Tea of the afternoon…..
I finally made it to my winter break! We have a few little side trips to make, but mostly we will be home for the next few weeks. Bliss! This is my celebratory cuppa, and I just realized that I still have a whole tin of it left. More to celebrate! Also, winter looks like it has officially arrived at our house. I think we got round 9 inches of snow yesterday. Bring it, Old Man Winter! I have my tea to keep me warm!
This is my tea first love. It has been so long since I have had a cup of this, I was worried that it would not appeal as much. Some of the teas I thought I really liked over the past few years are pretty much in the ‘meh’ category as of now. This one, however, has stood the test of time. I love it just as much today as I ever have. It is my tea perfection by which all other black teas seem to be compared. I do reserve this one for special days, and I definitely think that might be contributing to my feelings about it. Whatever it is, I am going with it! Notes of cocoa, malt, slight smoke, and just…..magic.
Usual teapot method. I do measure the perfect teaspoons on the scant side for this one.
Second tea of the morning…..
And I made a whole pot worth. I think it is time for me to come clean. I am well on my way to becoming a serious tea snob. I am reaching a point where the only teas I want to keep in my stash are the more expensive ones. I do have a few bargain loves, but my tastes are evolving into something pricey. Luckily, my husband is a craft beer drinker…..that means my expensive tea is still likely less expensive than his beer. Except that he does not have a stash……
I am pretty sure this tea was my first tea splurge. I bought my first tin a little over a year ago, and I thought I was nuts spending $24 for 4 oz. of tea. Now, it costs even more ($20 for 2 oz) and I am so thankful I did, and someone bought me a spare tin of this for a gift before the price change. I love this one, but I always forget it is back in the back of the cupboard. Notes of dark chocolate, the slightest bit of smoke for complexity, and just oh so smooth. My first true love in a black tea.
Usual teapot method.
I think part of my problem with my stash is that I am always trying to find less expensive versions of tea that I love. Maybe that is not such a great pursuit. By just enjoying the more expensive one, I will have better turnover. By seeking out the bargain, I have a half a tin of expensive tea, and another half a tin of inexpensive tea sitting in my cupboard…. In reality, that sounds like a funny kind of math for cost and space. Yep, I am still learning.
(2nd) Tea of the morning……
Ahhh. That is the sigh of happiness. My first pot of tea this morning was a dump out. You know those teas that you keep trying to like because you have a slight bit of buyer’s remorse…. well, this is the reward tea, because I finally got rid of the tea that was no longer making my tea journey a happy one. I should probably do even a little more stash editing, but I think my tea drinking friends are tealogged themselves!
Then, it was onto the tea that I know can fix any bad mood…..my first black tea love….Harney’s Keemun Mao Feng. I love this one any day. And really, I should drink this one more often. I still have a full tin from when they were sold as 4 oz (rather than 2) to enjoy.
Definite notes of cocoa and malt. The slightest hint of smoke. Very rich and wonderful. This is one of which I never tire.
On a super wonderful note, we are finally getting some much needed rain. I did not know my grass could turn gray in spots…..I have seen brown and crunchy, but never gray and essentially flat. I am thinking it might need reseeding in places. Actually, I have been more worried about the trees. Such an odd Summer. But I guess it was time for the extreme warm weather. I remember a summer here when we were lucky to get up to 80. Now 80 seems like a cold spell. Anyway, I will enjoy the rain and this wonderful tea. Life is good.
Usual teapot method….yes, a whole teapot with a resteep! Soo happy!
Tea of the afternoon……
Definitely the notes of smoke. In comparison to the many versions of Panyang I have consumed today, this Keemun Mao Feng has a note of smoke. I am not sure I have tasted it this prevalently before, and part of the reason I wanted to taste them in progression. Notes of smoke, chocolate and malt that translates into a darker chocolate note plus a slight smokiness. Yum.
This brings another question to mind, though. Is it possible that our response to tasting a tea is dependent on what we previously sampled? I am starting to think so.
Now I am off to do some resteeping until I float away!~
Usual mug method…..
Tea of the morning…….
Ever since reading JacquelineM’s post about this tea yesterday past my time for caffeine consumption for the day, I have been craving this tea. I am wondering if that is why I did not sleep well. Anticipation. Well, here it is, and it is just as good as I remember. How does this compare to other types of Keemun? The leaves are longer and finer, the taste is mellow and complex all at once. Notes of refined smoke and dark chocolate. Very smooth. Ahhh. My first love in black tea. I have gone on to love others, but there is just something about a first love.
I think I missed the timer by a few minutes this morning in the mad rush. The beauty of this tea? It is very forgiving in an oversteep. To quote JacquelineM. “De! Lish! Ous!”
Usual mug method, about a 6 minute steep. Very lightly sweetened.
This is a backlog from yesterday…….
I had a tea to go of this with honey from Harney & Son’s in Soho. Yes, that is absolutely correct. This bumpkin from Ohio just happened to be at a trade show in NJ where we were done in the early afternoon. My boss asked if there was anywhere I wanted to go in NYC, and the first thing that came to mind was Harney’s. It was such a great treat to get to go….I sampled Pomegranate Oolong, and had a sample of Golden Snail iced. I picked up some Midsummer’s Peach loose leaf by the ounce, and a few ounces of English Breakfast to try at home. The store is beautiful and yet simple. The staff was extremely helpful. After shopping at Harney, we had dinner in Little Italy, and then went to Veniero’s for dessert. My boss bought me another tin of Keemun Mao Feng as a gift. It was a total squee day for a diehard Harney fan.
For those that wonder about their pricing per ounce, from what I saw, they sell by the ounce based upon the online price per pound (pound price/16 = ounce price). I do know the Millerton store will ship amounts of 2 ounces or more out to US for $4.75 up to $25, $5.50 for up to $50, and $6.50 for up to $125… and ships for free at $125. This sounds like a great option to me, if you need refills for your tins……
First cup of the morning…..
This is a review of the most recent offering of Keemun Mao Feng from Harney (end April 2013). I just recently checked the website, and it does look as if they are out of stock except for samples. It was a great score for me as they had free shipping at $25, there was a coupon code for 10% off, and they had reduced the cost of the tins of this tea by more than half since they only had a few in stock. Yes, I bought more than my fair share because this is my black tea first love even though it might be a different harvest than my first two (4 oz.) tins. I am guessing they will have some in stock again in the Fall, but only if the tea of this season is up to the standards of Mr. Harney. I feel incredibly lucky.
The Keemun Mao Feng from Harney is so complex. Leaves are long, dark, and wirey. It does have cocoa notes, slight hints of smoke, and a slight note of earthiness, all rolled up together in a smooth and very rich mouthfeel. I would say this offering is slightly more complex than the last, but it could be contributed to the growing conditions for that year. I am not sorry I bought too much. I will double check this against the last offering just to be sure how it compares in the next few days.
Can I just say I am in Keemun Mao Feng heaven? I think this and the Upton ZK67 will keep me quite happy, as they really are two different experiences in my book. Choose the ZK67 if the idea of slight smoke and a touch of earthiness is not your thing. If you are looking for something very complex, hope that Harney will offer this again in the future.
Usual mug method. Resteep coming up.
Editing to add: It looks like they have some more at $9 per tin! I have enough, but I thought others might want to know!
Tea of the morning…..
This morning I am drinking my older version of Keemun Mao Feng. I think this was purchased at the SoHo store in 2010. It is very comparable to the Keemun Mao Feng I purchased earlier this week. I am very pleased with my purchase and so glad I was able to have enough of this left to compare.
Usual mug method. Resteep is just as good at 5 minutes. I might even try for a third.
I can’t belive this is the first pot of this I have made in my new little green teapot. (I think the teapot needs a name! Maybe Sprout? Camellia?) The thought of drinking this all day by the time I resteep makes me so happy!
I am dragging a little these days. My kids have only a little over a week of school left, and we are definitely overscheduled. Luckily, all of the things we are doing are very fun, and all part of having a young teen and pre-teen in the house.
Here is where I get back to the tea….. This afternoon I was thinking of the perfect tea pick me up. Usually, it is Rose Congou, but I had that yesterday. Today, nothing by my favorite Keemun Mao Feng would do. I wish I could think of wonderful words to decribe the taste of this tea, but for now, since I am spent, we will have to settle for restoration in a cup.
I thought I would drink this one in contrast to my previous log for tea that is 4 cents a cup. This one works out to be 50 cents a cup. Yep, roasty, toasy with chocolate notes, super smooth and pure yum. However, I would never dream of icing this one. For me, iced tea is more about the temperature than the actual quality of the tea. I nearly always drink iced tea without any additions, even sweetener. I use iced tea mostly to refresh. In order to truly savor a tea, I must have it hot. Prepared with just enoough sweetener to bring out the chocolate notes. Second steap at 6 minutes….and just as good as the first. Worth the price!
I had three jumbo mugs of this today. Yum! The resteaps were as good as the first. Feeling rather spoiled…..