Monday, October 4, 2010

Will You Have A or B?

A memorial in Vienna to the end of the plague.

Oh my, but I hate shopping. Especially if it is one of those trips where you wind up going to a dozen stores - well, 3 or 4 at least, to find something. The internet is much more my speed, most of the time. I am really glad there is so much good tea to be found there.

Just last Wednesday, I was talking about the difference between Keeman Hao Ya "A" and "B" or unlabled. Today I was tidying my tea tasting cupboard and found some of the "A" from Upton's - samples I purchased this fall. So, why not do a bit of comparing? This smells much more smokey than the other and more deeply woodsy. The leaves are about the same, small and very black. I brewed up a pot using 1 teaspoon per cup for 31/2 minutes. As it brews the smoke disappears to be replaced by a deep floral aroma, with some good earthy, woodsiness under it. This one doesn't need any extra spoonsful for the pot, it stands quite well on the usual amount.

The taste strikes me as quite earthy, with an almost sour kick to it. Not a bad sour, a good sour. I have to say that because it is not a citrus nor any sort of fruit. The smoke has disappeared. This is heavy tea, suitable for cool weather or breakfast or with a somewhat substantial meal. I tried it with cream and what a difference! The floral notes come out and it loses a lot of its heaviness. I am still leaning toward the "B" or unlabeled category - all unlabeled are "Bs", but this is really going to give them a run for their money. Once again, I am astonished by how many tastes there are in a cup of tea!

As I was listing labels I realized there are many types of Keemun. Hao Ya, Mao Feng, Heng Ru, Ji Hong, probably more. And I don't know the difference! Perhaps I had best find out. If I do, I will let you know. If you know, please put a note in the comment section and tell me.

1 comment:

Alex Zorach said...

Honestly, the amount of material I've found and written about on Keemun has been relatively sparse, but I have collected some on's page on Keemun. If you find anything that you think should be added to these pages, or if you think it would be worthwhile for me to invest some time in researching this, please let me know! I'd like to expand them, but they're not my highest priority right now.