Hey Teacups! I’m back today with a new Let’s Talk Tea post an this time around I’m going to be reviewing Masters Teas – Qimen Caixai. I’m sure you all know well enough by now I’ve tried quite a few of the teas that Masters teas have to offer from different regions of the world and so far I have loved them all so that deffinelty mean s that as I continue to try new teas from them my expectations get bigger and bigger. But the teas always manage to live up to those expectations and each tasting session is always such a fantastic experience. The tea I’m going to be reviewing today is a black tea and when it comes to masters teas I’ve only tried a few black teas from them so far. Each of them has been fantastic leading up to this but this tea specifically is a kind of black tea I’ve actually never tired before. It’s not too often these days that a variety of tea is brand new to me so I always look forward to tasting session like this the most.
Here’s what Masters Tea have to say about this tea over on their website: Qimen Caixia or “Sunrise Keemun” is a unique black tea made from early spring leaves which are gently rolled to create a whole leaf tea. The semi wiry leaves do contain some tips as well. The dry aroma offers the classic Keemun orchid note. The cup itself is a medium-light bodied one that is delicate, sweet and complex with notes of orchid, honey and toast. While it is rather delicate, it presents a nuanced experience with a soft finish. Origin: Anhui – China
About the leaves: Grown between 800 and 1200 meters above sea level this Twig Leaf cultivar was hand plucked at the end of April from 60-year-old trees. Known locally as “Keemun Maofeng”, is consists of one bud and two or three leaves approximately 2-3 cm in length. Elevation: 1000m
Tea Tasting Notes
For this tasting session I used freshly filtered water at 99C, 6.5g of the loose leaf tea and my 250ml Gaiwan. In total I did 5 steeps. Masters Teas suggests three steeps but I wanted to make sure I could give it a well rounded review and see how many steeps I could do with it until I felt that it had reached it’s limit.
Steep 1) Malt, toast, orchid, honey, delicate. I didn’t know what to expect from this tea and this first steep really surprised me. Its much more of a delicate black tea that I thought it would be. While it has classic Keemun notes that floral note paired with the maltiness, sweet honey and toast notes it quite unique. Smooth but does have a touch of astringency to it. Has a Darjeeling feel to it in terms of texture and that golden raisin note.
Steep 2) The overall aroma is very fruity! With hints of malt, and that floral orchid. I’ve honestly never smelt a black tea quite like this. Much more of a stand out toast note in this cup. Toast that has just been toasted enough that it’s nice a evenly golden brown. Not yet buttered. Less floral but still noticeable. Honey sweetness paired with a nice fruity note and again that golden raisin. Lingers in the mouth, smooth no astringency.
Steep 3) Less fruity but still present. Again toast notes and floral notes but the flroals are softer. This steep as a little more savoury but still lingers in the mouth after each sip. Lighter in the mouth feel and still quite smooth but has a little dryness to it as well. Slight lemon feel but very subtle honestly that lemon coming through really took this tea to another level as a love lemon with black teas and it really tied everything together and deffinelty made sure these later steeps didn’t get flat and boring.
Steep 4 & 5) I’ve group steep four and five together because they were almost exsaclty the same and I didn’t want to bore you typing out the same notes twice. Steep four was very similar to three but noticeably lighter and the next time I have this tea I’ll deffinelty stop at four sessions as this I would say was the last completely well rounded steep even though it was lighter. The orchid note was light and that golden raisin hint disappeared. The light lemon as still present though which I was happy about. Steep five was very light and much flatter and lots quite a few of it’s best notes, still nice but not as well rounded as the previous steeps.
Overall Thoughts: I really enjoyed this tea and would really like to try the 2020 and 2021 harvests (this was the 2019) to see how the different harvests compare. I have just over 9g of this tea left to enjoy but I’m so eager to drink it again that will probably be gone by the end of this week. When i visit America next year I’ll deffinelty be ordering some of this as I really do want to make sure I have this is my stash at some point again. This has to be one of the best Keemun teas I’ve ever had the pleasure of trying and is much more complex than the usual Keemun elements in breakfast blends.
Overall Teacup Rating: 5/5
If you want to find out more about Masters Teas and purchase some of this tea for yourself, you can do both here. As always if you have any questions at all either stick them in the comments or send them to me on Instagram @teaisawishblog and I’ll answer them all as soon as I can.
Speak to you all again soon. Happy Steeping – Kimberley
*The tea featured in this post was gifted to me for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own and have not been paid for*