Anhui Keemun

Tea type
Black Tea
Not available
Dark Chocolate, Cocoa, Malt, Pepper, Smoke, Bitter, Fruity, Bread, Leather, Wood
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Loose Leaf, Sachet
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Ilya Kreymerman
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 7 g 14 oz / 422 ml

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30 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I’m in awe of this tea. It’s smells like dark leather, horses, tobacco. It’s buttery smooth, sexy, strong. The difference between this tea and cheaper teas in my opinion is that you need just a...” Read full tasting note
  • “Auggy sent me this one, and I’ve been putting off trying it. I was warned that it was a pretty expensive tea and I then made the mistake of looking up the price. NEVER DO THAT! Following that I’ve...” Read full tasting note
  • “I’ve got lots and lots of new teas to try (my cupboard went from 87 to 123 in just two days – I might have made a few tea orders… just maybe) and I’ve set aside today to do nothing but relax, rest...” Read full tasting note
  • “HAPPY NANOWRIMO, WRIMOS! Are any of you participating, this year? Are any of you ALREADY pulling your hair out? I am! Seriously, why did I wait until the last second to come up with a premise?...” Read full tasting note

From Adagio Teas

Keemun is perhaps the most famous of Chinese tea varieties, prized for its toasty, dark chocolate flavor and slightly smoky aroma. Our finest, hand-made version of this tea brews to a fiery, reddish color with incense smokiness, and aroma of brown sugar and earthy fruitiness. The mouthfeel is textured and layered with incredible depth, possessing the sweetness of dates, brightness of black pepper, the warmth of fresh biscuits and notes of smooth earthy cocoa. The Anhui Keemun is not to be missed!

About Adagio Teas View company

Adagio Teas has become one of the most popular destinations for tea online. Its products are available online at and in many gourmet and health food stores.

30 Tasting Notes

336 tasting notes

I’m in awe of this tea. It’s smells like dark leather, horses, tobacco. It’s buttery smooth, sexy, strong. The difference between this tea and cheaper teas in my opinion is that you need just a tiny bit for a strong cup of tea and you can do multiple infusions and every time it will taste good.

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 15 sec

I can’t stop rereading those first three sentences. Sounds soooooo good. Now I’m craving Keemun!


I know that the price might seem discouraging but the tea leaves are tiny and you really need so little for a good cup of tea that this in fact is a fair deal because the tea will last for a long time. Besides, you can’t put a price on a satisfaction or well being or mood uplifted :)


Okay, that made me go and look at the price and it is expensive. But I’ve spent almost that much on a much smaller amount of tea before so price won’t stop me (though perhaps my husband would appreciate it if it did). Though I may get a sample first just to make sure I love it! :)

Seth Collins

Your review really makes me want to try some, and I probably will have to now haha. Thanks!


Ha, ha … I would also like to mention that I’ve been drinking this tea for quite some time and I don’t get “tired” of it. I’m alway in the mood for more.


Just thought I’d share – my Adagio came yesterday. You know, the order you forced me make when you posted this log? Yeah, that one. ;)


Ha, ha …. “forced you” Did you like it?


I haven’t tried it yet – I’m waiting for this weekend so I can give it full attention – but it smells like buttery-smooth leather covered in dark chocolate so all signs are pointing to a very nice cup!

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1353 tasting notes

Auggy sent me this one, and I’ve been putting off trying it. I was warned that it was a pretty expensive tea and I then made the mistake of looking up the price. NEVER DO THAT! Following that I’ve spent a lot of time being scared of it. What if I oversteeped it like mad and ruined the leaves?! O.O At that price you’d think they were made of diamonds!

I would like to say that I was feeling brave today and decided to make it but that’s not true. I just wanted something I hadn’t tried before, really, while also being something that might kickstart my aching brain. (Slept in too long, slight headache) So here we are. With a cup of tea comparable, in price, to liquid platinum… Oh dear.

The aroma isn’t as strong as I had initially expected. Full, but not very loud. I’m getting a lot of that grain-y note and some dark cocoa. Also, weirdly, something creamy. It’s not cream, but it’s got sort of like that quality a smell can have when a bit of cream is added to it. Slightly sweet and smooth and a little fat. It really does have a very sweet aroma over all which I think have to do with the grain note primarily.

At the first sip I got a bit of a surprise. The aroma had led me to believe I was about to encounter something unbelievably smooth and creamy and I had completely forgotten about the semi-smoky aspect of Keemun. Probably because there aren’t any smoky notes in the aroma. So at first I went O.o and then I went ‘aaaaah…!’

So yes, there is the mild smokyness up front and underneath that there it is. The creamy smoothness. And it really is creamy! It feels all thick in the mouth and everything.

First I’m getting the mild smoke and then the thickness and finally the grain. There’s a sort of earthy, dusty aftertaste building up here that kind of reminds me of floral scented teas. That seems a bit out of place to me, completely unexpected.

I can’t find any of the cocoa that the aroma had, but I’m getting tons and tons of the creamyness. I haven’t added milk to the cup but I could have sworn, in a blind tasting, that there was milk in it.

It seems that Auggy was really getting a lot more out of it than I am, and I blame our differences in steeping. I tend to go for a much shorter steep with more leaf (although I still don’t think I use enough leaf to call it gong fu) and I’m thinking I’ll try and do a longer steep the second time around on these leaves. See what else comes out.


The steeping making a difference makes total sense. When I’ve had this, I went with more of Adagio’s recommended (3min) than what works so well for CTG’s Keemun (1min). I’ve tried CTG’s at a longer steep (good but not as good as at a shorter steep) but I still need to try this one at a shorter steep. I must do some parameter mixing and matching and see what happens!


I have the leaves standing around while I’m trying to get around to getting a second steep underway. I always start at 1 minute for a black, but I think I might press it all the way up to two on the second one this time.


There is indeed a lot less creamyness and a bit more roughness around the edges on the second go around. Fits rather well with this box of chocolates that totally accidentally keeps on throwing its contents into my mouth completely without me being able to stop it. (No really! I’m being forced to eat chocolates here!)

Thomas Smith

Hmm, this has me taking another look at Adagio. Haybe I’ll have to go and try their “Masters” teas.

Now I’m really curious what you might think of Tea Spring’s Xian Zhen Keemun.


I shall check that one out the next time I place a TeaSpring order. I’ve tried their Hao Ya A which I really liked, but it was a bit out of my league price-wise, so I’m definitely going to explore their Keemun selection. Thanks for the tip! :)


I MUST place a TeaSpring order and soon. That’s just all there is to it.


I checked the price of the Xian Zhen. It’s even MORE expensive than the Hao Ya A… headdesk 25g sample it is.

Thomas Smith

It’s really tasty. Think I’ll work up a review this afternoon.

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911 tasting notes

I’ve got lots and lots of new teas to try (my cupboard went from 87 to 123 in just two days – I might have made a few tea orders… just maybe) and I’ve set aside today to do nothing but relax, rest and make a slight dent in my new teas (and watch Project Runway). This is the first tea up today, mostly because Chicago Tea Garden’s Keemun has made me rediscover my massive Keemun love and inguna’s logs make this one sound delicious, so I have been stupidly excited about trying this one.

First off, it smells awesome. Like the softest leather coated in super-dark chocolate. Brewed up, the smell gets a bit stronger on the chocolate/earthy/dark/damp but sweet notes show up, too and it just smells so rich and thick and smooth. I could smell this all day.

I was pretty tempted to follow CTG’s steeping time for this one (they give 1-2mintues for their Keemun while Adagio gives 3-5minutes) because these dry leaves smell just as complex as CTG’s and so I want to treat them the same. But I went ahead and follow Adagio’s suggestion this time and maybe I’ll play a shorter steep next time, mostly because I think this will have enough complexity going on to be interesting, not simply weak, with a shorter steep time.

Anyway, sipping time. OMG, so good. The taste is strong and bold with a sweet earthy, syrupy richness with a hint of smoke in the end of the sip. It’s very smooth and silky feeling and leaves the loveliest aftertaste, something almost floral? As I sip, I keep thinking of two different teas – one CTG’s Keemun because, hello, both really good, complex, flavorful Keemuns and two – Makai Black. Yeah, okay, I know that one sounds like a bit of a stretch but Makai Black (either version) gives a good, thick, sweet-but-not-sugary rye-syrup or barley-syrup type note and this one has something similar going on – not exactly the same, but a great, rich syrupy feel/taste of something dark and tasty. Uhm, and I just looked at Adagio’s tasting notes and it says ‘molasses’ so okay, maybe I’m not that crazy then. It feels a bit richer/darker than molasses to me but whatever, we’ll say molasses.

This is really good. This one and CTG’s Keemun (which I love and adore so) are neck and neck as far as delicious and much loved Keemun tastes. This one tastes stronger, but then it was steeped longer than what CTG suggests for their version. This one also might be a little heavier/smoother/richer by a little but that might be the longer steep time again. Considering the price difference, CTG’s version is a must-have daily-drinker where this one would have to be a bit more special occasion but taste-wise, I’m thinking they are not too far off.

This is one seriously tasty Keemun. I’m really tempted to give it a perfect score right now, but I have to wait to make sure the tastiness is easily repeatable (I have a feeling it will be) because picky teas piss me off. But this is a must-try tea for any Keemun lover.

(Screw it. I just did a second steep (also at 3:00) and it’s so delicious. Full points right now.)

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

This one and the yunnan golden curls from Adagio are both driving me wild with ordering desire!!!!


GAH! The European Adagio branch doesn’t have this either. They haven’t got anything!
I’ve got one from TeaSpring though which is also very nice. (Especially when not made accidentally double strength)


Jacqueline – I have the Yunnan Golden Curls to try too! Hopefully I’ll be able to try them out today without OD’ing on caffeine!
Angrboda – I’m like the worst responder ever to PMs because I suck but yeah, sending you one now. :)


Phew …really glad you are not disappointed.


Definitely not disappointed – this is a great one! It’s no wonder you love it so!


Woo. Another one for the list…


Definitely! It’s really a fantastic tea. Hmm, maybe I want some Keemun now that my EG is gone…….

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158 tasting notes


Are any of you participating, this year? Are any of you ALREADY pulling your hair out?

I am!

Seriously, why did I wait until the last second to come up with a premise? Whooo! Today is going to be interesting!

I apologize in advance. I’m totally more interested in making this a steepster shout-out to NaNoWriMo participants than an actual tasting note, which is a flagrant abuse of the steepster system of tasting notes. However, let me make a token effort:

This is a delicious Keemun, but weak the way I steeped it. It got dark so fast that I worried and yanked the basket out of the cup early…but reading Auggy’s note, I think I ought to have let it sit bravely for some further period of time. Smoky and leathery, not astringent in the least, with depth. It lacks the fruity peachy flavors of CTG’s Keemun, which is the one I’m most inclined to compare it to, and I’m not sure whether or not I prefer the other to this — this one seems just slightly less complex. Again, could be a result of understeeping, and likely is.

Now, with that out of the way…

If anybody is doing NaNo, they ought to get at me in PMs or comments! I’m collecting writing buddies, of course, to cheer me on, and be cheered on. ;)

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec

lol I have no clue what you’re even talking about. You loose me til you mention Keemun.



Me, I am! I’m Angrboda there also. I’m such a rebel, continuing last year’s plot, so hopefully I’ll have a full first draft by the end of the month. I will finish this damn thing and get it ready for re-writing if it’s the last thing I do!
I’ve had a relatively good start though, and I have taken this whole week off as holiday from work so I can really get some stuff down. I’m aiming for 5K by the end of today. :)


And, I am sophistre there. So add meh!

Cofftea: NaNoWriMo is the shorthand for National Novel Writing Month. It begins today and runs until the 30th, and the goal is to write 50,000 words of a new novel over that period of time. There are meet-ups and ‘write-ins’ that take place in various regions, and celebratory parties when it’s over. It’s a good time.

Not everyone writes on a new project, even though that’s in the rules. I have a friend who’s just working on her current novel, too…but that’s okay! She’s getting her writing in and using the excitement to inspire her to keep plugging away, so she still wins in her own way.


I think this is the second time I’m rebelling. Was supposed to do it last year too, but then I couldn’t for the life of me figure out where I had been going with that story. I could remember that I’d had some awesome ideas for gathering all the loose ends and such, but it was just completely gone. And then I got this idea instead and put the other on the backburner. :) Besides when I haven’t touched it for almost a year, it feels almost like a brand new things. :)
I’ll add you as soon as the site gets over the November First Syndrome and actually loads. :D


Ooh oooh! I’m loving your title for obvious reasons. :D


Oh wow, Angr! I just groggily checked your word count this morning — you are FLYING, huh?

And thanks. :) I like it too. I’m sort of writing by the seat of my pants this month, but hey! Hopefully I turn out something worthwhile. It won’t be anything like the story of its namesake (though there is an epic Ragnarok-ish flood planned, I think).


I’m still only fourth of my buddies…

It’s a fairly typical first day of holiday result for me. I always take a week off in november to dedicated to NaNo and getting ahead, but the problem is by the end of the week I’ll be more or less burned out and it’ll be a snail’s pace between 25 and 40K. :)

But yeah. Hopefully this year I shall beat Sinfuldraconis. I know her from elsewhere on the net and we have evolved a bit of a competitive streak when it comes to NaNo, seeing who can finish first. She ususally wins, but this year! This year I’ll get her. ;)


頑張ってよ!僕も新本で書こうとするんです。 Good luck! I’m trying my own mini-manga NaNoWriMo to ring in the new, unsullied year. I’m trying to crank out a full short story- which in manga is as much work as an novella. How’d your novel go?

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865 tasting notes

MY 500th TASTING NOTE! I saw the Maestro Collection in SS today so I thought I better get going and give people some tasting notes to read! I nearly fell over when I saw that these teas are valued at $58 and I am even more greatful for them as I’m not able to afford them right now. Even for not being a black tea person, Yunnan Curls were pretty good so I decided to continue w/ that set and try the other black tea. I’ve never had a Keemun tea before.

Maestro Collection: Set 2, tea #2

I’m suprised at the tiny, wirey shape of the raw leaf. The aroma has faints notes of smokyness, but is also very smooth and slightly sweet.

Prepared as directed.

The liquor is coffeish like the Yunnan Curls with reddish tones. Too bad I don’t like blacks more, they sure are pretty. The aroma is lighter than I expected, but echo that of the raw leaf.

The flavor is almost exactly that of the aroma. While the flavor is substantial, it’s definitely not harsh. Slightly smoky, sweet, and smooth. It doesn’t taste like coffee, but it does have some of the same qualities so I can see why people would drink this in the morning. Not a bad tea.

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

Happy 500!


It’s not anything special like matcha but I have 6 more to get thru after this one so I gotta get crackin! =D


2nd infusion, 6min. Liquor is lightly lighter, more red. Flavor is pretty solid though- slightly sweeter.


3rd infusion, 7min. Liquor is more of a tarnsihed camel color. Flavor is much like infusion 2.


Yay! 500!


Keep on keeping on with the tasting notes, congrats!


4th infusion, 8min. Liquor and flavor are both lighter, but still very good.


5th infusion, 9min. Liquor and flavor are both a lot lighter. Drinkable, but a bit watery so I think I’ll stop here. 5 infusions from a person who doesn’t care for blacks is amazing!


500 notes? Time for a tea party in celebration!

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1908 tasting notes

My sense of taste is mostly back to normal so I figured this was as good a time as any to crack open my Adagio order. I sort of expected bigger leaves out of something touted as a high-quality tea, but I suppose size isn’t everything, lol. :D Dry, the leaves were black with flecks of gold but when they brewed they turned a light brown shade.

The flavours are bold and dramatic – bitter cocoa with a little bite that actual does resemble pepper a bit. There’s also a hints of tanins and smoke, something I’ve come to recognize as a characterstic of most Chinese black tea to one degree or another. The tea has a substantial, almost thick feel in the mouth and it lingers on the tongue, not letting you forget it.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

I’m thinking, with a description like that, Adagio should hire you to write their ad copy. Yum!

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2036 tasting notes

Since we’re all about changes to Steepster the last day or so, I really wish there was a way for me to sort my Tealog by tea type. So that I could, for example, key in “Keemun” and get everything containing Keemun I’ve logged so I can compare how I rated them, rather than having to remember which ones I’ve had, what they were called, etc. Please please please put this at the top of the list for new changes, O Steepster gods. As my log gets longer and longer it gets harder and harder to sort through stuff and it would be great not to have to read each blend’s description to know whether it includes Keemun.

I know I’ve had Keemuns before in blends, but the only thing I can find in my log that is called “Keemun” is another Adagio, the Keemun Rhapsody, and a Life In Teacup Keemun Black Tea Grade II. It has been a while but judging by my ratings, I liked both. This one appears to be a crowd favorite so I was psyched to try it as my last black tea of the day.

The dry leaves are quite pretty, very small and delicate looking. They remind me of seeds. Dark green and tippy. They smell like smoke to me on first sniff, but as I sit with the smell I get a definite cocoa note and a bit of leather underneath the smoke.

Steeped, the aroma is not very smoky and richer, with a baked bread quality at the surface and saddles underneath. The liquor is lighter than I expected, a sort of chestnut color.

What is fascinating to me about this tea is that on first sip, I’m not seeing what the fuss is about. But as I follow the flavor from the sip through to the aftertaste, the complexity of this becomes apparent. It reminds me of how a really nice wine becomes even nicer as it breathes.

The beginning is mellow leather, the midsip is sweet, smoky bread, and the finish is buttery sweet wood with a tiny dash of salt and spice. The mouthfeel is soft, and thick without being too clingy. The aftertaste goes on and on. A bit of smoke, a bit of sweetness that isn’t quite cocoa but could be and isn’t quite malt but could be.

This deserves some attention to see whether I’ve steeped it as well as it can be steeped. I suspect there is even more to this that I’m not yet getting. I’m more in the Angrboda camp on this one than the Inguna and Auggy camp at this point. It’s lovely, but to me it isn’t perfect. Of course I’m entirely willing to attribute that to user error.

ETA: The wet leaves have a sort of spicy, salty smell that reminds me of olives!

Flavors: Bread, Cocoa, Leather, Wood

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 7 g 25 OZ / 750 ML

I love your description! It’s making me want some, and I’m not usually a big fan on Keemun.


If you get a chance to try this one, you should. It really is something special.

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4843 tasting notes

This is one of the smokier Keemun teas that I’ve tried, but it isn’t too smoky. It has a delicious peppery/spicy note that is veiled by the smoke, so once my palate gets past the smoke, I taste the pepper. A strong tea, quite masculine.

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89 tasting notes

Recommended time is 3-5 minutes, but 3 minutes was too long.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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215 tasting notes

The leaf is small to begin with, and then broken up a bit, so the tea is very fine-grained. The aroma is tobacco shop, or maybe barber shop strop, which i find enticing. Brewed up, the liquor is red jewel tones and winey in the manner of a beaujolais, but not quite as fruity. The smoky finish adds a bit of welcome pungency to a tea which hovers steadfastly balanced between dry and sweet. The only hint of bitterness presents itself as if it’s the very darkest cacao or black pepper. Halfway through the cup, I added soy milk, but it muted the flavors more than I liked. The second steep was almost as good as the first, and I experimented with just a drop of agave nectar in that cup. The slight sweetness elevated the rose and brown sugar notes, and gave a nice variation, I think, on the plain brew. To share the experience of this wonderful Keemun tea, I’m adding this sample tin to the Steepster TTB. Everyone should get to try this at least once!

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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