Tea of the morning…..

I am trying to get an idea of where this one sits in the line up of Keemun. It does have fewer yellowy tips than the Hao Ya A I have on hand, but it is very similar to my Hao Ya B in appearance. The golden tips are there, just not as prevalent in comparison to the Hao Ya A, and definitely more prevalent than the lower grades. I know that there is a specific grading system for Keemun tea, and in my short online research for a listing of the levels, I can’t really find a good guide in English. I might have to dig further. In comparison to my lower grades of Keemun, the leaves on this are narrower, but about the same length. I am throwing out a guess here, but the fineness might have to do with the part of the plant it comes from. Tips and first leaves are often smaller than leaves further down the stem in my limited gardening/botany experiences. So perhaps the higher grade Keemuns come from leaves closer to the apex of the branch? I did do a bit of reading on Teavivre’s website, and it also has to do with the part of the season they are harvested. My extrapolation of that….the earlier harvest would be the bud and first leaves of the season, the later harvest would still be the buds and first leaves, but produced a little further down on the plant? (I am going based upon my experience with roses and dahlias here…..the apex flower is always the best. Once it is picked, it will produce more flowers, but they are not as big or vibrant as that apex flower of the season.) One of these days, I am going to find that information!

As far as taste….I was thinking it would be easier to detect a difference in taste between this one and the Grade 2, since I am not a tea master. I do think this one is smoother and less earthy (although the Grade 2 is only lightly earthy in taste). Definitely a little less astringent at the end, even though neither is really all that astringent at the end when I brew them properly. The chocolate note in this is more of a darker chocolate.

A very good cuppa the morning!

Usual mug method, a little light on the tea, and 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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