Friday, November 25, 2005

Silk Road Teas Keemun (B-KM-2)

Over the years, I've probably ordered this tea about once a year. Some years it's been memorable, others not, but I figure it'll always at least be good enough for breakfast.

This appears to be one of the good years.

I brewed it with 4g of leaf to 10 oz boiling water, giving it 4-1/2 minutes. The cup aroma was winey and chocolaty, rich and penetrating. The taste was deeply chocolaty with a fruity/winey component and the slightest bitterness for balance. The finish was drier, more like powdered than bar chocolate, and hung on for a satisfying time in both mouth and nose.

As I type this, I'm enjoying a second steep at six minutes, though nothing about it matches the intensity of the first steep.

Not only that, the record will show that my brother the Keemunist rates this as one of the two best he's ever tasted. I'm not sure I'd go that far, but this one performs above its class and price range.

1 comment:

anodyne said...

This is a Keemun I've had some long-term drinking experience with, too. At times, it has shown qualities that were quite above the price range. In times past, I think it had a higher range of fruity-woody notes that this lot doesn't have in quite the same proportion. This one isn't drinking as mellow to me--has a higher level of astringency than past lots. Perhaps this relates to that chocolate that is closer to cocoa powder? I am getting more woody-bitter cocoa in mine (at least with my water) than the soft woody-fruity notes of previous lots. In times past, I've thought of this as quite a 'soft' Keemun (though perhaps not as 'soft' as the Grace Tea Winey Keemun), and this one is showing more bitter cocoa edge and, I think, more astringency than other lots I've had of this tea. It's quite drinkable, but my own gut reaction is that it's been better than it is right now. That said, I really enjoy the aroma of this one with the deep chocolate notes and the spicy-honeyed hit of sweetness. And it still seems like it's performing well enough in the price range, just a little less so than in previous lots.

My drinkin' partner remembers this one, too, and isn't quite as excited about this current lot we have as compared to past lots.

But I do often ponder, Lew, how our different water may bring out different characteristics in a tea...and I am still tweaking tea amount and brewing times with mine.