Keemun tea (祁门红茶, Qí Mén Hóng Chá) also called Qimen black tea or Qi Hong is a kind of Chinese black tea and it belongs to Gongfu black tea. Keemun tea is one of the top 10 famous Chinese tea and is native to the Qimen County in Huangshan City of Anhui Province.
Keemun tea is one of the best Chinese black tea. With a high reputation, Keemun tea has a laudatory title of “The Queen of The Black Tea”.
Table of Contents
- History of Keemun Tea
- Growth Environment of Keemun Tea
- Processing of Keemun Tea
- Characteristics of Keemun Tea
- Types of Keemun Tea
- Benefits of Keemun Tea
History of Keemun Tea
Keemun tea has a history of more than 100 years. In 1875, the Qimen people learned the processing technology of black tea from other provinces and created Keemun tea.
In 1876, due to the superior natural environment in Qimen County, the quality of Keemun tea is outstanding. Therefore, the production area was expanding, its yield was increasing, and its reputation was getting better and better.
Soon afterward, Keemun tea attracted great attention from tea merchants in the international black tea market. The Japanese called it “Rose” and the British businessman called it “Keemun”.
In 1980, Keemun tea won the national quality product medal.
In 1983, Keemun tea was awarded the National Export Commodity Quality Honorary Certificate and mainly exported to dozens of countries and regions, such as Britain, Netherlands, Germany, Japan, Russia, etc. It has been China’s national tea for many years.
Growth Environment of Keemun Tea
Qimen County has a long history of tea production. As early as the Tang Dynasty (618-907), there was a very prosperous tea market.
The landform of Qimen County is dominated by mountains and hills. The growth environment of Keemun tea is superior in natural conditions, with many mountains and trees, warm and humid climate, deep soil, abundant rainfall, and cloud cover, which is very suitable for the growth of tea trees.
In addition, the local tea trees have rich content and high enzyme activity, which is very suitable for producing Gongfu black tea.
Processing of Keemun Tea
The picking standard of Keemun tea is strict because the high-quality Keemun tea should be made from the more tender fresh leaves of which each is one bud with one leaf or one bud with two leaves.
This step includes withering, rolling, fermenting, drying, and other processes. All of those processes mainly make the fresh leaves turn from green to copper red, tea body into strips.
Fermenting is a very important step in producing black tea, and it is the key to determine the quality of Keemun tea. After fermenting, the leaves turn red and form the characteristics of red leaves and red liquid.
Refining includes dozens of complex processes, which is the reason Keemun tea is called Keemun Gongfu tea. Gongfu means “many tasks to do”.
Refining is mainly to sort out the length, thickness, weight of the tea leaves, and remove impurities. The fragrance of refined Keemun tea is long-lasting. It is like the fruity or orchid fragrance.
Characteristics of Keemun Tea
The main characteristics of Keemun tea are as follows: the shape is tight and thin; the color is brownish red and looks shiny; the fragrance is long-lasting, like fruit and orchid fragrance, which is specially called “Keemun fragrance”; the color of the tea liquid is red and clear; the taste is mellow and has an aftertaste.
Keemun tea is made by three main processes and twelve particular processes. According to its quality, shape, color, and taste, Keemun tea can be classified into 10 grades.
The higher the grade of Keemun tea, the neater the shape, the brighter the color, and the stronger the fragrance.
Types of Keemun Tea
Keemun tea is just a collective term. The black tea produced in Qimen County is called “Keemun tea”.
The most common Keemun tea is traditional Keemun Gongfu tea, which is also the earliest Keemun tea. Later, people invented other types of Keemun black tea based on the technical methods of other teas.
The three musketeers of Keemun tea refer to Huangshan Jin Hao, Qihong Mao Feng, Qihong Xiang Luo.
Huangshan Jin Hao
Huangshan Jin Hao is the first of the three musketeers. Jin Hao means “golden hair”. In the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Huangshan Jin Hao is called Jin Yu Xiang Ming (Gold Jade Fragrant Tea), which disappeared after the collapse of the Ming Dynasty.
Four hundred years later, in the 20th century, according to the historical records, people kept searching for the classical processing technology of Jin Yu Xiang Ming.
And finally, they got the classical technology from an elder who was over ninety years old. After many years of practice, the imperial tribute tea of the emperor of the Ming Dynasty was reappeared. It was renamed “Huangshan Jin Hao”.
Qihong Mao Feng
Qihong Mao Feng is a high-quality tea of Keemun tea. Mao Feng means “hair peak”. The processing of Qihong Mao Feng is more elaborate and is more fragrant than the traditional Keemun black tea.
Qihong Xiang Luo
Qihong Xiang Luo is a new famous tea of Keemun tea. Xiang Luo means “fragrant spiral shell”. Its tea leaves are curly in shape. Qihong Xiang Luo was highly praised by South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, and other countries.
Benefits of Keemun Tea
Keemun tea can provide abundant amino acids, vitamins, carotene, trace elements, etc.
Benefits of Keemun tea: