In China, tea is considered a very welcoming gift and one of the most suitable gifts for honored guests. Keemun Royal gets its name from its unique place in history. Twinings, the British tea company, served a blend of Keemun and Darjeeling to the English Royal Family. According to tea historians, this was the first English Breakfast Tea. Later, while the Queen of England was visiting China, the former President Jiang Zhe Ming presented Keemun Royal (unblended) to her.
Keemun is a unique class of black tea that can only be made from small leaf tea bushes that until the nineteenth century were exclusively harvested to produce green and yellow teas. Whereas most black teas are made with medium leaf varieties and large leaf Assamica varietals that are harvested during summer and autumn, Keemun Royal is harvested during the first two weeks of April.
Authentic Keemun can only be harvested from a specific breed of tea bush. Furthermore, true Keemun comes from Qi Men (Keemun), a small town in the province of Anhui, China. The full name of this tea from Qi Men is Qi Men Hong Cha, and it is the result of a very particular hand processing that involves careful, slow drying over a specific type of charcoal.
Rishi’s authentic Keemun Royal is made according to the traditional hand processing of tender spring tealeaves from the Qi Men area in Anhui. Most Keemun teas are rapidly machine dried, resulting in a carbonized note. The traditional hand processing, charcoal baking, and drying processes are time intensive, but the resulting tea is milder, smoother, and sweeter in comparison to machine-dried tea. By slowly drying the tealeaves, a caramelized sweetness and smooth pine aroma are encouraged to develop. Tea tasters brand the unique aroma of Keemun as “Qimen Xiang” (Keemun Aroma). This small batch of Keemun Royal is the perfect example of the “Keemun Aroma” for tea tasters to train their palates; it is sure to be the very best Keemun of the year.