An In-Depth Profile of Keemun Tea
There are more types of tea than you could shake a stick at.
So, if you have heard about Keemun tea, you may have been rather curious about this tea.
Is it a superior blend? Does it have health benefits? How is it different from other kinds of tea?
Well, all your questions are about to be answered.
Here is what you need to know about this type of tea…
What is Keemun Tea?
Keemun tea is a type of black tea and belongs to the Camellia sinensis family.
The name – Keemun – is an Anglicized version of Qimen, a small town where the tea was originally grown.
The unique taste of the tea made it quite famous, making it a favorite among royal families.
Even today, Keemun tea is an important ingredient in English breakfast tea.
This tea also has the distinction of being named one of the best tasting black teas in the world.
The Families Keemun Black Tea
Keemun Hao Ya A and B
These are two of the best Keemun teas.
The leaves are small, thin, and slightly twisted.
They are sorted by hand both before and after processing.
The A and the B categories are typically meant for US processing purposes.
It is unlikely that the teas will be referred to as such within China.
Keemun Mao Feng
The Mao Feng leaves are larger than the Hao Ya plants.
Those plucking the tea focus on the two small leaves and the bud.
This is what gives this tea its rich flavor.
Mao Feng is one of the rarest types of tea. This is because it is processed just once a year.
As a result, it can be rather difficult to find producers of this tea, even in China.
With Keemun Congou, pluckers only pick one leaf and the bud.
These leaves are specially twisted before they are oxidized.
There are four distinct grades – Dan Gui, Golden Crab, Golden Monkey, and King of Golden Needles.
The Grades of Qimen Black Tea
Of course, not all Keemun tea is of the same caliber.
There are up to 10 grades of Keemun tea.
These are categorized by:
- Size and shape of tea leaf
- Presence of buds
- Color of tea water
- Color and appearance of brewed tea leaves
Bear in mind that truly high-grade Keemun tea leaves are quite expensive.
Furthermore, they will typically be packaged as loose leaf teas.
Thus, if you find cheaper tea leaves or Keemun tea bags, you should be aware that they may be of a lower grade.
What Does Keemun Tea Taste Like?
What is most intriguing about Keemun tea is its flavor profile.
It is quite unlike many other types of tea.
This tea is often described as with floral and sweet notes.
Certain types of Keemun actually have natural cocoa undertones as well.
The delicious Keemun tea flavor has won this blend numerous awards of the year.
As with any tea, the flavor can vary from one region and manufacturer to another.
The location and growing conditions of the tea can have an impact on the resulting flavor.
Keemun Tea Benefits
So, are there health benefits to this Chinese tea?
Well, since Keemun is a sub-set of black tea, it has many of the same advantages.
As such, there is a chance that it could help with the following:
- Reducing risk of heart disease
- Lowering bad cholesterol
- Preventing stroke
- Lowering blood pressure
- Improving digestive system health
- Lowering blood sugar levels
In particular, Keemun teas showcase antioxidant activity.
This helps to reduce any kind of cell or tissue damage carried out by free radicals.
As a result, this helps to boost your health as a whole.
It should be noted that higher grade Keemun teas had a higher level of antioxidants and healthful components.
Thus, it is best to buy higher quality teas for the best health benefits.
There is also some evidence that this tea could be involved in liver health.
In particular, it may help to prevent liver damage.
It is believed that Keemun tea may also be able to aid in weight loss.
Animal tests showed that drinking this tea could increase weight loss while simultaneously reducing hunger.
It can reduce triglyceride levels in the blood as well.
What You Should Know About Drinking Keemun Tea
Since Keemun tea is a true tea, it contains caffeine.
Consuming an excess of caffeine can lead to restlessness, irritability, and changes to your sleep patterns.
Due to this, you need to limit your consumption of Keemun tea.
If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, taking medication, or have been diagnosed with a specific medical condition, it is best to consult your doctor before enjoying this drink.
Brewing Keemun Black Tea
Despite being a black tea, there are different brewing instructions for Keemum tea.
For one thing, it is best to use a higher ratio of leaves to water.
This produces a better tasting tea.
You should use filtered, fresh, cold water as this will allow the flavor to be truly appreciated.
Make sure that the water is not too hot. Otherwise, you could end up scorching the tea and destroying the liquer.
At the same time, this tea is often allowed to steep for a longer period of time.
You may need to allow the leaves to steep for up to five minutes for the flavors to fully emerge.
With high quality Keemun black teas, you can re-steep the tea leaves.
This is what you need to know about the world-famous Keemun black tea. As you can see, it is a rather fascinating and exquisite blend.
It is certainly something that every dedicated tea drinker should try at least once.
Dr. Dheena Sadik
Consultant Nutritionist and Dietician
Dr. Dheena Sadik is a consultant Nutritionist and Dietician. She has over a decade of experience in the health and fitness industry. However, her love for tea began long before she understood the health benefits of tea. Growing up in Sri Lanka, Dheena had the privilege of being surrounded by the world-famous Ceylon tea. This is what got her started on her exploration of the various types of tea. She has now extensively tasted and examined teas from all over the world.