This year’s first flush Darjeeling is a bit of a disappointment, so I have been revisiting other teas. One of my favorite Chinese black teas are the Keemun teas. They come with a hint of smoke and honey and are ideal afternoon teas. One commonly finds the Mao Feng and the more expensive Hao Ya teas. The leaves are short(cut) and coal black.
In recent years, there have been interesting experiments. For instance, there is now a Keemun Snail tea with beautiful wiry leaves made from the first buds, with some golden tips. The taste is more subtle than that of a regular Keemun. I got my 2 ounce tin from Harney.
Even mellower but also more complex is the Keemun Golden Tip Mao Feng which I found at Imperial Teas. It does not look like a Keemun anymore. In addition to the keemunesque smokiness, there are hints of chocolate. Very addictive.
After brewing, the leaves of the two teas are almost indistinguishable. I wonder what the two signs mean.