Keemun Finest Chuen Cha from Butiki Teas

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Butiki Teas

Product Description:

Grown near the Huang Shan mountains in the southern Anhui Province, Keemun in China, this tea is a relatively strong. Subtle notes of cocoa, leather, dried plum and wet earth can be noted.

Taster’s Review:

This is one bold, stimulating cuppa!  If I wasn’t awake before I started sipping, I’d be awake now!

My first reaction to the taste of this tea is “wow!  Smoky.”  But as I continue to sip, I realize that it is less “smoky” than it is almost charcoal-esque.  Not that it tastes as though I’ve steeped some of charcoal briquettes or anything, but it has that sort of essence about it.

It is a very earthy and masculine tasting tea, but underneath these assertive flavors is a wonderful sweetness.   A molasses-y sweetness!  I also get the flavors as described in the product description above.  I taste notes of a savory cocoa, a rustic leather, sweet dried plum and damp earth.

Together, it becomes a deliciously complex cup of tea.  At first reaction, I was a bit uncertain about this tea, but now, as I am finishing the cup, I am realizing just how good this really is.  It’s good for multiple infusions too!

This tea is powerful stuff!

Organic Keemun Congou from Two Leaves and a Bud

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Two Leaves and a Bud

Product Description:

Keemun Congou tea is a crisp black tea with a slight smoky character it is often used as one of the main base teas for English breakfast tea. Our organic Keemun Congou has a thick reddish brew and clean finish with a smooth sweetness.

Taster’s Review:

How about a cup of pure deliciousness?

There is something that is just so rewarding about a cup of Keemun tea.  It is so rich and flavorful.  And this Organic Keemun from Two Leaves and a Bud is top notch!

The cup possesses a delicious malty note that rivals some of the best Assam teas I’ve tasted.  There is also an intriguing note of smoke – not a strong one – but enough to give it a certain depth and character.

The tea tastes biscuit-y and smooth – a very well-rounded cup with an irresistible “chewiness” to it that keeps me sipping.  There are notes of savory cocoa in there too, as well as a delightful undertone of sweetness to this cup that tastes a bit like molasses to me!

The aroma of the brewed tea is worth experiencing too, so I do recommend inhaling the fragrance of the tea before you take a sip.  It has such a rich, inviting scent!

This is a tea that I could drink every day, and at just $8.75 per 3 ounces, it is certainly an affordable luxury!  This tea has the gusto to get me going even on one of those sluggish days when I’d rather stay in bed, curled up under the covers.  This tea warms me up and gets me ready to face the day!

I love it!

Queen Catherine Tea from Harney & Sons

Tea Type: Black Tea

Where To Buy: Harney & Sons

Product Description:

We created this blend of three Chinese black teas in honor of Queen Catherine, who introduced her love of tea to the British. We are privledged to have this tea featured in the Museum of Tea in Hangzhou, China. Harney & Sons is the only Western tea company to receive this honor.

Tasters Review:

Thus far – Queen Catherine – is one of my favorites from Harney & Sons!  I think it’s a great tea for mornings and afternoons as well as hot or cold.  It’s just one of those black teas that is good to have on hand at all times!

My first impressions of this tea?

Once I first started infusing this tea I could smell a very faint hint of smoke. It’s a deep burgundy brown.

The taste isn’t what I expected and that’s not a bad thing…it’s certainly your typical black tea taste but then I found a semi-bitter/semi-sweet berry type taste at the end of the sip!   It was a surprise but I  liked it! YUP! The tea description that I read didn’t mention that it had berries in it but I can certainly taste hints on the tongue.  And they are subtle, beautiful hints!

Organic Keemun Black from EnjoyingTea.com

Tea Type: Black Tea

Where To Buy: EnjoyingTea.com

Product Description:

Of all the black teas available in China, Keemum is probably one of the most well known. Keemun black tea was produced only after 1875 due to the demand of the English’s preference of black teas over green teas at the time. Keemun rapidly became an English staple after its production. This organic tea has a complex and subtle flavor that’s aromatic and penetrating without being lush or floral.

Tasters Review:

This tea will kick the morning uglies right out of you!  The first time I tried this I was having a rough morning.  Well, not so much of a rough morning – but a morning I just wanted to go back to bed!  Keemun Black from EnjoyingTea.com is a nice strong Keemun and it’s here to make your day bold and daring! Get ready to face the world, folks!

In a way this reminds me of an English Breakfast type tea but then I can understand the Black and Green “meeting in the middle’ type of description as well.

I think this is a great morning tea – with or without additions.  Personally, I prefer Plain, As-Is, and Natural!

Earl Grey from Lupicia

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Lupicia

Company Description:

Authentic Earl Grey made with Keemun tea. Delicious straight up or with milk.

Taster Review:

This is truly a remarkable Earl Grey – quite possibly the best Earl Grey I’ve yet to taste!

What makes this Earl Grey so unique is the Keemun black tea base.  Most Earl Grey teas are comprised of Ceylon black tea, which is typically quite mild.  Keemun tea, on the other hand, is much more robust, possessing a fruitier character, and is almost wine-like in flavor.  It has a slight toasted quality to it as well.  This Keemun is very deep in flavor:  with notes of fruit and wine as well as hints of earth and smoke.

The aroma of the dry tea is – not surprisingly – quite “Earl Grey-ish.”  That is to say that it has that very pleasing scent of the bergamot orange.  Citrus-y … floral … beautiful!  Upon brewing, the bergamot softens slightly to allow some of the wine-like and even slightly earthy qualities of the Keemun tea to come through.

The wine-like characteristic of this tea provides an interesting contrast to the citrus flavor and flowery tone of the bergamot.  When they meet together in one tea cup, it is a fine, complex grouping of flavors that this Earl Grey lover finds irresistible.   The fruit and earth flavors of the Keemun seems to curb the sharp notes of the bergamot just enough to make it extraordinarily palatable.  There isn’t even the slightest suggestion of a perfume-ish taste to this tea.  It is magnificence in a teacup!

When you visit the Lupicia Fresh Tea website and enter “Earl Grey” into the search field, you just might be a bit overwhelmed by the number of Earl Grey teas that Lupicia has to offer.  I know I was!  This one is simply “Earl Grey,” but to ensure you’re getting the right Earl Grey, read the description to make sure that the base is Keemun.  I’m not trying to dissuade you from trying their other Earl Grey varieties (as I do plan on trying them myself eventually as well), but, this one is an absolute MUST TRY… and for me, this one is an absolute must keep on hands at all times!  I love this tea!

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