Review of Premium Qimen Black Tea of Huangshan

8 of 105 of 55 of 592 of 100

I continue to branch out into black teas from provinces other than Yunnan, sold by Yunnan Sourcing. This was a pleasant surprise: an exceptionally smooth tea, easy to brew and easy to drink, among the sweetest Keemuns I've tried.

The dry leaf is very fine and curly, so much it is shaped more like Bi Luo Chun than like most Keemun Mao Feng I've seen before. It is subtly aromatic, not explosively so, but if you open the bag and breathe in there is a rich maltiness and a strong suggestion of sweetness. There is only a hint of the more typical burgundy notes and light smokiness I associate with most Keemun.

Upon brewing, the aroma is very true to that of the dry leaf, just more potent. It is strong and extremely pleasing, suggesting of sweetness. Smells like pastries or other sweet baked goods, with a light maltiness, but there are also floral notes.

Flavor is very sweet, with light savory notes and a mild, crisp bitterness.

Very easy to drink, and has a pleasant warming effect. It resteeps well, and I find is also easy to brew: using more leaf or a longer steep makes it slightly stronger but it tastes good no matter how I make it. I found this tea to be most satisfying on cold days. It is quite warming relative to how subtle it is.

This reminds me a lot of two now-discontinued Keemuns I've had in the past: the Keemun Mao Feng from Harney & Sons, and the Spring Keemun from Andrews & Dunham. All three are in the same style and the differences are subtle at best. This one I think is the best-priced, however, like most of Yunnan Sourcing's offerings, quite a steal for a tea of such quality. I highly recommend this one, but know that it is sweeter and mellower than a more typical or traditional Keemun.

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