One of my goals in the coming year is to try a few more Keemun black teas. To this point, the vast majority of my experience with such teas has been limited to Hao Ya, so Keemun Maofeng is something of a new frontier for me. I finished a one ounce pouch of this one last week and found it to be likable.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a very quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 200 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased by 14 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 10 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, and 5 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, I noted aromas of malt, smoke, apricot, and honey coming from the dry tea leaves. After the rinse, I found new aromas of cocoa, roasted nuts, and brown toast. The first infusion introduced a stronger roasted nut aroma and hints of spice on the nose. In the mouth, the liquor offered notes of honey, malt, smoke, cocoa, and roasted nuts. Subsequent infusions brought out the brown toast, apricot, and roasted nut notes in the mouth. With regard to the latter, I was reminded of both roasted almonds and roasted chestnuts. I also began to notes emerging impressions of cinnamon, nutmeg, pine wood, cream, leather, and minerals. The later infusions were dominated by a mix of mineral, pine, malt, cocoa, honey, smoke, and roasted nut notes.
This was not a bad tea at all. It was extremely mellow and approachable for a Keemun black tea, and perhaps most surprisingly, I did not get much, if anything in the way of bitterness or astringency out of it. Though it faded pretty quickly, I very much enjoyed it. It served its purpose as an introduction to Keemun Maofeng. I imagine that it could do the same for others.
Flavors: Almond, Apricot, Brown Toast, Chestnut, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Cream, Honey, Leather, Malt, Mineral, Nutmeg, Pine, Smoke