SIPDOWN! (284) I actually didn’t add this one in to my cupboard since it arrived today from kallieboo and i knew i would likely brew up a big mug of this right away. this is a really nice keemun! There is no real smokiness to this one. Just a little hint of chocolate with a dash of malty. there’s a bit of dryness in my mouth at the end of the sip but i’m ok with that. overall i’m quite happy with this!
The dry tea has a fragrant and fruity slightly charred aroma. Trust me—when I say “charred” I mean an accolade of the highest order!
I’ve fallen in love with smoky charred teas,
The full-bodied drink that never gets stale.
A Yunnan or Keemun will eternally please
Me and send my soul on a rhapsodic sail.
I don’t think my taste-buds and nose are discerning or well-developed enough to select the gradation between this and a Hao Ya A I recently sampled. I truly love these full-bodied teas. This is not nearly as smoky as a Lapsang Souchong, but it’s a bit seared with notes of chocolate and chestnut and date. I think I’m moving more and more in the direction of teas that are not blended by the tea-makers but that have some natural taste-treats from their surroundings of origin. Very well done! After I’ve sampled my various Keemuns I’ll have to break my “buying diet” and spring for a pound of this Hao Ya goodness.
Aha! The tea that was unpalatable yesterday is quite lovely today! I saved the nearly full pot of tea and reheated it this morning to be drunk with milk and sugar. This is now a very good breakfast tea, almost as good to me as H&S English Breakfast, which is 100% Keemun. I really couldn’t get through the cup plain yesterday, but this pot will be gone very shortly.Speaking of A-ha, for a bit of fun today you can go to YouTube and search for “literal video Take On Me.” This is the video that started the meme. Pretty funny!
First tea of the morning…..
I think I need to start calling myself ’Keemun Queen" instead of SimplyJenW. Truly, Keemun is my kindred spirit in tea. (Except that our relationship is kind of cannibalistic in nature since I am to the point where I consume it for survival!)
This is really good. Not as smooth and light as Keemun Mao Feng, but more in your face….a coffee drinkers kind of tea. I definitely get more cocoa and roasty notes than English Breakfast or F&M Keemun, and it is definitely their more intense counterpart. Now to decide if this one is going into the cupboard or if it will be Hao Ya A. Tune in for the next cuppa…….
Usual mug method…..
This tea has a special meaning to me. I remember it like it was yesterday…waking up to one of the most beautiful September days in memory. Such bright sunshine and clear, deep blue skies. Such a gorgeous, picture perfect day, only to be scarred forever by the horrors of Septeber 11, 2001! Such a deeply sad day, I still get sick in my gut, and can’t watch the events of that day.
I first drank Hao Ya B on that day, and this tea offered some solace as the events unfolded that day. I remember liking the tea immensely, noting a mildly smokey, dry leaf with chocolate notes, while the cup was medium brown with a smokey less chocolatey aroma. The flavor was mildly smokey & smooth, with chocolate notes in the back end or aftertate. A great tea!
I ordered this new lot before 09/11/2011, and wanted to review it and experience this old friend in remembrance of that day….but alas, the tea order arrived late….:((. So I decided to take my time with the review. I’ve had ten cups since Oct 21, 2011. My first two cups on that night were hindered by clogged sinuses, so I wasn’t detecting any chocolate notes at all, just a mildly smokey aroma and flavor in the leaf, cup, and on my palate. My 3rd & 4th cups (10/28/11), and 5th & 6th cups (11/04/11), were similiar in smokiness, with some chocolate notes detected in the leaf, cup, and palate (to varying degrees).
My last two cups on Mon., 11/07/11 will sum up the review. Chocolate notes were detected to varying degrees, but most notable in the dry and wet leaf, less so in the cup, and in the back end or aftertaste….again less noticeable than in the leaf itself. Smelled more like burnt caramel smokiness. A solid, smooth, earthy, mildly smokey tea that is very enjoyable! I forgot to mention HY B is a small leaf, with some white tips, which lend to the smoothness of the cup.
NOTE: 11-15-11==> Here’s a comment I posted on LiberTeas Hao Ya B review page: ScottTeaMan " I thought I noticed some wine like notes once or twice when drinking H & S HY B, but didn’t note it b/c those “notes” seemed to be playing hide and seek with me. :))" So yes, there you have it, occasional somewhat light, wine-like notes, without the alcohol. :))
This is one of my favorite teas, and if I didn’t pace myself, my 4 oz tin would be gone already!
Reviewed on Sat., 11-12-11.
I’ve been putting off a review because I have multiple tasting notes that don’t agree.
Today’s note says:
I love the incredibly rich nose. Wood smoke with hints of chocolate and something else (spice?). The taste is rich and complex with moderate power and depth. The finish is strong, but the smoky flavor tastes a bit more like ashes in the finish and I’m not sure how much I like that.
This tea is all about the smoke and if you don’t like a smoky tea you won’t like it. But, it seems to me to be an excellent example of a keemun: smoky and complex. I reduced my rating a bit because I don’t think the finish lives up to the other two components. Still a high rating because the finish isn’t bad, just not up to the rest of the tea.
On previous occasions, I’ve sometimex thought the smoke was too strong, but on other occasions saw more chocolate than smoke. This may be the result of slightly different steeping methods (one was a gong-fu style) or perhaps just my mood. My overall ratings go from 82 to 90, so this is an average of all my previous tastings.
Re-steep as nearly as good as first pot.
First cup of the day – last cup of my sample! I still really like this. It’s slightly smokey without tasting too organic (ie grass, dirt etc) which is my preference. Don’t be afraid of the smoke – this one is really very light, and suitable for someone new to smoke teas. It’s on my list for a possible larger size, but I’m not ready to commit – it’s lovely, but really a but light for me.