Qimen Anhui Black Tea

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Black Tea
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205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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15 Tasting Notes View all

From Verdant Tea (Special)

This rich, fine Qimen is an exemplary demonstration of the tea that truly sparked the development of tea culture in England. Because of our travels, we have been exposed much more to Yunnan and even Fujian black tea, but Anhui Qimen has been on our minds for years since a friend visiting Qingdao from Anhui brought us a bag of Hao Yao A top-grade Qimen.

We are lucky that Wang Huimin, who has traveled Anhui scouting teas for her own tea bar in Xiamen, was able to connect us to this find of hers.

Qimen is unique in its full bodied and robust flavor. With such an intensity of texture, it is easy to see how the English tea ceremony developed with sugar and cream. If any Chinese black to can stand up to these additions, it would be Qimen.

This particular Qimen is one of the most intense we have tried, even with short steepings. It has a strong muscatel grape flavor, orchid and sandalwood sweetness, and then, a full bodied but refined smoked quality. The smoke flavor is no heavy-handed Lapsang taste. It is a genteel smoke, like coming upon a fire long extinguished in the forest and smelling the toasted wood. To top it off the taste and aroma evokes rich, still-warm homemade chocolate pudding.

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15 Tasting Notes

14250 tasting notes

Thank you dinosara! This tea surprised me. I didn’t expect it to taste as it does, since most of the keemuns that i have tried have also been sort of lightly smokey with a darker note to them. This one is almost fruity, sweet and then it smacks you in the face with it’s smokiness, which isn’t overwhelming in my opinion but it IS obviously smokey. I drank half of this straight (western brewed) and then did as i usually do with keemuns and added a small bit of maple syrup. oh man…now THAT is the sweet spot. i love the way the two flavours blend together in this one. Looking forward to a few more steeps of this one. As others have mentioned, not sure it’s worthy of the reserve club BUT it is tasty :) and i’m super awesomely glad dinosara sent it to me because i am loving it!

Kittenna – this is probably not one for you.

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Glad to be able to send this one to you to try! I will probably sipdown the rest of this today.


Thanks Sil! Gotta find something else to top up my order with… seriously need 5 cents more!


sample something?


Yeah, except there isn’t anything I won’t have tried! May wait until something new is released…. dangerous.


hahahaha i’m trying to hold off until november…. dear god i don’t need more tea


I hear you… I want to order more of one of the reserve teas, but I want to try to wait until November. There are 34 oz if it left and I am monitoring it just in case!


I actually really loved the 2013 Yabao (surprised me!). Thinking I will splurge on a stock of it since it will age like a puerh.

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3294 tasting notes

Day 3 of the Qimen Quandery.j
So, yes, I’ve been hoarding this Qimen, which was an offering with the reserve TOMC, and which I bought extra of, & so it’s time to include it in the Keemun reviews. I have mostly drank this one using my tiny 4oz porcelain teapot, with short steepings, but I felt that in order to get a fair comparison to the other keemuns, I should use the same parameters.
And without a doubt, this one beats them all! First off, it’s very nicely smokey! The flavor of this one is so rich, even deep, with nice elements of incense, caramelized brown sugar, & chocolate pudding. The resteeps were also wonderful. I still have more drinking to do, but as it stands, I think my preferences are:
1 – this one
2 – organice superfine fragrant – teavivre
3 – either keemun hao ya or keemun grade 2 – both teavivre
4 – keemun grade 1 – Teavivre

On friday I plan to go to the London Tea Room to sample their keemun, which I haven’t had for quite some time, but which I recall had really nice brown sugar taste to it.

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2201 tasting notes

I put off trying this one for a while because keemuns are very hit-or-miss for me, and it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the quality. Rather, it mostly has to do with whether they are smoky or not… I can’t deal with smoky teas. When I opened this one to sniff it, it smelled quite smoky. I ended up sending off most of this tea, saving enough for one western cup (which I am having now) and one gongfu session (which I will probably have this weekend).

I have to say, my suspicions were confirmed with this one. It has a somewhat sweet note, with a hint of fruit (raisins, perhaps?) in the background, but most of the other flavors are swamped on my palate by the flavor of an extinguished campfire and a somewhat sharp astringency. I’ll be interested to see if the gongfu brew is remarkably different, but at this point, this is not the tea for me. I like this tea less than I liked all the puerhs I’ve been through lately, and that is something I never thought I’d say!

Glad to sipdown this one soon; I added the oolongs I won from Teavivre to my cupboard and I am at 128. I have even more oolongs coming, as well as a swap, so I really want to push to get through some of the one-session samples that I have left.

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i want my teabox! bounce bounce bounce


Haha, tell it to customs, or whoever has it right now.


it’s here! it’s here!!!! Guess what i’m drinking tomorrow lol


Yay so glad!

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361 tasting notes

Another tea that’s not for me. I actually liked the first few sips of each steep, but as it cooled, the smoke flavor emerged more and more.


Mmmm I like this one.


I can send you the rest of mine next go round. I can’t imagine ever reaching for it.


If you don’t then I would for sure make it a happy home. The sample dinosara sent has me contemplating purchasing more :)

Terri HarpLady

I’ve been on the fence regarding that purchase for a couple of weeks now…

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423 tasting notes

This is almost the final sipdown of this tea, from Verdant’s Reserve TOMC. I love Keemuns, and was highly expecting this to be a really special or extremely good one, it being on the Reserve Club list and all. But honestly this tea felt quite flat for a Keemun, and not even excellent for a black tea. It was like going to a highly anticipated concert of your favourite band, paying for front row tickets, and then discovering that the drummer fell ill, so he’s replaced by an OK-but-not-spectacular-guy, and the singer just broke up with her boyfriend, so she’s singing at an 80, not 110, and the sound is somehow off. Not way off, but just enough to make everything sound slightly muted.
This is an 80s tea that gets downgraded to a 70s tea because of its outrageous price tag (outrageous for the quality of the tea you get). For me Keemuns need that rich, sweet, slightly smokey flavour that brings to mind a great Jazz trumpet player playing in a small, smoke-filled club in Paris, and this tea just doesn’t have it.
F&M’s Keemun still takes first place in my cupboard.

200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Terri HarpLady

This is my favorite review of the day :D


Thank you :)

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612 tasting notes

This is yummy, a little more astringent/woody than other keemuns I’ve had but in a nice way. Getting ready for an evening of fun (couples massage and dinner courtesy R’s parents, then Alloy Orchestra at the movie theater). Trying to figure out what to dress as for Halloween as for once we have a party to attend!

Was out of town for a few days at a friend’s wedding back at my old college stomping grounds (Pittsburgh!), was the perfect time of year to visit (even the vine-y leaves growing on the sides of brick buildings had turned red) and I love to see how much the city’s changed in a good way (Oakland looks like it’s cleaned up a bit, Lawrenceville is thriving, the Strip is as bustling as ever on Sunday morning). And it’s so fun to show my husband all the places that used to mean so much to me 13 years (!) ago. Bizarrely, as in other recent trips I just stumbled onto good tea without trying—we parked to kill time right before the wedding across the street from a brand new loose tea shop where they offered Silk Oolong and Lavender Earl Grey (my car smelled like lavender and bergamot the rest of the trip, glorious) and were working on an intriguing white chai. The hotel my parents reserved (they live 5 hours from Pittsburgh so were eager to meet up, which was great) offered good tea in the morning too! And a handful of the restaurants we went to had good tea on offer. Even with all of those unexpected convenient and good tea surprises (Steepster is turning me to the dark side…this was the first trip where beforehand I briefly considered packing loose tea brewing paraphernalia), I found myself missing my tea buddy (we exchange messages multiple times a week on what we’re drinking) and my home set up. Uh oh. When we got in late Tuesday night, this tea was waiting in the mail for me.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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525 tasting notes

Tea review + story time.

So I wake up this morning happy to finally have some time to do my own thing after a weekend of socializing. I make this tea and go out to water the garden so it has time to cool. Unfortunately, husband suckered me into helping him wax his car. Then I spent some time watching 5 swallowtail butterfly caterpillars demolish my small (3" tall) bronze fennel plants. I’m actually more concerned that they’ll run out of food than that my plants are being eaten down to nothing. I purposely got the fennel in order to attract these butterflies, but they haven’t grown enough to support the appetite of even 1 caterpillar, let alone 5. I should run by the store and pick up a parsley plant or something for them. I wasn’t planning on planting carrots until later in the season. hmmm…

Anyway, by the time I got in to drink this tea, it was only lukewarm. And I was so hot from working outside I didn’t even want it anymore. I wanted iced tea!! I drank it anyway. Can’t let tea go to waste. :D

This was one of those teas I purchased when I made a big order from Verdant a while back. First time opening the bag. I’ve decided that I’m not really such a huge fan of qimen. Sometimes I like them, but sometimes not. This one seemed like a really good quality one for someone that appreciated this type of tea. Smokey and fruity and autumn leaves. Nice.

Now on to the cold brewed tea in my fridge. yay!




I should specify that it’s an Eastern Black Swallowtail. They only eat plants like parsley, fennel, carrots, and others in that family. I happen to know where to find wild carrots in my neighborhood so maybe I’ll just harvest some of that for them.


Or maybe I should bring them indoors. I’ve noticed lots of wasps browsing my garden for caterpillars. :(

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