Silk Road Teas (http://www.silkroadteas.com/)
tea rcvd 3/13/06
Tribute Tea (http://www.tributetea.com/)
tea was the last lot I rcvd, precise date unknown
Cup to cup this morning, we have here the aforementioned two Keemun teas. One is the affordable daily drinking Keemun of SRT and the other is TT Superior Keemun that costs $1.95 more per quarter pound. This current 3/13/06 SRT Keemun has moved back to the softer character I experienced in lots prior to the last one I commented on (see Lew Perrin's previous review of this tea 11-25-05), the one which seemed to have just a touch more astringency and woody-bitter cocoa than the current purchase now shows.
The main difference as I taste these two together is that the TT Superior Keemun has a much more leathery aroma than the SRT Keemun. The SRT Keemun shows a softer range--milk chocolate/toasty/honeyed in contrast to the TT Superior Keemun's sweet/leathery emphasis. It is odd in that until I compared these two, I hadn't called the TT one leathery at all! But today that latter characteristic sings forth.
Compared to the TeaGschwendner "Historical Anhui Keemun," I had found the TT Superior Keemun's aroma less "earth-bound" with some malty notes in the cup as well as a touch of honey and hint of floral. But this shows how relative comparisons can be since, against the softer SRT Keemun, the TT Superior Keemun suddenly reflects the leathery note that I hadn't even picked up on before. While SRT Keemun strikes me as milk chocolate in aroma, the cup still veers off toward cocoa. Either this new SRT purchase truly is softer than the previous quarter pound that I had, or I have simply tweaked the brewing in some way I am unaware of--again the SRT Keemun, as in times past, has the hint of something fruity-woody that I found appealing. TT Superior Keemun's leathery note translates as less soft in the cup comparatively, and this tea shows somewhat more astringency today than the SRT Keemun. But it is still not out of proportion for pleasurable drinking. These are two slightly different Keemun teas here in which flavors/aromas they present and in what garment--leather versus something a bit silky--they present them.
The SRT Keemun is still behaving quite well in its price range, enough so that the notion of a larger purchase tempts me. Though by now I should have learned my lesson about purchasing a pound of any tea based on a previous sampling.