Produced in Anhui province since 1875, this tea has become synonymous with quality Chinese black tea. It was apparently one of the key base teas for the original English Breakfast blend before Indian tea was used by the blenders.
This is the finest grade of Keemun. It is made from the 'Xiao' (small) pickings of 50-year-old trees grown in Qimen and hand-rolled before drying. This creates a much more complex taste and smoother texture than the standard 'Keemun Maofeng' which is not hand-rolled, as we discovered in the video above.
The Zu Ye Zhong cultivar used to create Keemun supposedly contains an aldehyde called Myrcenal which is a derivative of the terpene Myrcene. Myrcene is a wonderful terpene with flavour and effects. It is found in large quantities in plants such as cannabis, hops and mangoes. It has a calming effect and can regulate the permeability of cell membranes to molecules that stimulate the endocannabinoid system.
The flavour of Myrcene is fruity and earthy with a clove-like sweetness. It is hard to find references for the flavour profile of Myrcenal, however, this tea has a very earthy, ripe fruit flavour. This is complemented by high levels of another terpene called Geraniol which gives a slightly zesty piney and floral aroma - think geraniums and citrusy roses.
A really balanced and moreish Black tea worthy of its reputation and history.
In order to extract a richer and more fruity brew with less dryness, we recommend trying to brew at 75 degrees Celsius (165 F) for one minute instead of using the standard brewing parameters for Gong Fu Brewing. Add 10 seconds per infusion. Watch us try this method in this video.