Upton’s description of this tea talks about “Burgandy nuances” and “hints of oak.” Mmm, no, not tasting any of that.
I knew I was going to like this Keemun better than some of my recent tastings of this genre just by looking at the leaves. While they were dark, they didn’t look like they were covered in creosote, which at least showed promise that this tea wouldn’t taste tarry like some other Keemuns I’ve had recently.
The liquor is dark and the taste has hints of dark chocolate, obscured somewhat by that incessant smoky thing so many Keemuns seem to have. Is there a perpetual forest fire in An Hui Province? What’s with the damn smoky overtones? And if you oversteep this stuff, it taste like tobacco, which isn’t something I necessarily seek in my teas or in any other aspect of my life. Overall, this tea isn’t bad, but I’d love to taste more of the chocolate thing and less of the smoldering fire.
From what I understand, most of the black tea made (if “made” is the right verb to describe tea) in China is for Western consumption since the Chinese themselves prefer greens and oolongs. So, if that’s the case, I’m wondering if there are really that many westerners who are really into these smoky teas. Keemun grades like Mao Feng, which I think of as being less smoky, command a higher price. Is there a correlation there?
I’ve got two more Keemun samples in the pantry, an organic OP and an organic FOP. But I’m kinda Keemuned out at the moment. Plus I just got a shipment in from Rishi that has a Yunnan bud tea in it (Ancient Tree Golden Needles) that seems to be calling my name — in some strange Midwestern accent, no less. “Rahb. Rahb.” I think I’ll leave the Keemuns alone for a while.
Keemun Dao Ming available for purchase at…