If Darjeelings are the champagne of teas, then Keemuns are the wine of teas.
Keemun is the only black tea that regularly appears on the Top Ten Teas of China list.
It is grown in the Anhui province, which is a beautiful place.
This specific Keemun was purchased from the Imperial Tea Court two years back. I read somewhere that if stored properly, Keemuns can age quite well.
The dry leaf smells very savory with a fruity, earthiness about it.
I remember when I first smelled a keemun, I thought it was a smoked tea, like a lapsang souchong. As my perceptions changed, I realized that it was not smokey at all. It is a special savory smell that only keemun teas possess (in my view).
The aroma of the first infusion was malty with a honey-sweetness. The aging, I think, mellowed out the powerful woodsy aroma that it first had.
The taste was slightly tannic with hints of soursop. The aftertaste had a distinct resemblance to muscatel, but not in a powerful darjeeling sense. It was light and sweet.
In the second round, the sourness backed off and made way for a nice fruity, mild-citric ensemble. A hint of astringency showed itself in the throat.
On the third infusion, a straight taste of apples. It was an interesting find, as I remember that in previous tastings, apples was never an attribute.
Very well rounded, enjoyable tea.
I have also heard that a dash of salt in a keemun can add to the flavor nicely.
I am too much of a purist for that though.
Interview: Joseph Uhl of Joseph Wesley Tea
4 hours ago