Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Keemun Hao Ya

This is the last of the samples from Red Circle Tea, save for the dan cong, which I will get to next week.

For those who don't know, Keemun is grown in Qimen County in Anhui, China, north of Fujian. Production began in 1875, and Keemun has been frequently used in blends. I understand Hao Ya is the highest grade of Keemun. Its the only type I have tried, so I cannot confirm or deny this.

The leaves look good, identical to the only other Keemun I've had. The samples were shipped in plastic bags, so there isn't much of a dry aroma left.

Again I went with my standard brewing parameters, 3 grams/8 oz for 4-5 minutes. It was good, smooth. Smokey and sweet, like smoked sugar, made me think of sugar cane and camp fires, but a brisk sweetness, not like the honey-sweetens of the ying de or dian hong. I only steeped the leaves once. I frequently find that consecutive steeps of black tea are too watery, a shadow of the original cup, so I don't often bother.


Tea Geek said...

Keemun Hao Ya is probably my favorite black tea. I love that smokiness that isn't strong enough to be lapsang (even a nice one like a high grade Wuyishan). I do recommend tasting other keemuns, though. They're different.

I taught a tea class on Tuesday to a group of high school students and had them do the ISO-standard brewing cup and bowl tasting method, comparing three grades of Keemun. High score went to the Hao Ya, but they were quite insightful into the differences. It was fun to taste them side-by-side.

(Both this tasting, and my recent puer sampling that I mentioned on your last post are in the queue for my blog. Just don't ask me why it called me "Nick name for what?" before and the correct "Tea Geek" on this one...)

MarshalN said...

Qimen, not Quimen :). There's no "Qu" in pinyin.

These leaves look a little big for a proper Haoya...