Organic Imperial Keemun Mao Feng Sacred Garden is winey and juicy with a very clean cup that has depth and character. The tea almost has a natural orchid character. This Chinese black tea has a reasonably thick reddish liquor.
We used to call this Organic Imperial Keemun Mao Feng Sacred Garden Tea.
Country of Origin: China
Region: Qimen County, 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: Winey and juicy with a very clean cup that has depth and character. The tea almost has a natural orchid character
Infusion: A reasonably thick reddish liquor
Information: 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 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.
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). Even though milk and a dash of sugar help enhance the flavor character on this tea, it is perfectly acceptable to consume this tea 'straight-up'.
Iced tea brewing method (to make 1 liter/quart): Place 6 teaspoons of tea into a teapot or heat resistant pitcher. Pour 1 1/4 cups of freshly boiled water over the tea. Steep for 5 minutes. Quarter fill a serving pitcher with cold water. Pour the tea into your serving pitcher straining the leaves. Add ice and top-up the pitcher with cold water. Garnish and sweeten to taste. [A rule of thumb when preparing fresh brewed iced tea is to double the strength of hot tea since it will be poured over ice and diluted with cold water]. Please note that this tea may tend to go cloudy or 'milky' when poured over ice; a perfectly normal characteristic of some high quality black teas and nothing to worry about!