I’m performing a test. Today, I had some of CTG’s super-awesome Keemun at work and it was just okay. Not the stellar-ness that I love so. What’s up with that? So I looked around a bit and noticed that CTG suggests using 200° water. Well, at home I use my Zojirushi set on 208°. But at work I use an electric kettle and, in my impatience, usually end up using water that has just finished boiling. Could that perhaps be the difference?
The logical next step would be to try the CTG Keemun again at home with the Zojirushi but otherwise using the same parameters. So naturally, I pulled out Rishi’s Keemun. Okay, not so logical but in my defense, I’ve had horrible luck with this Keemun. Though I keep it at work so perhaps it really isn’t the tea’s fault but rather my work tea-making set up. Maybe if I try this at home with the Zojirushi, it will be awesome. (Afterwards, I’ll try out the CTG Keemun again. It’s Friday. It’s not like I actually need sleep.)
You know what? It really is better. The smell is very malty. Strong. Faintly sweet. Tea-like (go figure). Not overly complex, but not as flat as I recall from the last time I had it. The taste, though, that’s the big difference. The flat, cardboard-ness is missing from it, giving it more depth. Oh, it’s still not as complex as CTG’s version but it’s not bad. There’s a little malt, a little sweetness, no real toasty but there is a bit of an acrid ending that I think is the Keemun smoke coming through. That ending does edge unfortunately close to unpleasant but all in all, a much rounder flavor that what I was getting it work with boiling water from an electric kettle.
I’m still not in love with it, but I no longer feel like it is torture drinking it. I’m adjusting up the rating on this one a bit to reflect the better result from Zojirushi-dispensed water.