Review: Vicony Tea Keemun Hao Ya A

Keemun Tea, Organic Tea, Uncategorized, Vicony Teas Add comments
Sophie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"This tea brings together many layered flavours that completely overwhelm the taste buds in the nicest possible way. "
Sophie’s Teaview: 9.2/10
Other Teaviews: Chelsy gave it 8.4/10, Vanessa gave it 8.7/10
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viconykeemunsomethingelseThis premium organic black tea heads from the Chinese province of Anhui, the birth place of Keemun teas. Two of our reviewers seemed smitten with this tea, so I was looking forward to try it myself. I can see now what all the excitement was about!

The small wispy leaves are mostly a rich purplish black with a few golden strands here and there. The smell is quite confounding: its smoky, acrid tobacco notes cut through to a vanilla scent, which then lets fruity and biscuity overtones dominate. Although Vicony Teas' website provides ample information on this tea, I failed to find complete brewing instructions. I experimented with a few different parameters. The most successful seemed to be using one teaspoon of leaves for 8 ounces of water heated to 95 degrees Celsius and a 3 minute steep. This resulted in a rusty brown cup, redolent with an aroma reminiscent of hickory smoke, caramel and sea water. Slightly syrupy in feel, the taste of this tea nicely replicates the hints suggested by its scent. Other flavours evoked here were red wine, chocolate, nori, black pepper and malt. I realize that this list might seem overly long and/or a bit schizophrenic but somehow this tea is just that wide ranging in taste. The overarching flavour is perhaps its biscuity taste, which transforms into something that reminded me of buttery toast in the aftertaste. Not a hint of bitterness lurks, even at longer steeping times. Hotter water seemed to increase the smoky and savoury flavours in the leaves. A second 3 minute steep is remarkably similar to the first. The fermented, wine-like top notes of the first brew are now slightly muted, paving the way for a smoother, more fruity cup. A third 3 and a half minute steep is noticeably lighter in both feel, taste and colour. Although its sweet, vanilla notes and smoky aftertaste still make for a potable cup, it pales in comparison to the first two infusions.

This tea is complex enough to be used for slow, contemplative sipping but being pungent and unapologetic, it has a rather stimulating effect. Although it packs quite a punch, this is not one of those bruisers of a black tea that tries to jolt the senses with something akin to battery acid. Instead it prevails by combining together many layered hints and suggestions that completely overwhelm the taste buds in the nicest possible way. Well done!

— To purchase Vicony Tea Keemun Hao Ya A, 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: Sophie Sophie
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