Review: JING Tea Keemun Mao Feng

Black Tea, JING Tea, Keemun Tea Add comments
Dave’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Its flavor is bold, complex, and stimulating. It’s not a tea to relax with. It’s a tea to wake up with – it jolts your taste buds, and demands your attention."
Dave’s Teaview: 8/10
Other Teaviews: Vanessa gave it 9.5/10, Jamie gave it 7.5/10, Geoff gave it 8.9/10, Jamie gave it 8./10, CJ gave it 9/10, Dan gave it 8.6/10
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When it comes to black tea, I’ve always preferred the smoothness of Darjeelings to the bolder flavours of Assams and Keemuns. The truth, however, is that I haven’t tried many Keemuns, and don’t have much of an appreciation for them. So, in an effort to broaden my tea horizons, I’ve decided to sample some different Keemuns, and try to understand their appeal.

Picked in May 2011, this tea comes from Anhui, China. The small, twisted dry leaves were very dark – nearly black – suggesting that I was in for a bold flavor. I brewed at 95 degrees for 3 minutes, producing a dark, reddish-brown cup. The aroma was quite strong, with notes of ripe fruit and caramel.

The first sip was intense, slightly bitter, and not entirely pleasant. Each sip hit me with a sour citrusiness at first, developing into a bold chocolate/cinnamon flavor in the mouth, and a slight sweetness in the aftertaste. I was put off by the bitterness at first, but I persisted, and by the time I was halfway through the cup, the overall experience was starting to grow on me. I was reminded of stout beer (which I love), with its balance of sweetness and sourness. The lingering chocolaty aftertaste soon became addictive. By the end of the cup, I was no longer bothered by the bitterness, though I was still hoping that the second brew would be smoother.

And it was. There was almost no bitterness. The citrus, chocolate and cinnamon notes were all still there, but less so. There was a refreshing quality that made me think this would make a great iced tea. At the same time, I missed the intensity of the previous cup. The second brewing was enjoyable, but I actually preferred the first.

Overall, this tea has won me over. Its flavor is bold, complex, and stimulating. It’s not a tea to relax with. It’s a tea to wake up with – it jolts your taste buds, and demands your attention. While I still prefer Darjeeling as an everyday tea, I’m starting to see the appeal of high-quality Keemun. I look forward to trying more varieties.

— To purchase JING Tea Keemun Mao Feng, 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.

Teaviews Member: Dave Dave
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