Sample package label:
“USDA Organic, Fair Trade certified
Suggested Steeping Guide:
One generous tsp. / 212*F / 3-5 minutes”

Introduction: Kevin @ The Whistling Kettle first introduced me to Keemun tea: I’ve purchased several pounds from him and have thoroughly enjoyed it. When I saw that Arbor Teas offers two different organic Keemun teas, I had to sample them. This first review is of the more cost-effective one.

Technique: 8-oz water with total dissolved solids (TDS) of 21 ppm, heated to 212*F
1 “generous” Tevanna teaspoon, without sweeteners, milk or cream.

This tea has a mild smoky fragrance.
Amber hue

1st cup: I first followed the brewing recommendations and after 5 minutes this Keemun was medium-bodied – not what I expected.

2nd cup: I kept everything the same but reduced the water to 6 oz. and it was too strong.

3rd Cup (8 oz. water & 1 Heaping tsp.):
3-min Initial Impression: The taste is light & smooth. It’s not at all bitter or astringent. (I then let it steep for an additional minute.)
4-min: Improving
5-min: It’s a smooth, full-bodied breakfast tea with a prominent roasted quality that overshadows the subtle wine-like Keemun flavor.

Impression: A cost-effective, smooth, full-bodied, organic Keemun.

Suggestion: With this tea, I used most of the sample to find the optimum balance of water & tea. This results in less of an opportunity to explore the subtleties of the tea. Using teaspoon measurements such as “rounded”, “generous”, “heaping”, etc. are sometimes too imprecise. Adding the weight of tea in grams to the brewing recommendations would be helpful and more time efficient.

(This tasting experience reminds me, I need to find a good digital tea scale. Does anyone have a recommendation?)

Thanks to Arbor Teas and Aubrey for providing this overstuffed free sample.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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My wife and I are passionate about teas that are full-bodied, rich, thick & creamy smooth. I joined Steepster to explore Multiple Infusion Teas (MITs). Currently, our focus is on ripe pu-erh teas.

We especially enjoy teas with a mildly-sweet rich chocolate flavor profile as opposed to bittersweet cocoa.

Cost-effective organic teas or teas that meet the EU Food Safety Commission Pesticide Maximum Residue Limit EUROFINS are greatly appreciated. Many people drink tea for the anti-oxidant health benefits. So why would health conscious tea lovers drink tea that contains pesticide residues?

Complete steeping instructions on the bag are greatly appreciated:
tsp. (g) / oz. / temp. / rinse? / min. for both Western & Gongfu brewing.

Our recent orders have been from: Yunnan Sourcing, Crimson Lotus, Little Red Cup, Berylleb (ebay), King Tea, White 2 Tea, Tao Tea Leaf, Whispering Pines, Yezi, TeaVivre, What-Cha, Mandala, Zen Tea Life, Arbor Teas, Verdant, Grandness (Aliexpress). Kudos to them as they have all been extremely helpful.

Our cupboard doesn’t include the many greatly appreciated samples generously provided by Steepsters’s favorite tea suppliers and by several very kind Steepster members.

Current Gogng Fu Brewing Method:
10-15g / 6 oz / 205° / 60s preheat / 60s warm leaves / 5s rinse / 20 min rest / 5s / 5 / 5 / 5 / 15 / 30 / 60 /120. Every two steeps combined in a sharing pitcher.

RO water re-mineralized with an Aptera filter
Digital variable-temp electric kettle and a tempered 6 oz. gaiwan:

High quality water is essential for excellent tasting tea.
Our 450’ well provides hard water. For details see:

#1. Rainsoft water softener with
Q2 computerized control valve

#2. Abundant Flow Water
Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water System with re-mineralization filter
Model: Zeta RO:
- Dow Filmtec TFC R.O. membrane
- Omnipure Inline Post filter
- Puregen Aptera Alkaline Filter:
Update 10/27/17:
Today, I sanitized our RO system and replaced all the filters (routine RO system maintenance). We upgraded from the Puregen Aptera Alkaline Filter to the Zaria Everest Alkaline Water Filter:
The major difference is the Zaria Everest is NSA-certified, the Puregen is not.
- Aquatec ERP-500 & ASV 2000
- 3/8" Output
- HM Digital DM-1:

My profile picture is a Red-Breasted Nuthatch, a winter visitor to our woodpecker feeder.


Mid-Atlantic, USA

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