Review: Canton Tea Co. Keemun Hao Ya Black Tea

Black Tea, Canton Tea Co., Keemun Tea Add comments
Geoff’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Creamy texture, floral finish, bold and beautiful. No wonder this type of tea is used in English Breakfast blends."
Geoff’s Teaview: 8/10
Other Teaviews: Troy gave it 8/10, Katie gave it 7.7/10, Erika gave it 8/10
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cantonkeemunhaoyaCanton Tea Co. presents a spring-grown Keemun that is a "Hao Ya" grade. No indication if this was a Hao Ya A or B grade, but it really didn't matter all that much to me. By appearance alone, it seemed exquisite; small, thinly-rolled leaves with an even black color. The fragrance reminded me of light smoke emanating from an old chimney. The opening song from "Mary Poppins" even chimed in my head upon first sniff.

Brewing instructions were relatively simple, to my relief. No specialized gongfu preparations were needed, like some of the other offerings from Canton Tea. They recommended 1 tsp in 212F water for three-to-four minutes. I assumed they meant for 8oz of water to be brewed. I went with that amount but in water of a slightly lighter temp for three.

Even with a lighter 190F-ish steep temp, this brewed quite dark. It almost reminded me of the cherry wood floor my parents put in. Dark with a reddish tinge. I can see why black tea is known as "red tea" in China. This was a very dark red. Bold, beautiful, with a look of "eeeeevil". (No, not really.)

Red tea or no, this had a very distinctive "black tea"-like nose. It smelled malty and bitter. What an interesting thing to note. I never thought one could smell bitterness. Oh well.

Thankfully, said bitterness did not translate to the taste. As Canton's tea taster notes suggested, this did have a floral quality to it. I'm not sure I would agree with the description of sweetness being present, though. Frankly, I never could. Many describe Keemun as sweet. I've only encountered one that earned that badge.

I noticed something else that threw me off, a characteristic that appeared in mid-sip. Ah, I know! Something about it reminded me of vanilla, or at the very least cream. This tasted like a tea that had a little bit of cream in it, yet none was present. Creamy texture, floral finish, bold and beautiful. No wonder this type of tea is used in English Breakfast blends.

I'm really craving a scone right now.

— To purchase Canton Tea Co. Keemun Hao Ya Black Tea, 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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