Sunday, October 11, 2009

Keemun Ji Hong

Today is a gorgeous fall day, sunny and clear. This is a lovely autumn. Unlike last year, when the trees never really had much color and it certainly wasn't a concerted effort, this year it is quite colorful and all at once so that we have lovely vistas with all our hills and valleys. It seemed a perfect day for trying a new tea.
I bought a bunch of samples from Upton's and decided to try again with Keemuns. In the past, I have not liked them, but I was hoping that I had grown enough to appreciate them.
Today's sample is from Hubei Province, a Keemun Ji Hong. The dry leaves are quite small and very dark, really black with an occasional gold or brown to enliven them. They smell something like a very mild Lapsang - a bit smokey. More, they just smell like fresh tea. The wet leaves have a wonderful smell - very fresh and clean, like laundry blowing in the wind, coupled with a good slightly toasty, earthy scent. The tea is also wonderful, dark red, rich, mysterious. Definitely a back of the mouth taste with some earth and the barest hint of smoke, which doesn't really come out until the second infusion, which I brewed as I had the first - 3 min at 210. This time around was on the weak side but still good and I combined the 2 for an excellent cup.
This tea could easily take milk and sugar, but why ruin a good thing?
We will probably have frost tonight so we need to hurry out and get the last of the garden. It's just beets and cabbage and maybe some last New Zealand spinach. I hope next year is better.
The picture is part of the hinge apparatus for the gates to the summer palace in Vienna.

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