Keemun Mao Feng

Tea type
Black Tea
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
Chocolate
Sold in
Not available
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by ashmanra
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 16 oz / 473 ml

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58 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Tea of the afternoon..... I finally made it to my winter break! We have a few little side trips to make, but mostly we will be home for the next few weeks. Bliss! This is my celebratory...” Read full tasting note
    97
    SimplyJenW 974 tasting notes
  • “Treating myself to this magical tea today. The touch of smoke. The chocolate notes. The richness. The inexplicably fruity note on the end of the sip. This is a wonderful, wonderful miracle of...” Read full tasting note
    JacquelineM 1112 tasting notes
  • “Well, this is different....I wanted iced tea and I wanted it right away, and it had to be sweet tea because I was trying to create a real Southern meal such as would be served after a funeral. ...” Read full tasting note
    ashmanra 1855 tasting notes
  • “I am trying this today - my experience with Keemuns has been a bit "meh" but I've read so many good things about this one. I swear the dry leaves smelled like a Merlot wine and are very slender...” Read full tasting note
    92
    amyoh2 2535 tasting notes

From Harney & Sons

With thin and twisted strips of black tea with russet interwoven, and the aromas of dark cocoa, this tea is a classic Keemun Mao Feng. It is an early season tea from the famous gardens around Keemun (also known as Qimen) in Anhui Province in China. This is a delightful tea.

About Harney & Sons View company

Since 1983 Harney & Sons has been the source for fine teas. We travel the globe to find the best teas and accept only the exceptional. We put our years of experience to work to bring you the best Single-Estate teas, and blends beyond compare.

58 Tasting Notes

97
974 tasting notes

Tea of the afternoon…..

I finally made it to my winter break! We have a few little side trips to make, but mostly we will be home for the next few weeks. Bliss! This is my celebratory cuppa, and I just realized that I still have a whole tin of it left. More to celebrate! Also, winter looks like it has officially arrived at our house. I think we got round 9 inches of snow yesterday. Bring it, Old Man Winter! I have my tea to keep me warm!

This is my tea first love. It has been so long since I have had a cup of this, I was worried that it would not appeal as much. Some of the teas I thought I really liked over the past few years are pretty much in the ‘meh’ category as of now. This one, however, has stood the test of time. I love it just as much today as I ever have. It is my tea perfection by which all other black teas seem to be compared. I do reserve this one for special days, and I definitely think that might be contributing to my feelings about it. Whatever it is, I am going with it! Notes of cocoa, malt, slight smoke, and just…..magic.

Usual teapot method. I do measure the perfect teaspoons on the scant side for this one.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Tea Sipper

ooo…sounds like I’d love this one!

looseTman

I wonder how Keemun Mao Feng by Harney & Sons comapres with what I’m drinking now, Keemun Panda #1 from the Whistling Kettke? Have you also tasted KP#1?

SimplyJenW

Not anywhere near Keemun Panda #1. If I recall, KP#1 is much more earthy and slightly astringent. Keemun Mao Feng is smooth with just a hint of smoke and lots of cocoa.

SimplyJenW

Keemuns come in several grades. I am pretty sure the KP#1 is stocked by many tea sellers….if I had to guess, I think it comes from Metropolitan Teas, a wholesaler. The more tea I drink, usually you do get what you pay for. KP#1 runs around $15 a pound….this one currently sells for $10 for 2 oz.

looseTman

In your experience, which of the Keemuns is the best value – highest Steepster score for the cost? Thanks

SimplyJenW

It all depends on your preferences. Tea is a personal journey. There are definitely teas that are not worth the money to me. If you are happy with the KP#1, enjoy it and don’t let anyone talk you out of it! I remember it being too smokey for me at the time I tried it, but it might be different now. (I do think there are less expensive places to buy it than the Whistling Kettle, but it is always good to support them if they are local to you.)

SimplyJenW

Oops…misquoted the price on this. It is $20 for 2 ounces. When I bought mine in 2011 it was $24 for 4 oz.

looseTman

I’m currently enjoying KP#1. Yes, it’s slightly astringent, and a little smokey, but nothing like Lapsang Souchong. However, I’m open to suggestions & new tea experiences that are afforadable enough for an everyday tea.

looseTman

No, the Whistling Kettle is not local, but they do have quantity discounts & free shipping with a minimum order. I’d be interested in more cost-effective dealers.

KMF $96/lb – 2011, Now – $160/LB. That’s inflation! The average US salary didn’t increase that much during the same period.

ashmanra

LooseTman: check out Dyland and Missy’s reviews of all the Teavivre Keemuns, they are a bargain, and tasty, just depends on what sort of Keemun you like best. This Mao Feng is excellent, though. If you sign up for Teavivre’s free tasting and review program you can request a same of each Keemun and try it for yourself!

looseTman

ashmanra: Thanks for the heads-up about Teavivre’s Keemuns & their free tasting and review program!

looseTman

Ashmanra, I’ve greatly enjoyed Teavivre’s free tasting and review program. What a great concept – a win-win for TeaVivre & their customers! Thank you for this recommendation!!

NEWS: TeaVivre will be offering Keemun Mao Feng next year.

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1112 tasting notes

Treating myself to this magical tea today. The touch of smoke. The chocolate notes. The richness. The inexplicably fruity note on the end of the sip. This is a wonderful, wonderful miracle of nature that always stops me in my tracks whenever I brew a cup. I love all of my teas, but this one I treasure.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec
SimplyJenW

I so agree with this!

TeaBrat

Looks like I need to try this!

Charles Thomas Draper

@ Amy, I thought I sent you this…

TeaBrat

@Charles if you did I must have lost it somehow because I don’t see a tasting note for it. oops!

LadyLondonderry

Putting this on my list to drink this weekend …

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1855 tasting notes

Well, this is different….I wanted iced tea and I wanted it right away, and it had to be sweet tea because I was trying to create a real Southern meal such as would be served after a funeral.

Food is of utmost importance at Southern funerals. Now, there wasn’t a funeral but there was a burial as I finally got around to burying my eldest brother who was old enough to be my dad and who died in 1984. My daughters and I had to find his box and dig it up when my mother’s property was sold after her death, which wasn’t easy because Dad never told us EXACTLY where he had buried the ashes. I wasn’t even sure they were in a box, but thankfully, they were. (Are you horrified? Or amused? Bet you’re wishing you coulda been there!)

SO – I promised the kids real fried chicken and fixins’ because I don’t fry ANYTHING EVER but that is what you eat after a burial. By the time we got home from the cemetary and buying the food we were so hungry! I couldn’t wait long enough to brew a pot of tea, but I had a pot of Keemun Mao Feng left over from yesterday. I heated it a bit in the microwave, added a little sugar and poured it over ice! Ta-dah! The best iced tea I have ever had, I think. It had a lovely rich edge that grocery store bags just don’t give you – a little something extra in the flavor profile. Bravo, Keemun Mao Feng! Rest in peace, big brother. I hope he heard us playing the 50’s and 60’s stations on satellite radio in his honor today!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C
gmathis

Neither horrified nor amused—-it just made me smile!

JacquelineM

That sounds like a good cup of tea!!!

Rest in peace :) I’m glad they were ashes, and not a skeleton, but I would have understood even if it were a skeleton :) :) :)

There is something about funerals and burials that bring out the absurd. I guess because death is so scary. It was so horrible at the time, but my grandmother threw herself in her sister’s grave at the cemetery, and also we had a closed casket for my grandfather, but somehow she summoned super human strength and ran out of the pew and OPENED HIS CASKET in the church to say goodbye! We laugh about it now but I thought I was going to faint both times!!!

Dinosara

What a day! Glad you found him(!) and may he rest in peace. Yay for a good cup of tea to end the day.

Uniquity

@Jacqueline – I’m actually laughing out loud. I would love your grandmother!

JacquelineM

Uniquity – she has passed on – and had a PINK coffin!!!!

Uniquity

Good for her! : )

gmathis

I’ve already asked friends and family to skip a funeral and just hold a memorial tea party.

ashmanra

gmathis – What a great idea!

Jacqueline – I LOVE the pink coffin! I had a neighbor who was like a grandmother to me and she loved pink. She had a pink house, pink chair, pink washer and dryer, pink stove and oven. She taught me to garden. After she died I bought Lady Carlyle china because the pink floral pattern reminded me of her and in warm months, that is what we use for every tea party. (In cold months we use Old Country Roses, and year ’round we sometimes use Spode Blue Room pieces for a change.)

Jenn

This is so a month ago, but I found your story so touching. Traditions and ceremony are so comforting in times of tragedy. I guess it’s our waybof controlling what we can. My great-grandmother was very eccentric, (because she was wealthy otherwise she’d be called just plain nuts), and she had a horse that she adored and kept on her property. Her driver/ horse caretaker Mr. Cissin was tasked with bringing the horse to her funeral as per her specific instructions. The horse was even brought into the family chapel for the service and I remember thinking it was totally surreal and I was only six. My great-grandfather was a mason, so there were little old men in aprons and funny hats. Everything including her coffin was lavender and I remember my father saying that he felt like he was in a Fellini film. It was much later and after many retellings that I understood his reference. JacquelineM is right, funerals do bring out the bizarre. But we did eat very well that day, and I later inherited my great-grandmothers Spode Blue Italian tea set :)

ashmanra

I know that tea set must be very precious to you! I love love Spode Blue Room collection pieces. And I love your story! Thank you for sharing it! I am reading it to my girls!

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92
2535 tasting notes

I am trying this today – my experience with Keemuns has been a bit “meh” but I’ve read so many good things about this one.

I swear the dry leaves smelled like a Merlot wine and are very slender and beautiful looking. I tried to not overdo it with the leaf here. I eyeballed it but measured out about 1 tsp for my 10 oz mug.

Success! I liked this one. The results are quite delightful!

The tea liquor is a medium reddish brown and has a lovely cocoa fragrance. I’m picking up some hints of malt and the aftertaste is surprisingly floral, almost like a second flush darjeeling (but sweeter). I am not getting much smokiness, perhaps just a touch . But it may be my tastebuds are burnt out from that Russian caravan I had a little while ago.

I might even be braver and go for a slightly longer steep next time, but it ended up being very nice the way I prepared it. No need for sugar or soymilk at all, this is a great one to sip on plain. Smooth and without much astringency. I’m glad I but the bullet and went for it! So good!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec
ScottTeaMan

I’ve had a couple Keemuns with wine-like characteristics, also with a berry sweetness- although I’m not refering to this one, as I haven’t tried it yet. FYI, Upton’s calls for a longer steep:

http://www.uptontea.com/shopcart/item.asp?itemID=ZK98&similarto=ZK55&UTid=545-20-7502023&afterCart=/shopcart/item.asp&from=catalog.asp&review=expand&begin=0&parent=Teas%3EBlack%3EChina&category=Other+Congou&sortMethod=0&categoryID=13

TeaBrat

@ Scott, I don’t think I’ve tried that one either, it does look similar if not the same.

ScottTeaMan

Amy, the tea I’m referring to is a Congou, which is not classified as a keemun (oops), It is now sold out:

https://secure.uptontea.com/shopcart/item.asp?itemID=ZP20

Barb

The only Keemun I’ve every tried is H&S’s English Breakfast, which is adequate but hasn’t impressed me. I bought it on the recommendation of the tea buyer at my local shop — she may not have had any of the Keemun Mao Feng in stock. I will definitely try to get a sample of this.

Doug F

Upton’s ZK98, as Scott mentioned, is a great tea, at a great price.

Scott B

Amy-Did you happen to get any Premium Keemun Hao Ya in your Teavivre sample pack? It’s wonderful.

TeaBrat

@ScottB- I did get that one and never found a way to really love it. I think I reviewed it a while back.

Scott B

Oh, well, that’s the way it goes sometimes.

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74
2003 tasting notes

A while ago I would read tasting notes for unflavored black teas with descriptions of notes of chocolate and such, and I would wonder what on earth these people were tasting because I never tasted that when I tried black teas. I’m pretty sure I tried this tea at the Harney Soho store ages ago after reading notes on here about it, and I didn’t really get it. Now I’ve gotten into Tan Yangs and other Fujian blacks, and lately I’ve come across a lot of tasting notes about Tan Yangs talking about how a particular tea is like a Keemun minus the smoke. Thanks to SimplyJenW, I get to try this Keemun again now and make the comparisons!

Honestly, the descriptions of smoky notes in Keemuns have me figuring I won’t like them as much because I’m not a big fan of smoke in my teas. And the steeped tea certainly smells smoky! It reminds me a tad of the wood-fired tieguanyin I had once in levels of smokiness… not like a campfire, but something roasted on one, perhaps. I do also smell more Tan Yang-like chocolate and molasses notes underneath it. The flavor delivers on the scent, and I can definitely see the resemblance to a Tan Yang. I first taste very delicious chocolatey and molasses-y notes, and then the light smokiness grows in the latter part of the sip. Definite sweetness present here.

This is partly rated on the fact that I can objectively tell that this is a very good tea and I can appreciate it as such. But it also falls into the range of teas that I wouldn’t seek out again… I’m just not a fan of smoky notes in my teas. But I’m really thankful to get to try this tea to further my tea education and also narrow my black tea searching!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
SimplyJenW

I did think you needed it for comparison. I did not really think it would be your cuppa, but you are right that it is good to be exposed to those flavors and be able to taste the differences.

Dinosara

Yeah I’m so glad I got to try this one in quick succession after the Tan Yangs. Palate education!

Vortegne

Oh, I like smoky ones. And you’ve made me curious about this one :)

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84
699 tasting notes

Enjoying some of the remains of this sample which was generously supplied by SimplyJenW many moons ago. I remember really liking it and hoarding the remains for some sort of good tea apocalypse. Steeped, the liquor is a light orange, I’m surprised at how light it is, actualy. The aroma is very bold with a strong cocoa note and a sense of bitterness, but that could be the cocoa I’m picking up on.

First sips yield a bold rich cocoa that quickly morphs into a sweet note with a hint of spice in there. Cinnamon is my first thought, as it so frequently is. It’s like I am drinking three distinct things but they are coming through in that order. This is even more remarkable than my memory of it led me to believe. I am getting absolutely no bitterness and not any discernible astringency, just cocoa, something sweet and something cinnamon. Fantastic!

I just looked this up on the Harney site and though it is definitely a delicious tea I was surprised at the price. $20 for 2 oz is about $20 for 50 grams – it is definitely good, but that price is unbelievable. For $10/ounce I would probably rather pick up some Verdant Tea but I am really glad to have this sample still. Thanks again SimplyJen!

TheTeaFairy

Well it does seem a little pricey! There really good Keemuns out here for a lot less, my personal favorites are from Teavivre. I find the quality to be exceptional for the price! Good for you that got to try this one as a sample though :)

Uniquity

I just checked and I really enjoyed the Premium Keemun Hao Ya from them…but for some reason didn’t order more! I’m thinking the beau told me I have enough tea. : )

SimplyJenW

When I bought mine it was $24 for 4 oz…. I think the new price is a little too high for me. Luckily, I still have some!

Uniquity

@SimplyJen – I thought it used to be much lower. Maybe the new crop is super exceptional! :)

SimplyJenW

Either it is super exceptional, or growing conditions for that season made it not as plentiful….

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613 tasting notes

First thing tea this morning, good pick. Light smoke, chocolate, nice Goldilocks body. This one’s also maltier at the front than others I’ve tried. And there’s that fruity wine scent to the spent leaves the other Harney Keemuns have. That said, I’m beginning to suspect that Keemuns are, much like each year’s overwhelming number of Darjeelings, winding up to be a tea where I don’t pay terribly much attention on the fine distinctions between vendors/crops etc.—where so long as they fit the general mold of what I expect, I’ll just reach for any decent one when that’s what I’m seeking. This hasn’t been true at all for whatever reason with other teas, especially Chinese, Taiwanese, and Japanese—I get very brand loyal and even season/year loyal at times it seems—but maybe that’s because Keemun, while Chinese, is heavier and more opaque a thing, similar to Assam or other Indian tea. Hm. IIRC I liked Little Red Teacup’s Keemun and it felt markedly distinct. But really, so long as it’s got some chocolate and smoke and is a good balance of smooth and full/strong, I’m good.

That said, if any of you seasoned experts have one you are just flipping nuts over I haven’t tried (mine have mainly come from Harney, Teavivre, Little Red Teacup, Verdant, and Tao Tea Leaf) and can procure easily enough from the US, I’m all ears as always. (:

Flavors: Chocolate

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
keychange

Four-letter word! I just placed my order! I want to see if they’ll add this in.

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91
108 tasting notes

Tried this today at Harney Soho. They were having a Valentine’s Day tea flight.
This was the unflavored black tea in the 3 tea flight. I gave it a try and my taste buds did a bit of a dance. It is a very sweet tea. I felt like I was drinking Honey.
I was going to leave the store without buying it, got near the door and realized that I desperately wanted another taste of it, so I walked out with a 2oz bag.
This is a great addition to my cabinet.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
JacquelineM

Mmmmmm! (and good to know about the Rose tea! I think we have similar tastes in tea!)

ashmanra

I second everything Jacqueline said! I have been looking at this one for a while so now I will put it on next week’s order.

ashmanra

Just ordered it! Looking forward to trying it soon….it sounds delicious!

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90
247 tasting notes

This was a truly special treat for me this morning, especially because until yesterday afternoon I didn’t even know I would possess it! Many thanks to SimplyJenW for a lovely surprise packet of tea to sample. :) I couldn’t choose, so I turned the packets face down, shuffled them and chose one at random. This is the lucky winner today. Well, actually I am because this tea is really wonderful.

First, when I sniffed the tea in the packet, I picked up on a very roasted scent, much like a roasted Dong Ding. So, in my mind, I imagined I’d be tasting something similar. The taste, however, is not anything like that, other than that there is a definite smoky note to the tea. What I do taste is something unique. There’s a hint of cocoa, kind of like hot chocolate before the milk is added, but it has a sweetness and a nuttiness to it that keep the taste on the lighter side instead of being bitter. It’s unlike any tea I’ve tasted before.

Thank you again, SimplyJenW, for a lovely tea this morning. I can’t wait to try the next ones. :)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec
SimplyJenW

So glad you liked this one…it is my favorite!

Kashyap

does it have any dark plum notes? sometimes Keemuns are known for this…just curious?

QuiltGuppy

I’m on the second steeping of this right now, and I let it steep for four minutes this time, but I’m not able to taste dark plums. There is a sweetness there, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. It’s not like a sugary sweet taste, but it’s definitely present. I need more practice with describing black teas.

ashmanra

I got an unexpected package today, too! RIght on time, as I am having some tea guests tomorrow! :). Thanks, Jen!

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90
3 tasting notes

This is a very high quality tea. The dried leaves are extremely dark, but lighten up quite a bit after steeping, producing a dark cognac liquor. The aroma is what really made me decide to purchase this. I knew that I was looking for a typical Keemun-esque brew, one that was extremely fragrant and fruity. I am by no means dissatisfied. In taking a whiff, I pick up notes of stone fruits, possibly apricots and plums, as well as that of rich cocoa (as was also described by Harney & Sons). The flavor is quite similar. Although I am not a big fan of chocolatey-tasting teas, I must say that as a finishing piece on your palate, it is not overwhelming, but rather a major compliment to the rest of the drink. An excellent batch by Harney!

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

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