I had this one for the first time yesterday afternoon. It will definitely require further tastings to get a good read on it…I think I was pretty tired and unfocused, hence the need for a cup. I do remember it not being quite as smooth as the English Breakfast from Adagio that is a keemun. The smokey note was a little more intense than I expected.
Keemun Panda #1
Country of Origin: China
Region: Qimen County, Anhui Province (home of the original keemun)
Grade: Panda 1
Shipping Port: Shanghai
Altitude: 2000 – 3000 feet above sea level
Manufacture Type: Special Keemun orthodox
Cup Characteristics: A complex and subtle flavour that is aromatic and penetrating without being lush or floral.
Infusion: Bright tending reddish
Ingredients: Luxury black tea.
Information: Of all the Chinese black teas the ones most familiar to the West are commonly called ‘congou teas.’ The two principal divisions are north China congou and south China congou. The north China congous – from the provinces of Kiangsu, Anhui and Hunan were all typical English breakfast style teas. The most famous of these congous are the keemuns. One is tempted to describe the subtle scents with that of long unopened jewelry boxes, with hints of incense or distant pine.
The Chinese say that the bouquet of Keemun Panda #1 is like the perfume of an orchid and the less poetic will say that it is like toast hot from the oven. It has been suggested that the reason Keemun Panda #1 is a classic English breakfast tea is that its fragrance is brought out by the addition of milk.
In any event the thick reddish liquor from the fine, tightly rolled leaves of this superb tea have a deep, rich concentrated flavor, reminiscent of the fine qualities of Burgundy wine. Keemun is the best-keeping of China black teas and will keep for years, and if well stored take on a mellow winy character
Hot tea brewing method: Bring freshly drawn cold water to a rolling boil. Place 1 teaspoon of tea for each cup into the teapot. Pour the boiling water into the teapot. Cover and let steep for 3-7 minutes according to taste (the longer the steeping time the stronger the tea). Milk and a dash of sugar help capture the complex nature of this tea, but it is also perfectly acceptable to consume this tea ‘straight-up’.