One of the most consumed teas in the world because it is an essential part for the blend of black tea known as ‘English Breakfast’. Although Qimen is a relatively young tea (it was created in 1875), it has gained a lot of popularity both domestically and outside of China. This particular Keemun is grown in Qimen county, Anhui province, and it combines the fruitiness that is characteristic of black teas from Yunnan or Darjeeling with notes of pine, citrus and a few smoky dabs.
Why we like it?
Qimen may be of special interest to all those tea aficionados who like their beverage strong and dark. It can deliver a substantial caffeine punch that can help you stay alert and focused. It has a distinct fruity smell (plums and dried peaches) with notes of pine, citrus and just a hint of smokiness. Finally, black teas in general, and Keemun in particular combine perfectly with chocolate, cookies, and other snacks, which makes it an excellent mealtime beverage.
Roman’s personal score: 75/100
Miha’s personal score: 81/100
The scores above represent how the Daoli co-founders Miha and Roman feel about each particular tea. The ratings are given on 0 to 100 scale and are absolutely subjective. We simply translate into numbers our first impression about this tea.
General steeping suggestions
Tea can be steeped in a tea pot, gaiwan, or a strainer placed right in your cup. Feel free to experiment with time, temperature, and quantity. If tea feels a bit strong or bitter, just use less leaves or steep it for a shorter period of time.
The purpose of the first brew is to rinse the leaves, so it shouldn’t last more than five seconds and should be discarded. Pour the hot water again. This time, steep it for longer periods. Avoid leaving the leaves soaking in water between brews, because it makes tea taste bitter and steals a lot of its flavor. If used properly, about six grams of tea leaves can yield several middle-size cups of excellent tea.
Chinese people enjoy the original taste of tea, so they never use milk, sugar, or lemon.
Gongfu steeping suggestions for qimen
Start with this, then experiment:
- one serving: 6 grams (0.2oz – about 1 tsp)
- water: ~ 90 °C, 100-250 ml (~ 195°F, 3-9oz)
- time: 60-180+ seconds
- number of infusions: 5-7
- discard the first brew
Notes of citrus and pines will fade gradually, but nice mellownes will remain throughout all brews. Start with 60 seconds then gradually extend steeping time. At the very end, you can safely steep this qimen for as long as four minutes and it will not turn bitter.
Have you tried this tea? Do you have any comments? Please use the space below to share your thoughts and ask us questions.