Review: Drink The Leaf Organic Hong Tao Mao Feng

Black Tea, Drink the Leaf, Keemun Tea Add comments
Jamie’s Teaview Snapshot
Its OK"Good natural sweetness and a noticeably dry but enjoyable aftertaste. "
Jamie’s Teaview: 6.5/10
Other Teaviews: Scott gave it 8.1/10
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drinkleafmaotungThis striking leaf is a Keemun black tea. Wiry jet leaves give off a very sweet and fresh scent, almost fruity sweet. The dry leaf has a slight taste of smoky sugariness to it. I am new to Keemun black teas, and so did a little bit of reading about the tea while enjoying it. Here is a quick excerpt from the Wikipedia page on Keemun. It was interesting and even a little amusing, so I'll share it with you and hope you'll raise a cup, as I did after reading, to the good failed civil servants of the world. May they all bring into it as good a thing as did Mr. Quianchen.

From Wikipedia: "Keemun is produced in the Qimen County of Huangshan City, in Anhui (Anhwei) province. ("Keemun" was the English spelling for "Qimen" during the colonial era.)
Keemun has a relatively short history. It was first produced in 1875 by a failed civil servant, Yu Quianchen, after he traveled to Fujian province to learn the secrets of black tea production. Prior to that, only green tea was made in Anhui. The result exceeded his expectations, and the excellent Keemun tea quickly gained popularity in England, and became the most prominent ingredient of the English Breakfast tea blend."

All of this information was basically new to me. I hadn't even realized it was the prominent feature in English Breakfast blends!

In any case. I used one very heaped tablespoon (essentially 1.5 tablespoons) of the leaf to 24 ounces of just off a boil water. The leaves change color in the water, beginning to glow from black to a dark chocolate color, swelling up slowly. After three minutes, I poured out a pair of red caramel colored cups to accompany breakfast. The color is quite pretty. The body of this tea is light and mildly sweet - no sugar or other sweeteners needed, unless you enjoy them. Each sip, aside from being sweet, had a pleasant, slightly burnt sugar sort of finish to it and a hint of astringency that was cleansing and engaging. I decided to try another brewing with more leaf and a slightly longer steep time as the tea was a bit mild for my black tea preferences. While I found it enjoyable, the body wasn't there to make this really grab my attention.

For another tasting, I brewed one rounded tablespoon of leaf to 12 ounces of water, steeping just under four minutes. This method yielded a more robust cup bodywise with the same good natural sweetness and a noticeably dry but enjoyable aftertaste.

I found this to be a naturally sweet and very mild black tea with a tasty sweetness reminiscent of caramel or burnt sugar carrying throughout to add interest. For those looking into black teas but perhaps shy of the bully in them strength wise, I would heartily suggest trying out a Keemun. Even a longer steep won't bring out a lot of malty strength or bitterness. An additional surprise of this particular Keemun is the dryness of it. On the other hand, if a robust and hearty Assam is right up your alley in the morning, perhaps you will want to enjoy this tea later in the afternoon. I found it a little lightweight for my tastes, without as much interest to the flavor as I have found in Yunnan offerings and Golden Monkeys. Still and all, this was an enjoyable tea and another door opened in the realm of black tea.

— To purchase Drink The Leaf Organic Hong Tao 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: Jamie Jamie
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