Review of Keemun Mao Feng Black Tea

8 of 105 of 55 of 587 of 100

Dry leaf is strongly aromatic, with a slight smokiness and a strong dried fruit quality. Surprisingly little leaf is needed to brew a flavorful cup. I find it hard to gauge the amount of leaf necessary, because the thin, wiry leaf occupies a lot of space, but also expands greatly upon brewing.

The brewed cup has a chocolately aroma, strongly resembling unsweetened hot chocoalate. Initial aroma is reminiscent of large-leaf ceylon (OPA) teas, but the end of the cup is more warming and more complex, with hints of spice and wood. Finish has a hint of the smoky and fruity qualities evident in the dry leaf.

If brewing western-style, I find that the bitter flavors and cooling qualities tend to sink to the bottom of the cup. This can actually be pleasant, as you begin the cup with a warming feeling and finish the cup on a refreshing note. The way this tea ended reminded me just slightly of black teas from Taiwan. Western-style, I was able to brew three flavorful cups.

I also tried brewing with brief, multiple infusions. The tea took on a different character this way, and in retrospect I don't think I used enough leaf, but I did not have enough of the sample to try again.

A comment on the price, it's $5 an ounce...but this tea is so intensely flavorful that I think that even for the price-conscious shopper, it is quite a deal!

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