I’ve got lots and lots of new teas to try (my cupboard went from 87 to 123 in just two days – I might have made a few tea orders… just maybe) and I’ve set aside today to do nothing but relax, rest and make a slight dent in my new teas (and watch Project Runway). This is the first tea up today, mostly because Chicago Tea Garden’s Keemun has made me rediscover my massive Keemun love and inguna’s logs make this one sound delicious, so I have been stupidly excited about trying this one.
First off, it smells awesome. Like the softest leather coated in super-dark chocolate. Brewed up, the smell gets a bit stronger on the chocolate/earthy/dark/damp but sweet notes show up, too and it just smells so rich and thick and smooth. I could smell this all day.
I was pretty tempted to follow CTG’s steeping time for this one (they give 1-2mintues for their Keemun while Adagio gives 3-5minutes) because these dry leaves smell just as complex as CTG’s and so I want to treat them the same. But I went ahead and follow Adagio’s suggestion this time and maybe I’ll play a shorter steep next time, mostly because I think this will have enough complexity going on to be interesting, not simply weak, with a shorter steep time.
Anyway, sipping time. OMG, so good. The taste is strong and bold with a sweet earthy, syrupy richness with a hint of smoke in the end of the sip. It’s very smooth and silky feeling and leaves the loveliest aftertaste, something almost floral? As I sip, I keep thinking of two different teas – one CTG’s Keemun because, hello, both really good, complex, flavorful Keemuns and two – Makai Black. Yeah, okay, I know that one sounds like a bit of a stretch but Makai Black (either version) gives a good, thick, sweet-but-not-sugary rye-syrup or barley-syrup type note and this one has something similar going on – not exactly the same, but a great, rich syrupy feel/taste of something dark and tasty. Uhm, and I just looked at Adagio’s tasting notes and it says ‘molasses’ so okay, maybe I’m not that crazy then. It feels a bit richer/darker than molasses to me but whatever, we’ll say molasses.
This is really good. This one and CTG’s Keemun (which I love and adore so) are neck and neck as far as delicious and much loved Keemun tastes. This one tastes stronger, but then it was steeped longer than what CTG suggests for their version. This one also might be a little heavier/smoother/richer by a little but that might be the longer steep time again. Considering the price difference, CTG’s version is a must-have daily-drinker where this one would have to be a bit more special occasion but taste-wise, I’m thinking they are not too far off.
This is one seriously tasty Keemun. I’m really tempted to give it a perfect score right now, but I have to wait to make sure the tastiness is easily repeatable (I have a feeling it will be) because picky teas piss me off. But this is a must-try tea for any Keemun lover.
(Screw it. I just did a second steep (also at 3:00) and it’s so delicious. Full points right now.)