KEEMUN 3 MONKEY
(China Special Black Tea)
Country of Origin: China
Region: Qimen County, Anhui Province (home of the original keemun)
Shipping Port: Shanghai
Grade: 3 Monkey
Altitude: 2000 - 3000 feet above sea level
Manufacture Type: Special Keemun orthodox
Cup Characteristics: A complex and subtle flavour that is aromatic and penetrating without being lush or floral.
Infusion: Bright tending reddish
Ingredients: Luxury black tea.
Of all the Chinese black teas the ones most familiar to the West are
commonly called ‘congou teas.’ The two principal divisions are north
China congou and south China congou. The north China congous - from the
provinces of Kiangsu, Anhui and Hunan were all typical English breakfast
style teas. The most famous of these congous are the keemuns. The 3
Monkey Keemun though not the best keemun produced (the best keemun is
grade Hoa Ya A) is noted for its excellent value and deep rich flavor.
The aroma of 3 Monkey is somewhat difficult to describe. One is tempted
to describe the subtle scents with that of long unopened jewelry boxes,
with hints of incense or distant pine.
The Chinese say that the bouquet of 3 Monkey is like the perfume of an
orchid and the less poetic will say that it is like toast hot from the
oven. It has been suggested that the reason 3 Monkey is a classic
English breakfast tea is that its fragrance is brought out by the
addition of milk.
In any event the thick reddish liquor from the fine, tightly rolled
leaves of this superb tea have a deep, rich concentrated flavor,
reminiscent of the fine qualities of Burgundy wine. Keemun is the
best-keeping of China black teas and will keep for years, and if well
stored take on a mellow winy character
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’.