Acquired on my own and used my personal steeping parameters, keeping the recommended temperature. Brewed in a porcelain gaiwan. No rinse. Steeping times: 20 seconds, 10, 20, 40; 1 minute, 2, 4, 8.

The dry leaf smells mostly of sweet potato skin with just a smidge of dates. The fruitiness begins to come through with the heated leaf, from which I pick out dates and figs, and chocolate as well. At first, the wet leaf aroma disappointingly smells of malt and sweet potato. But as I steep the leaf throughout the session, the sweetness truly comes through at its fullest and holds up strong until after the final steep. It’s fruity, chocolately, and a little nutty. In addition, the liquor leaves behind a berry-filled aroma in my cup.

The liquor is orange and clear, and has a light body. The first infusion is gently fruity with a sharp and light mouthfeel, its aftertaste drying. The creme de la creme of the session occurs from infusions 2 through 6, wherein the liquor is thick and silky, very sweet with dark dried fruits, and astringent in the mouth. The taste is also evocative of the fragrance of dewy flowers in early spring. A surprise – the first time a hongcha reminds me spring! While there was no aftertaste in the first infusion, these infusions have a sweet aftertaste that linger a few minutes. I’m beginning to push this keemun with 4 minutes at the seventh infusion. It still tastes fully sweet and fruity, and also feels peppery on the tongue. I then really pushed this at steep eight – at 8 minutes long – which was just plain done and tired with eeking out flavor. At this point, the aroma of the wet leaf has finished, too.

This is a great keemun. I had a difficulty pacing myself and slowing the session. I couldn’t help but down each cup (50ml – small amount and quickly cooling). I loved the aroma, the taste, and the overall feel. By far my favorite of Teavivire’s keemuns even though I have one left to evaluate.

185 °F / 85 °C 3 g 2 OZ / 60 ML

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I began drinking tea because its complexity fascinated me. I love learning about its history, its manufacturing processes, and its place in various cultures.

Japanese greens were my first love and gateway into the world.

My favorite teas are leafhopper oolongs, pu’erh (shou and sheng), and masala chai. My favorite herbal tisanes are spear/peppermint, lavender and chrysanthemum.

I’m currently exploring pu’erh, and any Chinese and Taiwanese teas in general. I’m not much into flavored teas, unlike when I first started. The only teas I truly dislike are fruity tisanes and the ones that have too much fruit. I do like hisbiscus, especially iced.

I like to write nature essays. I’m a birdwatcher as well as a tea enthusiast. The kiwi is one of my favorite birds. I also like Tolkien, Ancient Egypt, and exercising.

IMPORTANT NOTE, PLEASE READ: After two and a half years of having an account here, I will no longer will provide numerical ratings as an addition to the review because the American school system has skewed my thoughts on numbers out of a hundred and the colors throw me off. Curses! My words are more than sufficient. If I really like what I have, I will “recommend”, and if I don’t, “not recommended”.

Key for past ratings:

96-100 I adore absolutely everything about it. A permanent addition to my stash.

90-95 Superb quality and extremely enjoyable, but not something I’d necessarily like to have in my stash (might have to do with personal tastes, depending on what I say in the tasting note).

80-89 Delicious! Pleased with the overall quality.

70-79 Simply, I like it. There are qualities that I find good, but there also are things that aren’t, hence a lower rating that I would have otherwise like to put.

60-69 Overall “meh”. Not necessarily bad, but not necessarily good.

0-59 No.

If there is no rating: I don’t feel experienced enough to rate the tea, or said tea just goes beyond rating (in a positive way).


Westchester, NY

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