Black Tea / Estate Tea - China, Keemun 011 OP
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Black Tea / Estate Tea - China, Keemun 011 OP

Keemun, has been the colonial English spelling, and pronounced of Quimen tea since colonial times. It is pronounced Kei-Moon in Cantonese, and called qímén hóngchá  (Quimen red tea) in Pinyin, the official phonetic system for transcribing Mandarin pronunciations of Chinese characters into the Latin alphabet in China, Taiwan, and Singapore.

Originally created for the European export trade in 1875, Keemun, black trea, from Central Eastern China quickly became the country's #1 export tea by the end of the 19th Century.  There was a time when Keemuns were sold as English Breakfast teas, but today they rarely make up more than a portion of an English Breakfast blend, where India Assam is most blenders’ tea of choice for the American market.

In the nose Keemun displays a sweet floral fragrance akin to that of orchid. English style brewing is done at high temperature; here, the tea brews full-strength to a deep reddish brown. There is a sweetness, of prune like richness that creates the very recognizable maltiness in the taste. This aromatic fruity black tea is occasionally called the Burgundy of China teas because of its sometimes winey character.

The English enjoy Keemun with milk and sugar, while the Chinese prefer it plain.

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