Review: Vicony Teas Gift Keemun Hong Mao Feng

Black Tea, Keemun Tea, Mao Feng Tea, Vicony Teas Add comments
Sophie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"This cup is more on the delicate side, as far as keemuns go, gentle and soft spoken yet immediately gratifying. "
Sophie’s Teaview: 8.2/10
Other Teaviews: Geoff gave it 8/10, Melanie gave it 9.2/10, Geoff gave it 9/10
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From the birth place of Keemuns in Qimen County, China, comes this precious crop containing only whole leaf buds. Mao Feng can be loosely translated as “fur peak”, referring to the downy covering of the young leaves. This type of black tea has been used repeatedly over the years as a gift to visiting dignitaries, hence the name. Harvested before the Qing Ming festival in early April, the leaves are described as having an intricate and smooth flavour. They are thin and spidery-looking, holding many gold threads amongst them. Their fine hairy covering is obvious and abundant. The incredibly yeasty aroma smells pungently of fresh bread.

Despite quite a lengthy and informative description of this tea, I could not find any brewing instructions on Vicony Teas' website. After a bit of research, I decided to infuse a heaping teaspoon of leaves in 8 ounces of water heated to 95 degrees Celsius for 3 minutes. The resulting cup bears a rich coppery brown colour and an alluringly malty aroma. The down from the leaves causes a slight cloudiness at the bottom of the cup. Otherwise the liquor is crystal clear. The flavour profile wavers between malt, floral and toasted bread notes. Smooth yet rich, it becomes slightly drying as it cools. As Vicony's website aptly describes, it holds “no sharp edges”. This cup is more on the delicate side, as far as keemuns go, gentle and soft spoken yet immediately gratifying.

I brewed a second infusion for 3 and a half minutes. This cup is considerably brothier and nuttier than the first. An interesting smoky dimension has also developed. Pleasantly dry yet round in mouth, the lasting cashew nut and malt aftertaste is impressive. This steep shows more stoutness and depth of character than the first. I found it to be the most balanced out of all three steeps.

I infused my third and final cup for 4 and a half minutes. The results were delicate and smooth, but a bit too much so for my taste. Besides some caramel overtones and the pleasantly malty sweet finish, this brew was rather plain. I wouldn't bother steeping this tea a third time again.

Although not as spectacular as their Keemun Hao Ya A, this tea makes for a very satisfying, delicate cup. Unfortunately for the average consumer, ordering from Vicony Teas is geared towards businesses. They have a minimum order of 1kg per variety of tea, with a minimum of 2kg per order. However some of their products are outstanding, and are well worth rounding up all of your tea buddies to place an order as a group.

— To purchase Vicony Teas Gift Keemun Hong 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.

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