Wine and juicy with a burgundy depth and character. The tea has hints of orchid character.
A reasonably thick reddish liquor.
This Keemun is a particularly fine example of a wine Keemun -very often referred to as the "Bordeaux or Burgundy of Tea". The tea has a thick rich liquor that has an orchid like fragrance -a fragrance that some say can be enhanced with milk. This grade has tightly rolled leaves that promote a deep rich concentrated flavour - in fact when properly stored takes on a deeper wine and mellow character. This is the third highest grade of Keemun that is available, (the two top grades are Hoa Ya A and Hoa Ya B), and is only made during March and April growing months after which the leaf and cup quality are not sufficient to meet the Imperial Mao Feng grade. The name Keemun comes from Qimen county in southern Anhui province, where almost all the mountains are covered with tea bushes. Qimen county produced only green tea until the mid 1870's. Around that time a young man in the civil service lost his job. Despite being totally heartbroken and completely embarrassed by his shame, he remembered what his father told him - `A skill is a better guarantor of a living than precarious officialdom'. Following this advice, the young man packed up his courage and his bags to travel to Fujian Province to learn the secrets of black tea manufacturing. Upon his return to Qimen in 1875 he set up three factories to produce black tea. The black tea method was perfectly suited to the tea leaves produced in this warm moist climate with well drained sandy soil. Before long, the superb flavor of Keemuns became very popular around the world. Despite its relatively short history (for a Chinese tea!) Keemun became world renown by 1915 and in taste tests conducted by the leading tea companies of the day, was preferred over Darjeeling! 1915 also marked another milestone in Imperial Keemun's storied history - it won gold at the International Exposition in Panama. Even though in recent years tea connoisseurs have taken more to Assams and Ceylon black teas, Imperial Keemun Mao Feng remains `king of the black teas".
FOR HOT TEA:
Bring freshly drawn cold water to a rolling boil. Place 1 teaspoon of tea for each cup into teapot. Add boiling water, cover and let steep 3-7 minutes. Add milk and sugar to taste. Also acceptable to drink "Straight Up"
FOR COLD TEA:
*One Quart* Place 6 teaspoons of tea in a heat resistant pitcher. Add 1 1/4 cups of freshly boiled water. Steep 5 minutes. Quarter fill a serving pitcher with ice water. Added steeped tea and fill with ice water. Garnish and sweeten to taste. (Please note: Top quality tea may cloud when iced (it is okay) due to their high polyphenol levels).