Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Steepster Select
The Burgundy of tea, Keemun is considered by many to be the finest black tea produced in China. Grown in the Huangshan mountain range, this black tea is soft and approachable while incredibly complex: a marriage of floral, fruity, smoky, and mineral flavors.
I received this Imperial Keemun Tea in my Steepster Select box for February and let me tell you it’s a mighty fine Keemun! I don’t know that it’s the best of it’s kind that I’ve tried, but, I am enjoying the balance of flavor profiles that I’m experiencing with this cup.
Just as the above description suggests, there is a nice “marriage of floral, fruity, smoky and mineral flavors.” I get each of these notes … perhaps more fruity and smoky than floral and mineral, but I taste each of these qualities.
The first note that I taste is the smoke. That probably has something to do with the smoky fragrance of the tea, because I deeply inhale the aroma before I take a sip. Then I notice some of the fruity tones. Sweet and I taste something that falls somewhere between sweet, juicy berries and luscious plums. The smoky tones give these fruits an almost “roasted” type of flavor, as if they have been fired over a charcoal pit.
With Keemun tea, I tend to find that there are two different “categories” of Keemun: one is a strong, rich, smoky Keemun, while the other is slightly less bold and more wine-like and fruity. This Imperial Keemun from Steepster offers a balance between the two. It’s strong, rich and smoky, but I can also taste those wine-like fruity notes.
I also definitely taste notes of charred wood as well as the smoke and fruit. The aforementioned floral tones are more subdued. The mineral notes I notice mostly toward the finish. I also taste a lovely undertone of caramel – a sweet and delicious note that tastes like a caramel made from molasses. The finish is clean but not overly astringent. The aftertaste is sweet and slightly smoky.
I liked this one. Not the best Keemun I’ve ever tried, but, I’m glad I got to try it!