review: Canton Tea Co. Jiu Qu Hong Mei

Black Tea, Canton Tea Co. Add comments
Jamie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Best aspects of this tea are the wonderful fruit and spice notes you can enjoy throughout the cup and at all temperatures."
Jamie’s Teaview: 9/10
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cantonquanhungThe beautiful leaf of this tea is surprisingly jet in color with highlights of dark chocolate. The leaves are long and wiry with curls and varying thicknesses to the leaf. Dry, the scent of the leaf intrigues me with its combination of spiciness and something nearly as sealike as hijiki in odor.

I prepared this tea using near a tablespoon of leaf to 8 ounces of freshly boiled water. I infused for over 3 minutes, which is on the longer side of Canton's recommended brewing parameters. They recommend 2 to 3 minutes and I would recommend staying close to that. For my first cup, I brewed closer to 4 minutes than three and a subsequent shorter steep gave me a more enjoyable astringency.

The cup brews to a dark copper with reddish light to it. The cup, brewed according to direction, has a mild astringency to both scent and taste, and the scent is also heavily spicy, sweet and citrusy. The sealike scent I caught in the dry leaf is no longer discernible. My first sip was dry with great flavor - one that suggests pausing and considering what you are drinking. The taste is vaguely and enjoyably sweet and needs no encouragement from added sweetener. While sweetness is a component of the brewed cup, spice and citrusy/fruity notes are most notable in this pleasantly malty cup. I found the maltiness a bit different than I do in an Indian black cup. The maltiness here is present to taste but is also suggested strongly in scent and perhaps is even more an olfactory experience than a tasting one.

Best aspects of this tea are the wonderful fruit and spice notes you can enjoy throughout the cup and at all temperatures. Multiple infusions are easily handled by the leaf - but I found the first to be the most enjoyable of all with lots of dynamic flavor and an astringency that really set off the flavors well.

I notice that this tea is sold out with the exception of a sample sized bag. Canton Tea Co. is a UK based company, but if you are fortunate enough to live in the UK or you are placing an order from elsewhere, this would be an interesting and exciting black tea to add to your basket. Canton offers a notification by email service to let you know when more will be in stock should this tea be one you'd like to add to your future purchases. It's well worth a sampling - unique and delicious.

— To purchase review: Canton Tea Co. Jiu Qu Hong Mei, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

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