Review: Life in Teacup Keemun Mao Feng

Black Tea, Keemun Tea, Life in Teacup, Mao Feng Tea Add comments
Katie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"It is a piquant tea, biting and fruity with a pleasant astringency."
Katie’s Teaview: 7.7/10
Other Teaviews: Sophie gave it 7.9/10
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This is somewhat uncharted territory for me. I have more experience with the famous green tea version Huang Shan Mao Feng Tea than with this black tea version, the Keemun Mao Feng. I also have tried far more Hao Ya Keemuns than Mao Feng, so I am not entirely sure what to expect. I warm up my 200 mL glass teapot and add 5 grams of the leaf, a task that is not altogether easy because the leaves are quite long and finely twisted, making it hard to get them out of the package and into the pot without breaking any of the delicate leaves. The preheated leaf smells like smoke, fruit, and prunes. I then steep at 205° for 1 minute. The deep, dark red-brown liquor smells pungent and fruity with a complex acidity that hits the nose with force.

The sharp flavour of the tea contrasts sharply with the mellow flavours of the Hao Ya Keemuns I am used to. If Hao Yas are akin to mellow aged or shou pu-erh flavours, then this Mao Feng resembles young sheng in its sharpness. It is a piquant tea, biting and fruity with a pleasant astringency. It rolls off the tongue with an oily texture, and it is neither smooth nor harsh. The finish has a rich smokiness.

I steep the second infusion the same way as before. The scent has a sourness, but it smells somewhat more mellow than before. It is more watered-down tasting than the first, but with much the same characteristics. While still somewhat sour and tangy, it's less bracing than the first. It's very much the same tea as before, only with a slightly different profile. I like it well enough, but not so much that I am tempted to attempt any more cups today, so I do not make a third steep.

It's different than what I usually drink, and I imagine whether or not you like it is a matter of personal preference. For myself, few teas hit the spot better than a young, sharp, sheng pu-erh, I can get behind a complex Darjeeling with as much bitterness as anything else, and I certainly don't mind the occasional leaf with a pervasive astringency, as long as it's balanced right. But apparently when it comes to Keemuns, I prefer a mellower, more mature flavour.

— To purchase Life in Teacup Keemun 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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