Keemun GongFu Black Tea - Premium

Tea type
Black Tea
Not available
Floral, Fruity, Pine, Smoke, Tart, Apple, Apricot, Bitter, Cherry, Dried Fruit, Plums, Sweet, Tobacco, Baked Bread, Creamy, Grain, Hay, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Oats
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Bulk, Loose Leaf
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Edit tea info Last updated by looseTman
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec 4 g 7 oz / 202 ml

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From Tao Tea Leaf

Keemun Gongfu comes from Qimen in southern Anhui province. This tea was created in 1875 during the Qing Dynasty and quickly gained popularity especially in England. It is listed as one of top three aromatic teas in the world. Our Keemun Gongfu is a premium light bodied tea with a sweet, fruity and floral taste. There are crisp, almost pine-like notes that blends beautifully with the floral flavours.

Other Names: Qimen, Keeman Congou.

Region: Qimen County, Anhui Province, China

Steeping Guide:

Teaware: Glass or ceramic Gaiwan

Amount: 3g /1½ teaspoons

Temperature: 100°c (212°F)

Steeping Time: 1 to 2 minutes for the first two steeps and 3 to 5 minutes for the third and fourth.

*These steeping directions are for a traditional Gong Fu style tea, if you are brewing this tea in a regular cup we recommend steeping for 2 – 3 minutes. This tea can also been steeped 4 times.

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5 Tasting Notes

249 tasting notes

I’m working my way through the 26g packages I got from Tao Tea Leaf. I also got a whole pile of samples from them, which I think I’ll be just keeping in the box and grabbing randomly from when I want to try something new. :)
I don’t have a lot of experience with keemun teas, and this one was highly rated, which was what made me decide to try it. The dry tea is small, dark leaves with an intense and complex floral scent. As it brews, the scent is also lovely, floral and fruity. The flavour is really interesting – fruity and floral again, quite complex, with a pleasant tartness. People talk about keemuns having a smokey, piney note, and I can totally see what they mean. It’s not smokey like a lapsang, but it’s definitely there. As the tea cools, it develops a refreshing quality that makes me want to try this cold-brewed or iced.

Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Pine, Smoke, Tart

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

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875 tasting notes

This tea is incredible.

The dry leave is small, black twists, and smells very faintly sweet and fruity.

Steeped, an intense bouquet of flavours and fragrances comes out. The start of the sip is just a touch bitter, with notes of smoke, tobacco and lots of dried fruit- apples, apricots, plums and sour cherry. There’s a tartness that’s mellowed beautifully by the bitterness and tobacco, and then toward the end of the sip a wonderful sweetness blossoms.

By the third steep the tartness has mellowed even further, leaving mostly pleasant bitterness and sweet. There’s also a pine note that’s emerging on the nose – not quite smoked pine, but not quite fresh cut either. Evocative of an old, pine panelled cabin in the winter, warmed by a wood stove.

This tea is really intense and thick, without even a hint of astringency. I’m making it in my little gaiwan, and sipping it from a tiny cup, but I kind of wish I just had a big mug of this that I could drink in big gulps.

I will definitely be stocking up on this when I make my next Tao Tea Leaf purchase, because my 10g sample is going to go fast.

15s, 20s, 25s, 30s, 45s, 60s, 90s After seven steeps I think these leaves are about done.

Flavors: Apple, Apricot, Bitter, Cherry, Dried Fruit, Pine, Plums, Smoke, Sweet, Tart, Tobacco

205 °F / 96 °C 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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972 tasting notes

This lovely black tea “sample” (aka entire pouch) came from scribbles. Thanks dear! Now I don’t have a lot of experience with Keemun, but I have enjoyed those that I’ve tried and I’m always on the lookout for more. The leaves of this tea are super tiny! They’re short and wiry and quite broken up. Dry scent is sweet bread with some hay-like notes. The first time, I steeped it for 3 minutes, but it came out a tad bitter. So I made another cup and shortened the steep to 2.5 minutes. Perfect!

This tea is very tasty! The main flavor I get is tasty bread and raw grains (oats?) along with an almost hay-like flavor similar to white tea. There’s the smallest hint of mineral or smoke in the background which helps to ground this tea. Then in the aftertaste, I get a mouthful of honey! Om nom nom. Definitely a very light-bodied and refreshing black tea for the afternoon or early evening. :)

Flavors: Baked Bread, Creamy, Grain, Hay, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Oats, Smoke, Sweet

200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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6375 tasting notes

dexter sent this one my way and i think i’m a fan. I brewed this western style to take to the BBQ with me since i knew i’d need something to keep me going. No maple added this time since i just wanted to get a sense of the tea sans additions. This was smooth and slightly malty. No floral notes that i detected, but then i was outside for a gorgeous afternoon with awesome friends…so not much as going to ruin that!

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123 tasting notes

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: 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.

RO water re-mineralized with an Aptera filter
Brewed western-style conveniently in a tea mug with a brew basket

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

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


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 :)


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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