Thursday, October 3, 2013

Little Red Cup Tea Co. Keemun Black Tea, A Tea Review

Guess what I get to do tomorrow! Did you guess have oral surgery? Well if you did, congratulations, you have been reading my blog. I thank you for that. I suppose for the next week it will be exploring my back log as my poor little mouth recovers from its beating, good thing I have plenty of notes in my happy notebook, sadly all the new tea I ordered will have to wait until my mouth is better and that is just unfair. Today though we are going to talk about a delicious Chinese black tea by Little Red Cup Tea Co, who, as you remember, made the White Monkey tea I reviewed a few days ago.

Keemun Tea is a fairly popular (ok it is probably the most famous of the Chinese Black, or Red Tea if you are fancy) tea from Jiangxi Province. Also known by the name Qimen, which is what I recognized it as for years before I realized Keemun and Qimen were the same things, ah dialects, so much fun! This Keemun has a delightful smoky aroma that is stronger in this batch than other Keemuns I have tried, and I really enjoy that. Along with the smokiness there is a rich sweet aroma and a touch of wine. Sadly I am not skilled enough to say what kind of wine the aroma evokes except red and sweet, I am sure someone with more wine skills than me can fill in the blanks.

Once the tea has been given a trip to the sauna it takes on an oaky aroma, like it has been aged in an oak cask somewhat smoky. The aroma is super rich and mouthwatering, I feel like I am being transported to a basement in Venice or the like. Nothing to do with China, I know, but that is where the aroma took me. It is lovely. The liquid once the leaves have wandered off is still very rich and smoky but also has a sweet note.

After I finish being transported to another part of the world I figure it is time to drink the tea, after-all this is the last tea I will be drinking for a few days, I might as well enjoy it! The taste is tangy, in a very delicious way, similar to oak resin or the aroma of oak galls. For someone who has spent way too much time in a forest this flavor will be very nostalgic and pleasant. There is still the smoky richness that the aroma promised and it mixes with an underlying sweetness that stays in the mouth long after you have swallowed. This is a perfect tea for an Autumn evening, I plan on saving the bit I have left for just such an occasion. The first really cool, smoky evening I will sit under the stars and sip this tea. I really enjoyed it, it is smoky enough to evoke the Autumn feel and just give you the idea, but it is no where near as smoky as Lapsang Souchong. A delicious tea before I have to take a break. Also look! The first leaves of Autumn are showing.

5 comments:

  1. I love Keemun tea. This particular batch got my attention when we entered it into our database, as it is produced in Wuyuan county of Jiangxi province...not too far from Anhui, the region where Keemun originated. Keemun has really become a style of its own, independent of region, which I think is exciting because it gives us the opportunity to sample teas produced by the same methods, but in different regions. I've never tried a Wuyuan Keemun (to my knowledge Little Red Cup is the only company selling one) but I have tried ones from Hubei, and they definitely have a signature flavor/aroma profile (I perceive it as a hint of chicken soup). I've also tried a Keemun from Taiwan, and it was quite good, and again, had its own unique signature but also shared many attributes in common with the Anhui Keemun.

    Another thing I like about Keemuns is how diverse they are--even the ones from Anhui.

    I hope you recover quickly from your surgery!

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    1. Thank you for the wishes of speedy recovery! I agree, the diversity of Keemuns is amazing, each one I have tried has a similarity but is still really unique. I have not tried one from Taiwan but I bet it was delicious!

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  2. What a beautiful review. While reading it I too was transported and a bit of nostalgia also. I love the sound of this tea. I am such a fan of autumn type teas.
    I hope things go well with the surgery. I look forward to your next review.

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    1. Knowing what I know of your taste, you would LOVE this tea!

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  3. Thanks a lot for your eye opening ideas about black tea.This tea is really full of smoky aroma and tastes like the aroma of oak galls.Its full of tonics which prevents many critical diseases very clearly.I agree with you sir This is a perfect tea for an Autumn evening.Any ways I loved your tea and the ideas behind too.Taking tea from great company websites is also added great advantages.

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