Review of Premium Keemun Hao Ya Black Tea

AromaFlavorValueTotal
7 of 104 of 54 of 570 of 100
Very GoodGoodGood Value

I was surprised to find that I strongly preferred the slightly less expensive Keemun Grade 1 from TeaVivre to this offering. While this was a very good tea, it did not wow me as being outstanding, or even higher quality than a typical Keemun. It was just different. I was surprised at the strength of the cup, the darkness of the liquor, and the edginess present in the first cup.

Much darker in color than most Keemun...more blackish than reddish. Second cup is much smoother. Both cups have a "deep" sort of quality to them. Brewed western-style, the aroma has more of the cocoa-like tones, a lot like the Keemun Mao Feng I recently sampled from Life in Teacup, or like a Ceylon OPA. However, there is much less of the smokiness, and somewhat less of the woody qualities. Overall, this tea was more like a very high-end, large-leaf Ceylon than it was like other Keemuns.

The price on this tea is also good. It is only slightly more expensive than the Grade 1 of the same brand. I would not think of this as a "better" tea, merely a different one. For people who want a warmer, smoother tea, I'd recommend the grade 1. For people wanting a deeper, darker tea with a little more edge, this might be a better choice. I strongly prefer the grade 1 however.

I tried this tea gongfu style. I was surprised by a more intense smokiness that came out in the first infusion. The second infusion was more balanced and more complex, but still smoky, and bearing an odd resemblance to shu Pu-erh. By the third infusion, this tea became a bit more normal, and was less interesting from this point on. The flavor gave out surprisingly quickly, with little flavor left after the third steeping. I actually settled on preferring to brew this tea western-style, in contrast to the grade 1 which I found really shined with gongfu-style brewing.

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