Keemun black tea and brewing methods

by Brooke Davis April 25, 2016

Keemun black tea and brewing methods

Keemun tea is short for China Keemun black tea. Its main producing areas are mainly distributed in Anhui province, including Counties of Qimen (Keemun), Dongzhi, Guichi, Yi, as well as Fuliang County in Jiangxi province. When talking about tea quality (taste), the teas from Likou, Shanli and Pingli towns of Qimen County are believed to be the best.

The premium Keemun tea is noted for tightly twisted tea leaves which appear black bloom and can produce bright reddish (brown) liquid and smooth and delicate flavor. The major elements most detected are notes of orchid/rose flower which is known as Keemun Fragrance (祁门香) with which Keemun black tea has gained a lot of attention home and abroad.

Keemun black teas are highly welcome on the international market, especially in Britain it has been complimented as "the most beautiful lady". As a national gift tea for many years in China, Keemun tea have been exported to Britain, Netherlands, Germany, Japan and Russia as well as other dozens of countries and regions.

Types of Keemun black tea

Keemun black teas can be roughly divided into two types in term of process method.

1. Congou Tea

Basic processing:

The tea after having been processing with the above steps is called Raw tea or Primary tea which can be used for drinking directly.

Deep processing (Refining):

Generally, all steps above are carried out by machines nowadays, so most of the finished teas are less expensive and suitable for exporting.

Gongfu black tea is the traditional type. As to its process method, not much has changed since it had been invented.

2. Handmade Keemun black tea:

The other type is hand-made Keemun black tea which is invented in 1990s by reference to the processing procedures of famous Huang Shan Mao Feng/ Bi Luo Chun tea. This new-type is also named as “famous high-quality tea 名优茶” in China.

Lu'an Guapian

In fact, as you can see the most of the processing steps of both types are not quite different except for the refined steps.

Lu'an Guapian

Brewing guidance

Simple way:

  1. Heat the water to boil.
  2. Place 3g of Keemun tea in your tea pot.
  3. Pour 150 ml boiling water over the tea leaves.
  4. Let them brewed for 45s.
  5. Sieve and pour in cups.



Tips: To better appreciate its flavors and tastes all sidedly, we suggest you sniffing the fragrance slowly first instead of drinking them immediately. By this way, you can experience the amazing feelings brought by its unique “Keemun Fragrance” and wonderful taste.

GongFu way:

Tea set

Keemun black tea is perfect for light drinking (without addition of milk, sugar, etc.). Purple clay and white porcelain tea set are recommended to brew black tea in traditional Chinese way.

Tea amount and water

Tea and water should be in a proportion of 1to 50 and the brewing temperature is about 85-90 ℃.


  1. Prepare tea tools: Tea pot, Serving Cups, drinking cups, fragrance-smelling cups. Put your tea caddy and the “Six things for Gongfu tea ceremony” on the right side of your tea tray with your tea kettle on the left hand side.
  2. Appreciate dry leaves.
  3. Rinse and warm up vessel: Pour heated water to your justice up and tea cups from tea pot.
  4. Put tea into tea pot: Put Keemun black tea and tea water in your tea pot according to the recommended proportion (1:50).
  5. Rinse tea: Lift your tea pot with your right hand and pout water into tea pot until it nearly overflows then scrap off bubbles swimming on the water gently with the lid in your left hand. Then cover it with the lid.
  6. 6. First brew: let it brewed for 1 minute then pour tea liquid in the serving cup. (You can pour them in the fragrance-smelling cups to smell its aroma through serving cup. Please note that: For better experience, the tea in the fragrance-smelling cup should be about70% of volume).
  7. Cover the aroma cup with your tasting cup by inverting the tasting cup so that the pair resembles a mushroom. Hold the pair together with thumb and middle finger.
  8. Flip the fragrance-smelling cup and tasting cup pair, so that the aroma cup is facing downward, into the tasting cup.
  9. Lift the fragrance-smelling vertically, out of the tasting cup, leaving the tea in the tasting cup. Waft the aroma cup to give it some air. Put fragrance-smelling close to your nose in a rotating emotion and then sink your nose into the fragrance-smelling cup and enjoy the fragrance.
  10. Pouring and enjoying.

Brooke Davis
Brooke Davis


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