drank English Breakfast by Harney & Sons
123 tasting notes

I don’t know what I was thinking this morning. Apparently I thought this was going to be a light, gentle, quiet tea, so I used TWO tea bags in my first cup. With 2% milk.

And I’m OK. My hands are not shaking. In fact, 4 hours later, I am about to have another cup, this time brewed with 1 silken bag for about 5 minutes. No milk, sugar, half-and-half, or lemon.

[Pause] [Sniff] [Pause] [Slurp] […Pause…]

When I sniff I can catch that sharp, almost vinegary smell someone else mentioned. It’s rather nice, like malt vinegar or even balsamic.

First unadorned sip is strong, definitely “fills the mouth” (if I’m beginning to understand that term) with the flavor of tea, and then retreats with almost no aftertaste. I could get used to drinking this black. Must try this experiment with my Assams later.

Now it’s cooled down a little and I can take bigger sips. It’s a bit puckery but pleasant. That’s “briskness,” right? H&S doesn’t seem to think it’s very brisk, as they only give it a 1 on their scale of 1-5. Maybe I am a wuss, after all.

This is my first China tea of this new exploration, and I believe it is the first Keemun I have ever tasted. The knowledgeable tea buyer at my local British import shop guided me to it when I asked whether they carried a pure Keemun. It’s not clearly identified as such on the bagged tin, although if you read the back it says “Produced in late spring in Annui Province, China handplucked, fully oxidized.” I believe on the loose-tea tin it does say “Keemun” in fine print.

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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That isn’t Angus; nor is it Merle, Finn, Dulcie, or Squeaky Jess. It’s a very focused Scottish wildcat.

More later.


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