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Keemun Concerto

Tea type
Black Tea
Ingredients
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Flavors
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Caffeine
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Certification
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Edit tea info Last updated by Jason
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec

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34 Tasting Notes View all

  • “It's my day off, so I'm sitting on the sofa with my jar of oatmeal (I make my oatmeal 5 servings at a time in canning jars on Sunday, and keep it in the fridge. Steel cut oatmeal - yum. Best...” Read full tasting note
    86
    Skulleigh 220 tasting notes
  • “Ya'll..... There were 2 big, honkin' hairs in my sample tin. My never been opened, until now sample tin. I know for a fact that those hairs were not mine. Should I tell Adagio? Is this...” Read full tasting note
    60
    LFINCH 161 tasting notes
  • “This was the tea that introduced me to Keemun, and made me realize how much I like it. Since this makes it an indirect cause of my buying Jackee Muntz, and inspired by Meghann's comparison vanilla...” Read full tasting note
    76
    teabird 403 tasting notes
  • “Tea of the morning.... I bought some chamomile for my nephew on Black Friday and this was a free sample that Adagio tucked into my order. I was definitely pretty happy about it, because my Keemun...” Read full tasting note
    83
    SimplyJenW 956 tasting notes

From Adagio Teas

Black tea from the Anhui region of China. Perhaps the most famous of Chinese varieties, the 2006 crop is prized for its rich smoky flavor, and sumptuous aroma. The ‘Keemun Concerto’ is a hand-made, limited production ‘Mao Feng’ grade tea. It is a rare embodiment of this tea’s wonderful potential.

About Adagio Teas View company

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

34 Tasting Notes

86
220 tasting notes

It’s my day off, so I’m sitting on the sofa with my jar of oatmeal (I make my oatmeal 5 servings at a time in canning jars on Sunday, and keep it in the fridge. Steel cut oatmeal – yum. Best discovery I have made in awhile.). I opened the cabinet where I keep my tea, wondering what I was in the mood for. One of the Kusmi Russian teas? A chai? No! My eyes spotted the sample bag of Keemun Concerto I got as a freebie in my last Adagio order. I had been waiting for a nice unrushed morning to try it out. It’s time!

I opened the bag and took a sniff. Sweet and cocoa-y. Other people call this tea “malty.” Perhaps that’s really what I mean when I say cocoa-y, but I am not sure. Calling to mind the taste of the inside of milk duds… yes, I think that might be it. I’m still going with cocoa-y though.

The leaves pretty much look like Keemun Rhapsody, and the smell is similar, but it’s less tobacco-y to me. More cocoa/malty but less pipe tobacco-like.

I brewed it in my ingenuiTea and after a short steep, decanted into my mug, added half & half and sugar and whipped it with my milk frother. Yuuuuuuum.

I may change my mind again on the in-case-of-zombies tea stash. This is gooooood. It’s more filling than my oatmeal! I’ve barely touched the oatmeal, but I have already sucked a mug of the tea down while writing this post.

Though I still agree with Hester June that pearls are probably the most efficient zombie stash. I had a sample of black dragon pearls that are probably quite similar in taste. Dang, I think I am out of that though – it would have been nice to do a side-by-side comparison.

I did my second Zombies, Run! mission after dark last night. I didn’t go as far though – not because I was fearful of zombies, but because I was afraid to busting my butt on our uneven sidewalks in the dark. I think I will stick with daylight runs for now.

Decanted the seconds steep into my mug. Trying this straight. It brewed longer, of course. Strong, and smokey. I don’t get the cocoa/malt taste in this cup. I don’t like it straight as much as I like Keemun Rhapsody – it’s heavier. Serious, if you will.

Definitely a thumbs up as a latte though. That was great.

Now to get going and start my day. I need to go bra shopping. Oh joy. :/

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

I make steel cut oatmeal too on a crockpot on low at night and throw in dry fruit or a few cut up apples and when I wake up it’s waiting for me.The rest I container in portions like you do. You’re right about the latte.

Skulleigh

I don’t even use the crockpot. There is a method I found a few weeks ago where you boil, then simmer for 3 minutes, ladle the oatmeal in jars, put lids on, and leave them overnight to stew themselves. It’s delicious.

Hesper June

The way both you gals prepare your oatmeal sounds very yummy!
I like steel cut, once you eat that, the next time your mouth touches instant or minute oats you can’t believe you ever ate that mush:)
My hubby had an interesting take on the Zombie Stash, Skulleigh.
He was thinking that those tea leaf packed bricks might be best, since they are so well packed, you could carry them around forever and chunk off what you need as you go, instead of crushing delicate loose leaves down to a powder.

Hesper June

Have you seen this, Skulleigh?
The Zombie Love Song:)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPNqub966Tw

Skulleigh

Thanks for the link, that was cute!

Yeah, a brick does sound like it would work well too :) I haven’t tried anything in brick form yet!

Hesper June

I have not either, its on my list of things to try:-)

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60
161 tasting notes

Ya’ll…..

There were 2 big, honkin’ hairs in my sample tin. My never been opened, until now sample tin. I know for a fact that those hairs were not mine. Should I tell Adagio? Is this common? Should I just pick them out and drink up?!?! Ideas?

Auggy

Uhm… gross. Way gross. I can offer no advice – part of me says to contact Adagio because well, gross! Another part of me says that people drink pu-ehr and find nail clippings and bird feathers in it so it could be worse. Nah, I think I’d contact Adagio. Cause yeah, gross.

LENA

Thanks girl. I’ll try the online chat thingy. Man, I can’t drink this now. Gross indeed.

Angrboda

I think it might be a good idea to inform Adagio. It could be a one-time problem, but it could also be something they could fix really easily. And if they’re any kind of decent, they’ll give you a replacement sample.

TeaEqualsBliss

I’ve never had a problem with Adagio – I LOVE their customer service – so – I would mention it to them – I am sure they will ‘take care of it’…at least I think they would.

teafiend

Ewwwww. I’m go to throughly examine all of my teas now. I would pick it out and still drink it the heat will kill any potential pathogens. Still, tell Adagio.

LENA

Ok, thanks guys. I just finished my online chat with Adagio. (very cool by the way) They are sending me a replacement sample and two more free samples of my choice. She said it was to make it worth the shipping on their side. SO COOL AND SO NICE TO DEAL WITH. She was very apologetic about the “discovery”. Gotta love Adagio!!!

Auggy

Yay for Adagio! Almost makes me wish I’d find hair in one of my tins!

LENA

HAHAHA! No you don’t! But they more than made up for it. I think I am going to dump out that whole sample and look through it though. Maybe my tin escaped inspection.

TeaEqualsBliss

See…I KNEW Adagio would come thru! They are awesome! :)

teaplz

Awesome that this got resolved, Lena! Because that’s pretty disgusting.

Eww, Auggy, you make me never want to try pu-ehr tea!

Angrboda

Teaplz, you can also get pu-ehrs loose. :) I’ve never had a real cake, but I’ve never ever found anything in any of the loose pu-ehrs that I’ve tried that hadn’t at one point been part of a plant.

Auggy

@teaplz: Hahaha! Yep, that’s my feeling! It took me 2 years to try it and I’ve only tried loose. I think a cake is not going to happen.

Jillian

I’m glad you got things sorted out so quickly, Lena. Stuff like this can happen pretty randomly, even in the best places, unfortunately.

Oolonga

It’s not fair to give this tea such a low rating, you haven’t even tried it. Not that 2 hairs can affect the taste, you know.
I remember you saying in one of your reviews that you are not a girly girl but you are acting totally like one, he he :)

Cofftea

So the question is, what samples did you pic?:)

LENA

I picked white Silver Needle and Darjeeling #2. I’m really impressed with their customer service.

LENA

@ Oolonga – I thought about that after the fact (and after my hissy fit). I can’t take away the rating all together, so I just moved it to a neutral 50.

You don’t know me! :)

Auggy

Oolonga sounds like one of the brave ones that would have no fear when faced with a pu-ehr cake!

Suzi

@ Oolonga – LOL! I generally would tend to agree with you – hairs don’t gross me out at all, because I shed my waist-length mane like crazy – but I know for a lot of people it’s at the top of the GROOOOOOOOSS list.

Glad Adagio is making it up to you, Lena!

LENA

I’m jealous of anyone with a mane…I have fine hair. Limits the styles…booo!

Oolonga

LENA F.
Glad you changed your mind :)

Auggy
To be honest, I haven’t met a pu-ehr cake in person yet but I guess I will be able to handle it…

teaplz

I don’t mind hair… as long as it’s mine! But someone else’s… blech. Like Auggy pointed out, there are way grosser things to find in your tea (nail clippings? I think I’d gag), but still.

Lena, I love your use of the word “honking” in your post, by the way!

LENA

@ Auggy – oh man, if I would have seen a fingernail clipping or a bird’s feather I probably would have thrown up. I may not be a girly girl, but I don’t have a cast-iron stomach! No pu-erh cakes for me!

Auggy

A cigarette butt was also on the list of nasty things people had found in their cakes. Dead bugs another. Yeah. Not cool. I guess that is a VERY good reason why people give their pu ehr a rinse before drinking it! Not like that’d wash a fingernail out…

takgoti

Ew. Ew. EW. EWWWWW.

This thread has turned me off trying a pu-erh cake. For now, anyway. EW.

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76
403 tasting notes

This was the tea that introduced me to Keemun, and made me realize how much I like it. Since this makes it an indirect cause of my buying Jackee Muntz, and inspired by Meghann’s comparison vanilla tasting, I decided to comparison taste this, Keemun Encore, and Jackee. I tasted them simultaneously, which made it harder to identify specific flavors but easier to rank them comparatively. So – no evocative descriptions of camping in a pine forest, but this should help me (and maybe you) the next time I’m looking to buy more Keemun. Encore notes are here http://steepster.com/Tea_Bird/posts/36241 and Jackee here http://steepster.com/Tea_Bird/posts/36243

Preparation notes: 1/2tsp tea in 4oz water, drunk plain first, then with milk (about 1tsp in the remaining 3oz)

The lightest of the three in both color and aroma, more orange than red. Smells sweeter than the other two. Concerto was my favorite going in; it tastes a bit weak after Jackee. Astringency somewhere between the other two. The “black tea” flavor is more noticeable in Concerto than in either of the other two; whether this denotes purity or a lack of complexity is up for debate.

Milk for me brings out the sweetness and richness in the tea. The hints of smoke make a nice counterpoint. I would still choose this as an easy-drinking breakfast tea. Definitely not boring, but not one I feel obligated to prepare precisely and experiment with or anything.

Round 2, ~3:30 minute steep is noticeably milder but still worthwhile.

Conclusion – I will likely buy more of this once Jackee is gone, unless I find another Keemun I like better in the mean time. Better QPR than Encore, in my opinion, and easier to drink.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 15 sec
S

Thank you so much…I was just worrying today about what will happen when I run out of Jackee…

teabird

I kind of needed to reassure myself that there will be life after Jackee – Concerto isn’t the same, but it has a similar flavor profile and is a lot more readily available.

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83
956 tasting notes

Tea of the morning….

I bought some chamomile for my nephew on Black Friday and this was a free sample that Adagio tucked into my order. I was definitely pretty happy about it, because my Keemun phase did not coincide with my Adagio phase. (I am still essentially in the Keemun phase.) I loved the easy availability and huge offering of flavors from Adagio when I was new to tea. I only tried a few black teas when I was shopping there, and their Fujian Baroque is completely responsible for my obsession with all teas Fujian. Even though I rarely shop at Adagio, and it would mostly be for herbals and straight blacks at this point (something about their ceylon flavored tea base just doesn’t do anything for me), I so appreciate them for what they are. They were my gateway into the world of tea, and made it so that I did not have to rely on Teavana. Thank you, Adagio!

This reminds me mostly of the Keemun Mao Feng I currently have in my stash from Upton. It is a low smoke version of KMF. It does not have the complexity of Harney’s KMF, but there are definitely notes of cocoa, and malt. I can’t say I will be purchasing this as my stash of just Keemuns is a bit daunting, but I will definitely drink it all. I think it is a bit pricey for what it is. In the mid size, it is $4 per oz. and Harney’s KMF is $4.50.

Usual teapot method.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Tea Sipper

I think the Adagio Ceylon base is actually the only Ceylon I wouldn’t mind sipping!

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70
158 tasting notes

Reading my first tasting note for this tea, I am forced to wonder why I didn’t mention the smoked flavor more than I did. I don’t have a hard time finding it at all, now. Not even a little bit! So strange.

This tea is delicious in the mornings. I like to pair it with a little bit of milk and sugar, contrary to my usual habits, because it brings out the smoky side just that little bit more. I know there must be better smoky keemuns out there, and I will find them eventually, but for now this seems to work just fine.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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60
110 tasting notes

1/2 tsp in 4 oz


Taste test of 4 Keemuns

Harney & Sons: English Breakfast ($1.62/oz)
My favorite of the bunch. Lightest flavor. Kind of fruity with no smokiness or earthiness. Could drink this every day for refreshment. I bet I’d love it iced. Will definitely get a large tin. Very pleased. I have been on the search for an inexpensive tea that I would enjoy as a daily drinker so I can save my favorites for times when I can sit quietly and really savor them. This fits the bill.

Harney & Sons: Hao Ya B ($3.00/oz)
My least favorite. Wow is it ever smoky. If I didn’t know what it was, I’d think it was a Russian Caravan blend with plenty of Lapsang Souchong in it. The smokiness overpowers any other flavor there might be in there.

Teavivre: Organic Superfine Keemun ($5.40/oz)
2nd best to me. Though it does have an earthy or mushroomy quality that I find a bit off-putting.

Adagio: Keemun Concerto ($4/oz)
3rd place. Most similar to the Teavivre but with more of that mushroomy quality that I just wouldn’t want in my tea. (I really dislike Puerhs for example.)

NONE of these teas was the least bit astringent which really pleasantly surprised me. Though I think one factor is that in order to taste each one without the others muddying the flavor, I did take a sip of water in between sips of tea. I find that sometimes tea is not astringent for the first few sips, but gets so as it builds up on your palate.

What amuses me is that the cheapest one is my favorite. Perhaps that means that Keemuns are not for me. The ones with more intense flavors pretty much turned me off. I liked the one with the lightest, sweetest taste.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Doug F

Wow. You’ve been busy. I’m surprised you didn’t like the Hao Ya B. I’ve had it from Upton and loved it—but I love Keemuns in general and I’m addicted to pu-erhs, so . . .

Terri HarpLady

I love it when people do comparisons! I try to do them from time to time, although I often don’t have the words to describe the differences I’m tasting. :)

Terri HarpLady

I really the like the one from Teavivre. To me, it smells a little bit like roses…sigh…

yyz

I wouldn’t say that. Price isn’t always a representation of quality, it an also be a reflection of fashion, and the ability of a distributer or packager to buy in volume and sell with less of a margin etc. Having said that I was reading a thread on another site where many of the respondents preferred the “lower quality” version of Keemum at Teavivre and where others preferred an older style of Keemum and not the type that is in vogue now.

Rachel J

Thanks all… Doug, do you find that the Upton Hao Ya B is very smoky? I honestly wonder if I got the wrong tea from Harney because no one really characterizes it as smoky, and that’s all I taste!

Doug F

I don’t find it smoky, but then again I like smoky teas. There’s a great inexpensive Keemun from Upton called Keemun Mao Feng that I love; tastes more like red wine and chocolate.

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79
31 tasting notes

I have made and bottled this stuff to take to class with me for the last three days. It’s a hearty tea, somewhere between a Ceylon and Assam in body. It’s a bit astringent, but the taste is lively and slightly smoky.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec
Cofftea

I like it. My New Year’s resolution is to always have iced tea premade in the fridge so I don’t drink just plain water. By the time I’m dying of thirst and a hot beverage won’t work, I don’t want to wait to take a drink til I make tea so I end up drinking plain water.

IdentiTEA

Actually, I made this hot, put it in an insulated bottle, and took it with me. I only live 10 minutes away from the college, so it stays plenty warm by the time I drive there, park, and walk to the building. It keeps me warm in the drafty class rooms and awake during boring lectures. :-P

IdentiTEA

But, I can imagine this would be mighty tasty iced. It’s been so cold here, I haven’t even thought about making iced tea.

Cofftea

lol ok your verbiage got me. I normally refer to bottled as iced and in a thermos as hot. Thanks for clarifying:)

Cofftea

I have to drink some… I take meds and hot tea makes them dissolve instantly and that’s just nasty lol. And when I get really thirsty, hot beverages don’t cut it. In spite of the weather, this convo made me try cold matcha for the 1st time:)

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80
110 tasting notes

Oh, my, I like this tea.

The smell, as well as the taste, remind me of the scent of hay in the barn. A little like dried grasses, with an earthy dimension as well. Very little acidity, very smooth, soothing flavor and scent.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 15 sec
Ricky

Just had this yesterday and Assam today and it looks like our reviews are similar. We both think Assam taste better. =D

Cynthia Carter

Assam is great – I really enjoy the Indian teas best. But, when I said this tea reminded me of hay? I meant that in the best possible way. Sweet, fresh, and somehow home-y smelling. Definitely worth keeping around.

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49
22 tasting notes

Used two heaping teaspoons, hotter water, and a longer steep time than my last brewing. Brought out a more complex fruitiness, which I appreciate, but still just a bit too astringent for my taste.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Kryptryx

You do favor longer steep times than I do. I keep them short to avoid the astringency, but I’m not sure that doesn’t also cut back on some of the complex flavors.

krasiviye.slova

The next brewing might have to give heaping teaspoons and a shorter steep time a go. It’s a balancing act; although, some teas are just smoother than others.

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75
22 tasting notes

Okay, so I wrote a huge detailed account of this tea as I was tasting it…then steepster decided to crash and it was lost. Much like my first attempt at brewing this tea. I grabbed a cup, not knowing that this cup already had some water and baking soda in it. So the tea was nothing but salt.

I call it quits. The tea was good. It was mild, it was mineral tasting and light. It smelled kind of like tomato soup, tobacco and clay I liked it fine, as a black tea.

That’s all… Wish me more luck with my next tealog.

-Sinny

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 45 sec
Jenny O

steepster has been a bit of a dick today. haha

Sinister

Too true! lol

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