Spring Keemun Limited Edition Tea from Damn Fine Tea

springKeemun_leavesTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Damn Fine Tea

Tea Description:

We’ve noticed spring is struggling to get off the ground this year in our little corner of the USA. March came in like a lion but its fur got stuck to the permafrost so the lion continues to sit outside our door, calmly licking its paws and giving us the stare down. Fine. We’ll stare right back. Should be no problem as long as our supply of this great Keemun holds out. Good thing we have 150 2.5 ounce tins of the… Wait. We only have 150 tins? Whose idea was that?

Despite a strong desire to keep all these tins of Spring Keemun for ourselves, we offer them to you. This is a spring crop of Keemun Xiang Luo (Fragrant Spirals), so while this tea has all the usual, unmistakable tawny richness of Keemun, it is more delicate than you might expect. Lion and lamb, all at once. The leaves are so beautiful — elegant, dark, and shiny — it’s almost a shame to pour water on them! When you do, make sure the water is boiling hot and allow it to steep for at least 5 minutes. Or longer. This is a very patient tea.

Learn more about this limited-edition tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Yeah … so shortly after I purchased the Yunnan Gold Tips on Canada Day, Andrews & Dunham announce that they’re offering free shipping to the USA on the 4th of July.  As it turned out, I would have been safe in waiting until the 4th to get free shipping for my Yunnan tea, but, I didn’t want to take that chance that I’d miss out on the tea because at the time that I ordered, there were only 6 tins left of it.  There are now – as I write this review – 2 tins left of the Yunnan.

And while I am enjoying having the Yunnan in my cupboard (it makes for a seriously tasty cuppa!) I’m even happier that I now have this Spring Keemun in my cupboard!  OH YUM!

I think I’m in love with the tea that is in my teacup right now.  Seriously.  I have tried a lot of Keemun in my years as a tea reviewer, but I do believe that this Xiang Luo is the best Keemun I’ve tried to date.  It’s delightful.  So good, in fact, that I’m contemplating picking up another tin or two so that I have it on hand for many more months to come.

It is rich and smooth and delicious.  There is very little astringency to this, although there is just a slight twinge of dryness toward the end of the sip.  The texture is thick and almost creamy, evoking thoughts of a warm, comforting soup.  But this is sweeter than a soup!

It tastes of honeyed caramel.  I can almost taste the light notes of flowery pollen.  There are fruit notes to this as well.  Sweet, juicy plum – just the sweetness of the plum, no tartness from the fruit.  Sun-ripened plums drizzled with honey and then cooked down to caramelize it.  Mmm!

There is a tantalizing, cake-y, freshly baked sort of goodness to this tea too, like a cake that had just come out of the oven.  You know those browned, caramelized edges of a freshly baked cake?  Yeah … that’s what I taste.  Again, let me say:  Mmm!

Delicious!  This tea is best served hot.  Sure, it’s really good when it cools off, but, something is lost with the chill.  The flavors mute a little and you really want to experience this tea to its fullest flavor, which means drinking ti while its still hot.  Give it a few minutes to cool after you’ve poured yourself a cup, and then begin to enjoy every sip.  Not that you need me to tell you to enjoy … because trust me, you will!

There are only 24 tins left of this tea – this is one you don’t want to miss out on.  The only disappointing thing about this tea is the “prize” that comes with it … it’s an A&D Damn Fine Tea button.  Like the kind you pin on your jacket or hat.  It’s OK, I guess, but seeing as this tea is to be a celebration of Spring, I thought that they could have been a little more creative.  A little toy bird like the one on the label of the tea?  That would have been fun!

But it should say something to you that my only complaint about this tea is the freebie that came with it.  (Well, that and the tea disappears too fast after I’ve poured a cup!)  What the Spring Keemun lacks in free prize it more than makes up for in amazing flavor!

Twisted Green Tea from Beautiful Taiwan Tea Company

twistedgreenTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Beautiful Taiwan Tea Company

Tea Description: 

OOOhhhhh….  this is the best Taiwanese Biluochun we’ve had in a while.  Don’t miss out on this fantastic tea from SanXia.  BiLuoChun is an early spring tea picked when the leaves are small.  It’s best when it’s fresh and has a very unique aroma and flavor.  Words from the adjective bucket include: Smooth, Fresh, Delicate, Earthy, Aromatic, Delicious… and Satisfying!

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

LOVELY!  This is the first tea that I’m trying from this new-to-me company, and I’m happy that I received several from them … I’m happy this won’t be my last!  This Twisted Green Tea from Beautiful Taiwan Tea Company is absolutely delightful!

The dry leaf has a beautifully fresh fragrance that is vegetative with a hint of earthiness in the background.  It reminds me of spring.  Like the fresh morning air following a night of rain in the spring.  So many of the teas that I’ve been trying lately have been very reminiscent of spring and I love that!

The overall flavor is delicate, but there is a lovely complexity to it.  The description above suggests an earthy taste to the cup, but, I don’t really get a lot of earthiness to the taste, and I smelled more earthiness to the dry leaf than I am tasting now.

The flavor is sweet and smooth, with notes of cream.  The creamy notes are somewhere between butter and vanilla, and this taste marries beautifully with the light vegetative notes.  The vegetal notes here are much softer in taste than either the dry leaf aroma or that of the brewed tea would suggest.  I almost want to describe what I’m tasting as very lightly buttered and salted popcorn:  sweet, crisp and vibrant with a savory quality that arrives mid-sip.  It’s not quite “popcorn” … but that is the thought that keeps popping into my head as I sip.

A really lovely Bi Luo Chun.  The soft flavors are very relaxing to sip, but there’s a sense of invigoration that comes with sipping this tea too.  It seems to enliven from the inside, reawakening my tired soul while soothing it.  A truly Beautiful Taiwan Tea!