Originally from the An Hui province in southern China, where its name originates from the ‘Qi Men’ country of Huangshan Shi, Kee Mun is regarded as one of the three most fragrant teas in existence with taste that is considered matchless.
Kee Mun tea, a black Chinese tea, was developed during the Qing Dynasty in China around 1875. It was first produced by Yu Qianchen, a failed civil servant, who returned to his roots in the Fujian province to become educated in the processes of creating black tea. Because of the trade routes at this time, Kee Mun became widely known in England, and its popularity spread around the world. It is now the main ingredient of the English Breakfast tea blend, and can be served with milk, sugar or just plain black.
Other names: Chinese: Kee Mun is also known as Qi Men Hong Cha, QiMen Hong and Qi Hong.
Appearance: The Kee Mun leaves are long, thin and tightly curled; characteristic black tea leaves. They give off a brilliant reddish hue in the cup.
Taste/Aroma: Kee Mun black tea offers a little bit of everything. It emanates a wonderfully complex combination of floral and fruity aroma, which translates into the distinctive flavors infused into your cup. In addition, one can sense a hint of pine and the so-called Chinese tea ‘sweetness’. The taste is also very full-bodied and strong, with a slight toasted feel.
Origin: Qi Men, An Hui Province, China
Brewing Guide: 1 to 2 teaspoon (2 grams) of tea leaves is recommended for every 150ml (5 oz) of water. Ideal water temperature is 100°c (212°F). For the first and second brewing, leaves should be steeped for about one minute. Gradually increase water temperature and steeping time for subsequent brewing. It is also recommended that you use porcelain or glass-based teaware. Warm the steeping vessels by rinsing them with hot water prior to brewing.
Brewing methods vary widely by tea and individual preferences. The brewing instruction above is a only a simple guideline but will produce an excellent cup nonetheless. As with any tea, do experiment and do share with us your brewing techniques to get the best out of this tea.