This Keemun is a particularly fine example of a wine-y Keemun, very often referred to as the Bordeaux or Burgundy of Tea.Ā The tea has a thick, rich liquor that has an orchid-like fragrance, a fragrance some say can be enhanced with milk. This grade has tightly rolled leaves that promote a deep, rich, concentrated flavor. In fact, when this tea is properly stored it takes on a deeper wine-y and mellow character. This is the third highest grade of Keemun available and is only made during March and April growing months. After this time, the plants produce tea that does not meet the leaf and cup quality that is sufficient to meet the Imperial Mao Feng grade.
The name Keemun comes from Qimen County in the southern Anhui province of China. Almost all the mountains are covered with tea bushes, although Qimen County produced green tea just until the mid 1870Ās. 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: ĀA skill is a better guarantor of a living than precarious officialdom.Ā 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 shops 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. In fact, it is reported that the Queen of England counts upon Imperial Keemun Mao Feng as one of her teas of choice.