Thursday, April 14, 2011

Out in the Provinces

The new organ in Stephansdom, the Vienna cathedral.

Good morning all. It is a beautiful day today, with 50+ temperatures, sunny skies, naughty squirrels and flowers blooming. The colts foot is among them. It was named that way because the leaves reminded early folk of the hoofprint of colts. It is either the first or among the first of wild flowers to bloom. We've also seen some early tulips and daffodils. Hooray!

I am back among the Keemuns today, with the Tea Trekker's Keemun Congou. This is an organic tea, from Anhui Province in China, the home of Keemusn. The leaves are tiny, very black and have a smokey, winey, woodsy aroma. As it brewed there was more an aroma of cornsilk. The liquor was a very dark amber. The tea had a very full mouth feel and to me, tasted primarily of roasted corn. I think I brewed it too long, as it was beginning to get tannic. All the tes were brewed for 3.5 minutes with boiling water.

The next is Upton's ZK22 from Hubei Province, China - Keemun Ji Hong. Purists say this is not really Keemun as it doesn't come from Anhui Province. I would agree, it should be called Keemun style. I am in favor of foods being labeled according to their origin and others known as XXXtype or XXXstyle. I'm all for individuality in these cases. The dry leaves are a bit bigger , black mixxed with a bit of brown. They give off an odor of wet wood or wet hay, with some tobacco mixed in, altogether a very pleasant aroma. This carried through to the brewing scent. However, it doesn't really make it into the tea liquor, which just tastes like wet wood, while at the same time it is lightlysmokey. It's okay, but nothing to get excited about, although it is better cooler.

The last of the Keemuns I believe I have reviewed before. It is from Aura Teas and is their Organic Keemun, from Wuyan, Jianxi, China. It has the largest leaves and the greatest amount of brown ones. This one has an earthy, woody aroma. It brewed up the lightest amber and reminded me of my great-uncle John's cabin - a mix of earth, flowers, things aging gently in the sun. It is again a rather plain tea, with almost a citrus edge to it.

On the whole, I would rank these three near the bottom of the 7 Keemun chart, whereas the other four I've had in the past week would all rank at the top and I'm not at all sure where I would place them. You might have a very different reaction to all of them.

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