Tea of the morning…..

Ohhh. This one is good. I don’t taste near the amount of astringency at the end of the sip like I did yesterday on the Keemun Grade 2. To be fair, I do think I used a little less leaf today, and I steeped for a minute less, too. I will probably give the Grade 2 another go after this cup and tweak my steeping parameters. I am tasting cocoa notes, a slight roasty-maltiness, and then just a little nudge at the end. The leaves are just a little longer and finer (narrower) than the Grade 2.

There are times when I am doing a tasting like this and wonder if I should not have my scale out, rather than eyeballing the level on the spoon….you know, for the sake of science. I am also thinking of getting another white mug set (ForLife 15 oz with an infuser) in order to do some side by side tastings with more exact parameters. I have been over and over thoughts of a gaiwan or a yixing, but I tend to drink tea in larger amounts and such varying types that ceramic teaware seems to fit best. I also have only so much storage space (and honestly, I would rather fill it with tea!) I am not apologizing, but there is nothing petite and refined about my tea drinking. I have also been considering a cast iron pot. Two things stand out for me here…first, while I see the practicality in the even and longer heating (you will not ever be able to separate me from my cast iron cookware!), I drink tea much faster than it would go cold…remember, nothing petite or refined about how I drink it…think far away from sipping for sure! Plus, the more research I do, the less traditional a cast iron pot actually seems. I am not at all posing this as a judgement on anyone else’s teaware, because quite frankly, the gear needs to fit how you drink it.

Back to the tea. This is very good. Like I said before. Need to play around with my steeping parameters on the other two levels of Keemun from Teavivre. Eventually, I will get into comparisons with my Hao Ya A and my sample of Hao Ya B. The parade of Keemuns continues, even though I would probably be very happy to settle on this one for quite a while! And thank you to Teavivre for sending this sample with my order!

Usual mug method with a 3 minute steep.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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My motto: Drink the good tea!

Tea enthusiast, trying to keep up my cardio for the zombie apocalypse. I have come to accept that I am a western brewing black tea drinker as that is where my ‘tea heart’ lies. I started on loose leaf as a way to have my dessert and not suffer the caloric issues. Once I tried it, I was hooked.

I drink what I like, which is mostly China blacks, a few traditionally scented blacks and Earl Greys, plus a flavored tea here and there. I don’t mind spending a bit on premium varieties on occasion, but an expensive tea has to deliver. My favorite places to order are Harney & Sons and Upton Tea Imports. TeaVivre is great for Chinese tea.

My ratings are pretty subjective. If it falls under 70, I may not take the time to post about it unless I had something specific to say. If it is 70-80 I like it, but I will probably not rebuy. Favorites are over 80 and up, but sometimes the less expensive or more easily obtainable version of a similar taste will win out for my cupboard space.

Usual teapot steeping method: 24 oz teapot, 3 perfect scoops of tea (4 1/2 actual tsp), freshly boiled water, 4 minutes. Lightly sweetened.

Usual mug steeping method: 15 oz mug, 1.5 perfect scoops of tea (just over 2 actual tsp), freshly boiled water, 4 minutes. Lightly sweetened.

Usual pan method: 1 1/2 cups water, 2 perfect tsp chai (3 actual tsp). Simmer for 3 minutes. Add 2/3 cup skim milk. Simmer for 2 more minutes. Strain and sweeten.

Usual pitcher method:
5 or 6 Perfect Spoons of tea (this means about 7-9 actual tsp), freshly boiled water, brewed essentially double-strong in my 24 oz teapot for 4 minutes. Fill my Fiestaware Disc pitcher (about 60 oz.) halfway with ice. Add brewed double-strong tea to the pitcher. Stir it a little and enjoy. No additions.

(*SRP is my Sample/Stash Reduction Plan starting on April 12, 2012. I got so far, but just decided it was too fussy to keep track.)



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