|"Displaying a good amount of complexity and balance, this is a well-rounded, high quality example of a Keemun Mao Feng. The rich, robust cup it delivers is highly recommended!"|
I followed the recommended brewing directions, infusing a generous teaspoonful of leaf in 8 ounces of water heated to 95 degrees Celsius for 4 minutes. The dark, coppery cup has hints of malt and brine in its aroma. Taking a sip, the flavour profile is at once smoky, woody and fruity. The top notes are most assertive with their dry mix of tobacco and oak. Somewhere in the middle the brew becomes sweet and malty, with stone fruit, cinnamon and dark cocoa notes lingering sweetly in the aftertaste. The feel seesaws between the more astringent top notes and the smooth, creamy finish. This is a lovely first steep, displaying a good amount of complexity and balance.
The folks at Tea Horse suggest re-steeping the leaves two more times. After a 5 and a 6 minute-long infusion, the cups are increasingly lighter in flavour and feel. There is still a good amount of stone fruit and dark chocolate notes present both times however. The tea begins to taste a little watery as it cools. A fourth steep is not really worth it.
This is a well-rounded, high quality example of a Keemun Mao Feng. Although this tea is sturdy enough to handle them, I wouldn’t recommend using cream and/or sugar, so as not to dull the complexity of the flavour profile. Besides, it’s naturally sweet and creamy. Do watch the steep time though, since this cup will get bitter if over-brewed. I also found that it tastes best when very warm - it develops more acrid and bitter tones as it cools. That said, it’s not an overly fussy leaf to brew and the rich, robust cup it delivers is highly recommended!
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