This morning, courtesy of Scribbles, I’m very pleased to be the first to review Keemun Gong Fu Black Tea – Premium from Tao Tea Leaf, Western style: 8 oz. / 1 rounded tsp. (3 g) / 212*F / 2-3 min. without sweeteners, milk, or cream.

Intro: This Keemun is marketed as: “premium light bodied”.

Leaf: Thin twisted mostly dark chocolate-brown leaves 6 mm or less .
Fragrance: Winey & smoky.
Liquor: Clear, amber
Aroma: When first removing the lid of the Finum brewing basket – A brief touch of Keemun winey-ness blended with fine-quality rich pipe tobacco. Then the aroma became very faint.
Flavor: Keemun with a subtle winey character

2-min: Not yet, I’ll give it another minute.
3-min: A lighter-bodied, smooth and juicy Keemun with zero astringency or bitterness. It has a much lighter body compared with my regular Keemun.

I suspect this outcome may be due to the lack of specificity in Tao Tea Leaf’s western brewing instructions: http://www.taotealeaf.com/keemun-gongfu-black-tea-premium/. For Western brewing they don’t indicate a 6 oz. teacup or an 8 oz. cup/mug. Thus, I suspect this tasting result is simply because 3g is too little of this tea for 8oz of water. For Gong Fu they also don’t specify what size gaiwan.

Resteep6 oz. / 212*F:
3-min: Not yet …
4-min: A little longer …
6-min: Reducing to 6 oz. definitely helped. Given the original 8-oz. steep results, I wasn’t sure how well this Keemun would resteep. However, I was able brew a 2nd cup with a similar flavor profile.

Since I typically brew Keemun Western style, I then tried: 6 oz. / 1 heaping tsp. (4 g) / 212*F. Fortunately, Scribbles sent a generous sample!

2-min: A lighter-bodied, smooth, juicy, and very refined Keemun with zero astringency or bitterness. Fortunately, this preparation is definitely much more satisfying than the first cup! Your cup will be empty before you know it (especially with only 6 oz.). However, it has less body and is not quite as deep or as rich compared with my regular Keemun.

Resteep6 oz. / 212*F:
3-min: Not yet …
4-min: An excellent resteep – nearly identical to the previous cup.

Impression: A light-bodied, smooth, juicy and very refined Keemun. This black tea is very enjoyable and recommended for those who prefer a less robust “less masculine” Keemun perhaps for afternoon tea, or for Keemun-lovers who might enjoy a unique “a more understated” or “elegant” Keemun experience.

Pros: I love the simplicity of 212*F (100*C) – no thermometer needed (especially if one is in a hurry).

Cons: 4 g for 6 oz. less robust cups, not organic, and 250 g for $72!

Thanks to Scribbles for sharing a generous sample of this unique elegant Keemun.

Method:
RO water re-mineralized with an Aptera filter http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/39532-puregen-aptera-alkamag-water-filter
http://steepster.com/teaware/teavana/39311-perfect-tea-spoon
http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/37731-my-weigh-durascale-d2-660-digital-scale
Brewed western-style conveniently in a tea mug with a brew basket http://steepster.com/teaware/royal-albert/45581-old-country-roses-afternoontea-mugs
http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/29177-finum-brewing-basket
http://steepster.com/teaware/teavana/39312-perfect-preset-tea-timer

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 4 g 6 OZ / 177 ML
looseTman

6 oz. / 1 heaping tsp. (4 g) / 212*F
2nd Resteep:
6-min: Not yet …
8-min: Definitely not worth the effort.

scribbles

I also found some steeping parameters lacking, depending on preference. Hope I left you enough to try again…if you are so inclined. AND…welcome back :)

looseTman

Thank you! I think there may be just enough left for one Gong Fu session in the future.

I’ve been home for a week but couldn’t log on as our hard drive crashed. It’s always something! At least I’m not bored! ;-) Fortunately, I was able to make the necessary repairs myself. Thus, today is my first day on Steepster in quite a while.

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looseTman

6 oz. / 1 heaping tsp. (4 g) / 212*F
2nd Resteep:
6-min: Not yet …
8-min: Definitely not worth the effort.

scribbles

I also found some steeping parameters lacking, depending on preference. Hope I left you enough to try again…if you are so inclined. AND…welcome back :)

looseTman

Thank you! I think there may be just enough left for one Gong Fu session in the future.

I’ve been home for a week but couldn’t log on as our hard drive crashed. It’s always something! At least I’m not bored! ;-) Fortunately, I was able to make the necessary repairs myself. Thus, today is my first day on Steepster in quite a while.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

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Bio

I am passionate about teas that are full-bodied, rich, & smooth. I joined Steepster to explore Multiple Infusion Teas (MITs) such as Pu-erh.

Currently, my focus is on un-flavored orthodox black & pu-erh teas. Cost-effective organic teas or teas that meet the EU Food Safety Commission Pesticide Maximum Residue Limit EUROFINS are also of interest.

I especially enjoy teas with a natural rich chocolate flavor profile as opposed to natural bittersweet cocoa.

Complete steeping instructions on the bag are greatly appreciated:
tsp. (g) / oz. / temp. / rinse? / min. for both Western & Gongfu brewing.

Incomplete, non-specific, or cutesy instructions such as: “Just add water and enjoy.” significantly reduces the possibility that I will purchase that particular tea.

Having to discover the optimum brewing parameters through “trial & error” is too time-inefficient, wastes valuable tea and impairs the progress and joy of tea exploration.

The best tea suppliers evaluate each crop / batch of tea each year to determine the optimum brewing parameters. This insures the best possible first impression of their tea, greatly increases customer satisfaction, and thus increases word-of-mouth advertising – the best form of advertising that money can’t buy. You never have a 2nd chance to make an Outstanding First Impression.

My wife is an Earl Grey Fan. We enjoyed Twinings for many years – mostly Earl Grey, also English/Irish Breakfast, & Prince of Wales. Several years ago, TEG no longer tasted as good.

Rishi EG & China Breakfast then became our regular teas. However, after winning Tea Expo awards, the prices kept rising.

Our most recent orders were from TeaVivre, Verdant, Zen Tea Life, & Mandala Tea. Kudos to Angel Chen, David Duckler, Kenneth Son, Garret Sorensen who have been extremely helpful.

High quality water is essential for excellent tasting tea.
Our 450’ well provides hard water. For details see: http://steepster.com/looseTman/posts/176233#comments.

Solutions:
#1. Rainsoft water softener with
Q2 computerized control valve

#2. Abundant Flow Water
Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water System with re-mineralization filter
Model: Zeta RO: https://www.afwfilters.com/drinking-ro-systems/6-stage-alkaline-zoi-zeta-reverse-osmosis-system-16.html
Includes:
- Dow Filmtec TFC R.O. membrane
- Omnipure Inline Post filter
- Puregen Aptera Alkaline Filter: http://www.puregen.com/products_detail.php?id=301&lang=en

Options:
- Aquatec ERP-500 & ASV 2000
- 3/8" Output
- HM Digital DM-1: http://www.tdsmeter.com/products/dm1.html

My profile picture is a Red-Breasted Nuthatch, an annual winter visitor to our woodpecker feeder.

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Mid-Atlantic, USA

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