I had this tea right after trying Keemun 2 Grade by Teavivre and wow, what different teas they are. The Imperial has very showy, attractive dry leaves and one of the most heady fragrances I encountered with any tea. The aroma is very sweet and full of honey, tulips, some other flowers, pine needles and rich cake with frosting.
The taste is very smooth and sweet, the typical Keemuny notes are barely discernable. It tastes almost like an oolong. The tea resteeps well: even the fourth gaiwan infusion is sweet and memorable, although the roughness starts to increase after the first two steeps. Despite all of this honeyed sweetness the aftertaste is lingering and unmistakably Keemunish. The infusions need to be short to keep the complexity intact and in no way this brew should be adulterated by the addition of milk or sugar.
This is certainly an excellent desert tea: lazy, voluptuous and decadent. I can’t say it is better or worse than Grade 2 but it is certainly more complex. Just two excellent Keemuns for different moods and different situations. But, of course the Imperial costs three times as the Grade 2, which tells something about how leisure is valued much higher then work.
I probably will have to stock this tea for special occasions because it IS really special.
Flavors: Berry, Flowers, Frosting, Honey, Pine