milder than the aroma in the store led me to expect. Six months ago I would have rated this in the nineties, but now I have tasted Golden Monkey and Emperor’s Red, and that changes EVERYTHING….
This is a wonderful tea from the fine tea wall at A Southern Season. It is very mild and smooth, and when I tasted it beside Premium Steap’s Emperor’s Red I realized it had more of a plant flavor while ER had that toasty nutty chocolate but oh so smooth thing going on. My youngest daughter loves it. I like it a lot, but I think I want something with a little more gumption.
Decided to do a side by side taste test at the tea party today. My youngest loves this Keemun but likes really mild tea for the most part. The Harney and Sons version was more aromatic, more robust, and darker. Although Harney says it is a little more astringent than some Keemuns it was not too astringent for me. I would give it a 1.5 of 5 for astringency! I do not care for astringent or bitter teas. The tea is mild to a fault in my opinion. If you want a good all around tea to serve to a group of non-tea-drinkers this might be your tea. But if you love good, strong, cocoa-y Keemuns, look elsewhere.