Review: Culinary Teas Keemun Panda Grade 1 Tea

Black Tea, Culinary Teas, Keemun Tea, Uncategorized Add comments
Sophie’s Teaview Snapshot
Its OK"Compared to other Keemuns, this is a rather simple and smooth tea. It’s sweet and malty, with a finish that features a good amount of chocolate and plum notes. As such I would recommend it to those who prefer a sweeter profile to a smokier one."
Sophie’s Teaview: 6.9/10
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culinary-tea-logoCulinary Teas’ website provides lots of information about the historical context that gave birth to this tea, namely the Opium Wars between England and China, as well as the Brits’ insatiable thirst for black tea. It’s well worth a look.

However, there is unfortunately no information about the grading of this tea. Is each grade represented by it’s own adorable animal? If so, pandas beat out other animals where cuteness is concerned, thus I have to assume this Keemun is a fancier grade than most. I tried to find out more information on the web but didn’t come across anything helpful.

On with the review… I am tasting the bagged version of this tea, which comes encased in a standard paper envelope. The leaves have been reduced to pieces that are somewhat larger than the dust one would expect from a teabag. A pungent tobacco and smoke aroma wafts from my sample.

The folks at Culinary Teas suggest steeping the bags between 3 to 7 minutes in boiling water. I opt for a 4 minute-long infusion. The dark, coppery cup has a smoky yet yeasty aroma. The results are surprisingly mild for a Keemun. The flavour profile features smooth malt, nutritional yeast and plum notes, along with some more mineral tones. The finish is more astringent, especially as the tea cools, with its hint of dark chocolate.

I steep the leaves again for 5 minutes. The tea is a bit rougher in feel this time, with a smokier profile and more bitter chocolate notes. Otherwise this cup is quite similar to the previous one.

I try brewing the teabag one last time following a 6-minute infusion. The cup is milder but still palatable. Pleasant plum and malt notes make up most of the flavour profile at this point. I doubt another steep could be had, as the leaves are petering out.

Compared to other Keemuns, this is a rather simple and smooth tea. It’s sweet and malty, with a finish that features a good amount of chocolate and plum notes. As such I would recommend it to those who prefer a sweeter profile to a smokier one. Reasonably priced, this offering is available in a variety of loose leaf formats as well. This is a good buy as far as bagged teas go, since the quality is superior to most. In terms of my own personal preference, I probably wouldn’t purchase this leaf, as I like a punchier Keemun.

— To purchase Culinary Teas Keemun Panda Grade 1 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.

Teaviews Member: Sophie Sophie
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