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Keemun tea (Qimen Tea) - Keemun Congou (Kungfu) Black Tea

Perhaps the most famous black tea of all, the Keemun is synonymous with black tea. Its small leaves brew beautifully amber-red liquor with a rich and smooth flavor of dried fruits and honey.

Availability: In stock

Regular Price: €10.01

Now €8.66

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Details
Details

Watch the video below in which we're brewing this Keemun black tea in one of our gaiwans, and served in traditional tea cups.


Keemun or Qimen tea?

Keemun tea is produced exclusively in Qimen, Huangshan. This black tea is also known as 'Qimen Hongcha' with the first part referring to its origin. The second part 'Hongcha' means 'red tea' in Chinese, also known as black tea in the West. In China, this tea type is called red tea, based on the tea liquor color instead of the appearance of the dry leaves.

Keemen Congou

Keemun black tea is also often known as 'Keemun Congou'. The term 'Congou' is also a term from the colonial era, derived from the Chinese word 'Kungfu' or 'Gongfu'. The reason why Congou is often part of the name, is because the original Keemun tea is great for performing a full kungfu style Chinese tea ceremony.

History: Yu Gan Chen, The Failed Wuyishan Officer

Compared to the Lapsang Souchong, this Qimen tea has a relatively short history, having been first harvested in the year 1975. It was Yu Gan Chen, a former Wuyishan officer, who secretly brought the knowledge to produce a fine black tea back to his hometown Qimen. Because Wuyishan (in Fujian) has been very successful in producing great Lapsang Souchong, the first black tea in history, Yu Gan Chen believed that Anhui green tea masters are able to produce a black tea of matching quality. Given that the Qimen has a favorable climate as well as skilled farmers who are able to harvest high quality leaves for the local Huangshan Maofeng green tea, the key was to master the fermentation process of Lapsang Souchong from Fujian province.

This adventure of Yu Gan Chen turned out to be a great success as Keemun tea gained popularity in China. Not too long after, British traders discovered Qimen tea, and it was quickly exported to England, where it became part of the English Breakfast tea blend.

Today, this loose black tea is often considered one of the best Chinese black teas and loose leaf high quality keemuns are more and more available in local tea shops. It's only among a few types of black teas in the green tea dominated top 10 Chinese tea list.

Production process

The Keemun black tea production is an elaborate and complicated process. The leaves are picked in Spring and Summer and only the top bud with the top two or three leaves are collected. Once the tea leaves and buds have been plucked, the most tender leaves are sorted out by hand to create a premium Keemun tea. This process is referred to as “refinement”. The selected leaves then go through an elaborate fermentation process which changes the color of the leaves from green to a deep dark brown or brownish-black color.

When properly steeped, this Chinese tea has a clear red color with nuanced floral and smoky aroma. The flavor is very mellow and smooth that evolves in your mouth. Re-brew the black tea leaves several times to enjoy the changing flavors and aromas.

Cultivar

The cultivar used for Qimen is identical to the one used in processing Huangshan Maofeng green tea. However, today tea masters also experiment and produce Qimens from other cultivars. Farmers also experiment with different production techniques these days. Given that Chinese tea lovers prefer more nuanced flavors and aromas instead of strong and smoky, farmers have been fine-tuning the withering and oxidation processes to achieve a more delicate tea.

Because of this, Keemun tea has transformed from a tea blend ingredient in the West to a popular self-drinker in China that is now available through Teasenz!

Region

The tea production region lies between the Yellow Mountains (also known as Huangshan) and the Yangtze River. The beautiful scenery of the region is beloved by poets, painters, philosophers, and tea enthusiasts.

Keemun Tea Benefits

Though loose black tea contains more benefits than a Keemun tea bag, it still has less antioxidants then loose green tea. Never the less, there are still many health benefits to drinking Chinese black tea. First of all, black tea is great as a breakfast tea that could enhance your energy levels for during the day. It's also great to digest a heavy lunch and avoid afternoon dips, without making you crash again like coffee does. Different from coffee, the caffeine in black tea is gradually absorbed by the body and turned into energy. This enhances your concentration as well as muscle endurance. Given that you drink it without sugar, it's great for your waist as well.

In the long-term, regularly drinking black tea can healthy for the heart. It reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases and heart attacks. In addition, it can protect against Parkinson's disease as well as various forms of cancer including skin, lung, stomach, pancreas, prostate, and even ovarian cancer. The first type is related to evidence that this ancient drink to some extend offers protection against UV light.

At last, it's noteworthy to mention that regular consumption of the best Chinese black teas can also protect you against free radicals that can be harmful against the body and slowdown the speed of aging. Find out more about tea health benefits here.

Additional Info
Additional Info
Steeping time 4 min
Steeping temperature 95 °C - 200 °F
Leaves per 500ml / 17oz teapot 2-5 gram
Tablespoons / 500ml (17 oz) 0.5 tbsp
Tea Year 2018
Tea Season Spring
Tea Caffeine Content high
Tea Region Qimen County
Tea Province Anhui
Gluten-free yes
Tea in Chinese 祁门功夫红茶
Reviews
Customer Reviews (5)
Chocolaty
Price
Service
Quality
Rich, sweet, and delicious. As it cools down, I notice more chocolaty notes. Thanks Teasenz for the sample. Review by Melvin Tang (Posted on 9/30/2013)
Rich and Sweet
Price
Service
Quality
I am quiet surprised that Teasenz still hasn't disappointed me with any of their teas. My favorite is this one and that's why I am writing this review. Its taste is incredible, even though I think it's a little pricey. This high grade Keemun selection was good enough to satisfy my desire for Keemun.

I love the scent of the short unbrewed tea leaves. It is a rich, sweet, and earthy smell that seems to belong only to Teasenz' Keemun. I steeped the tea at 205 degrees F for two min. The color of the steeped liquor was golden brown.

As I brought the cup to my lips, I could already smell the savory fragnance. The first sip was absolutely delicious. The taste was sweet, earthy, full-bodied, and very smooth. There was no bitterness to be found. The followings sips….and cups….were at least equally delightful. The second and third cup where the best.
Review by Jack Lee (Posted on 9/30/2013)
My Late Morning or Afternoon Tea
Quality
Price
Service
Nice strong, smoky, complex flavor. I drink it as a stand-alone tea, no sugar, no milk, and also not with food. Unlike others, I don't like to drink drink it as a morning tea, but instead as my second or third cup of the day (late morning/afternoon). Review by Marie (Posted on 1/13/2013)
Earthy and Roasted
Quality
Price
Service
I found it to have a strong earthy and roasted quality to it. It was unlike other black teas I've tried. I'd say if you're looking for a hearty tea for the morning, this would qualify. Review by Nick (Posted on 1/13/2013)
Very Flavorful Black Tea
Quality
Price
Service
A top quality Keemun tea that is pretty much without equal. Very flavorful but still balanced like the Yunnan Gold. A lot of people like it with milk so I tried it also myself. However, I find it doesn't add much dimension to the tea so I prefer it straight. One of the best breakfast teas in my opinion, love it! I would recommend it two people who enjoy a strong cup of black tea with light smoky aroma. Review by Rose (Posted on 1/13/2013)
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