Review: Vintage Tea Company Qimen Aromatic Snail Tea

Black Tea, Green Tea, Keemun Tea, Vintage Tea Company Add comments
Sophie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"This is a thoroughly enjoyable, high end Keemun. The subtle back and forth between malt, roasted squash and toasted bread notes is truly delicious!"
Sophie’s Teaview: 9.1/10
Other Teaviews: Shaiha gave it 8.2/10
Your Reviews:Add your review »
vintageqimensnailThis tea has been entirely hand-processed, starting with its harvest on March 23, 2013. It’s an unusual blend of black Keemun and green Biluochun. The curly leaves are teensy but whole. They are mostly a uniform, dark chocolate hue. However a few gold threads pop out here and there. I wouldn’t have guessed that this is a blend from the look of my sample. Taking a sniff, the tea's aroma is a mix of wood, cinnamon and malt notes.

I decide to steep this leaf according to Vintage Tea’s instructions for a gong-fu brewing. I infuse 3 grams in 150ml of water heated to 90 degrees Celsius for 10 seconds. A striking woody, tannic yet malty scent comes off the leaves as soon as I pour the water. The coppery cup seesaws between sweet, cinnamon-like infused notes, and savoury toasted bread and broth flavours. It’s surprisingly light and sprightly for a keemun. I could easily drink gallons of this delicious tea.

Vintage Tea recommends reusing the leaves up to 5 times. For my second steep, I brewed the leaves 20 seconds. The tea gives off a dryer feel now. The dominant flavours are less sweet, with more wood and dark cocoa notes in the mix. This cup is like the rugged older brother of the previous cup.

I get 3 more respectable, nearly identical brews from the leaves, following 30, 45 and 65 second-long steeps. These are all smooth, and sweet, reminiscent of buttery roasted pumpkin and sweet potato. They are less complex than the previous 2 infusions but eminently drinkable.

I figure I can pull at least one more brew from the leaves, given the intensity of the previous cup. However I am sadly mistaken. After a 90 second steep, the tea takes a sharp decline and tastes more or less like hot water.

This is a thoroughly enjoyable, high end Keemun. The subtle back and forth between malt, roasted squash and toasted bread notes is truly delicious. This tea is also silky smooth and easy to drink. I can’t think of a single draw back to this cup, other than its price tag, not to mention shipping charges from Australia, where Vintage Tea is based. Highly recommended if you’re looking to spoil yourself or a loved one.

— To purchase Vintage Tea Company Qimen Aromatic Snail 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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