drank Anhui Keemun by Adagio Teas
1686 tasting notes

Since we’re all about changes to Steepster the last day or so, I really wish there was a way for me to sort my Tealog by tea type. So that I could, for example, key in “Keemun” and get everything containing Keemun I’ve logged so I can compare how I rated them, rather than having to remember which ones I’ve had, what they were called, etc. Please please please put this at the top of the list for new changes, O Steepster gods. As my log gets longer and longer it gets harder and harder to sort through stuff and it would be great not to have to read each blend’s description to know whether it includes Keemun.

I know I’ve had Keemuns before in blends, but the only thing I can find in my log that is called “Keemun” is another Adagio, the Keemun Rhapsody, and a Life In Teacup Keemun Black Tea Grade II. It has been a while but judging by my ratings, I liked both. This one appears to be a crowd favorite so I was psyched to try it as my last black tea of the day.

The dry leaves are quite pretty, very small and delicate looking. They remind me of seeds. Dark green and tippy. They smell like smoke to me on first sniff, but as I sit with the smell I get a definite cocoa note and a bit of leather underneath the smoke.

Steeped, the aroma is not very smoky and richer, with a baked bread quality at the surface and saddles underneath. The liquor is lighter than I expected, a sort of chestnut color.

What is fascinating to me about this tea is that on first sip, I’m not seeing what the fuss is about. But as I follow the flavor from the sip through to the aftertaste, the complexity of this becomes apparent. It reminds me of how a really nice wine becomes even nicer as it breathes.

The beginning is mellow leather, the midsip is sweet, smoky bread, and the finish is buttery sweet wood with a tiny dash of salt and spice. The mouthfeel is soft, and thick without being too clingy. The aftertaste goes on and on. A bit of smoke, a bit of sweetness that isn’t quite cocoa but could be and isn’t quite malt but could be.

This deserves some attention to see whether I’ve steeped it as well as it can be steeped. I suspect there is even more to this that I’m not yet getting. I’m more in the Angrboda camp on this one than the Inguna and Auggy camp at this point. It’s lovely, but to me it isn’t perfect. Of course I’m entirely willing to attribute that to user error.

ETA: The wet leaves have a sort of spicy, salty smell that reminds me of olives!

Flavors: Baked Bread, Cocoa, Leather, Wood

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 7 g 25 OZ / 750 ML

I love your description! It’s making me want some, and I’m not usually a big fan on Keemun.


If you get a chance to try this one, you should. It really is something special.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

People who liked this



I love your description! It’s making me want some, and I’m not usually a big fan on Keemun.


If you get a chance to try this one, you should. It really is something special.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.



I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tea skills and tastes developed they became less appealing to me — but I still enjoy nicely done blends where the base doesn’t taste like hamster cage chips. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with me. That said, I’m not entirely a purist and I enjoy a good flavored tea, particularly flavored blacks.

I like all kinds of tea depending on time of day, mood, and the amount of time I have to pay attention to preparation. These days, I’ve been drinking primarily green tea during weekdays after my first cup of coffee. On weekends, I’ve been drinking only tea.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

90-94 First rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Excellent; will likely buy more

70-79 Very good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Good; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

People have sent me tea on occasion, and I was once persuaded to send some Tazo Om to AmazonV. I’ve also done at least one group buy here on Steepster, the famous Doulton-led Dammann Freres experiment years ago. But mostly, I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it, though I don’t put samples in my cupboard and not everything I have at any given time is showing in my cupboard. I do try to remember to remove things from my cupboard once I no longer have them.

My current process for tea note generation is described in my note on this tea: https://steepster.com/teas/mariage-freres/6990-the-des-impressionnistes

I was an early internet adopter and have been online in various environments since around 1990. Steepster is one of the nicest online environments I’ve ever been privileged to participate in and that is saying something. :-)


Bay Area, California



Following These People

Moderator Tools

Mark as Spammer