Country of Origin: China
Region: Anhui Province
Shipping Port: Shanghai
Grade: Imperial Keemun Mao Feng Sacred Garden
Altitude: up to 5000 feet above sea level
Manufacture Type: Orthodox
Cup Characteristics: A high quality Keemun with a winey, juicy, clean
cup. Thick reddish liquor has bouquet evoking an orchid character.
Infusion: A reasonably thick reddish liquor.
Ingredients: Luxury black tea
This Keemun is a particularly fine example of a winey 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 winey 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 tealeaves produced in this warm moist climate with
well-drained sandy soil. Before long, the superb flavor of Keemuns
became very popular around the world. In fact, it is reported that the
Queen of England counts upon Imperial Keemun Mao Feng as one of her teas
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 Sacred Garden remains ‘king of the black teas”.
Hot tea brewing method: Bring freshly drawn cold water to a rolling
boil. Place 1 teaspoon of tea for each cup into the teapot. Pour the
boiling water into the teapot. Cover and let steep for 3-7 minutes
according to taste (the longer the steeping time the stronger the tea).
Milk and a dash of sugar help capture the complex nature of this tea,
but it is also perfectly acceptable to consume this tea ‘straight-up’.