Oh, happy days – another new-to-me tea I really like! I’d never, to my knowledge, had a straight Keemun before the other day, so again had no idea what to expect. I ended up getting a sample of this and a small bag of the Keemun Orchid from Kent & Sussex Tea & Coffee Co. at around the same time. I tried the Kent & Sussex first (I’ll add that to Steepster eventually), expecting at least some of the promised “sweetish flavour”, the honey, plum and orchid. Getting instead the very mild smokiness I now know is characteristic of a Keemun, with a woody flavour and slight sharpness I didn’t find very pleasant, I decided to brew up a cup of the Pure Aroma Tea to compare. They say it’s delicate and “perfumed”, but given that the K&S was called orchid and the PAT was called spruce, I expected more sharp woodiness rather than less. Instead, I got a lovely cup of smoothness. The touch of smokiness plays nicely with the hint of woodiness, but here there’s no sharpness at all, rather a taste that balances beautifully this side of sweet. I wouldn’t describe it as perfumed, but that’s not a bad thing. I drank a bit without milk, as per the notes on the package, but then enjoyed the rest with a splash of milk. (I’m kind of funny about black teas, because of drinking so many strong Irish/English breakfast blend types daily over so many years. Sometimes a taste can be nice, but I get a bit agitated if I can’t find the right strength to drink it with milk, or perfect taste to drink it without. This was unusual in that it was easy to enjoy the same cup both ways.)
China Keemun tea is called the “Burgundy of Teas”. It has a mellow, light, perfumed character, with a large black leaf and delicate flavour. Keemun spruce tea is one of the great black teas of China and is best enjoyed without milk, though it can take a small amount if preferred.
To brew put one tsp per person in a warmed pot. Add fresh, boiling water. Infuse for 3 mins. Add a little milk if preferred.