Keemun Hao Ya, China

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Black Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by Michelle Butler Hallett
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205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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9 Tasting Notes View all

From Stash Tea Company

Delicate gray leaf tea, the best of its class. Brews a rich amber color. Smooth flavor with a subtle orchid aroma.

Keemun Hao Ya is one of the highest grades of this famous tea and its taste is characteristic of traditional Chinese black tea-sweet, buttery and juicy. The narrow, tightly twisted black leaves brew into a reddish-gold cup with a full-bodied, fruity and smooth flavor. Its sweet notes are highlighted by its unique orchid and plum aroma. Keemun Hao Ya is typically consumed plain, but it may be taken with milk.

Keemun tea is grown in Anhui Province, which is situated in eastern China. Keemun tea, named after Qimen County where it is grown, was a huge success in England and became the key component in English Breakfast tea blends

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9 Tasting Notes

579 tasting notes

1 TB for 450mL water @ 98C. Steeped 4 minutes. Rating: 98.

For years, the phrase “gray leaf” in the packet copy turned me off this tea. Since then, I’ve drunk some good Keemun, a lot of middling Keemun and a few cups of thin tar that were a travesty. This is the first Keemun where I’ve caught any of the “sweetness” or “floral/orchid” notes I’ve read about. The sweetness balanaces a gentle smokiness. The finish is mineral-clean, with, yes, some floral notes in taste and aroma. A very, very good Keemun.


Hey there! I’m making my first true online order .. Stash has a coupon code ( FALLETC ) this weekend, apparently for Canada only… (?)

I think I’ll try Golden Monkey and the have one on there called “Fancy Golden Tippy Hao Ya Black Tea” , I assume something like Black Needles.. ? Any other recommendations? :D


The coupon is 20% off , by the way..

Michelle Butler Hallett

Wow. Nice discount. I just re-stocked, otherwise I’d pounce on that.

Lessee, what would I recommend … you’re thinking black tea, right? I haven’t tried the Fancy Golden Tippy Hao Ya, though I almost ordered it last time. Stash’s Black Needle Yunnan is excellent. They also carry an estate Assam, Kopili, which is great. The Keemun, above, is lovely. They were carrying a Darjeeling Wood Smoke OP, which I quite liked but really have to be in the mood for. Their Caravan is a good smoky tea without getting in your face like some lapsangs. In the Yamamoto line, they carry a bagged pu-erh that I really like, plus a chrystanetmum pu-erh. I know, bagged, but really good. I haven’t found a pu-erh yet that I like better, and I’ve given up trying, as most pu-erhs upset my stomach. I think you’ll really like the Golden Monkey. Their China Yunnan is a so-so everyday Yunnan, nothing great, but really nothing wrong with it, either. If you like Earl Grey, Stash does a double bergamot version that blows people’s minds. (I am not a regular EG drinker, so I’m not a good one to ask about it.) There are some very good Darjeelings in their Teas if India line; I prefer the second flush.


Awesome, thanks for the reply! Maybe I’ll hold off on the Fancy Golden Tippy Hao Ya for now since I’ve got lots of other choices. I think I trust your judgment on the Black Needle Yunnan so much that I’ll order buy 3 get one free (+20% off!!) as that’s the best deal I can even imagine on a tea like that – I really loved DavdsTea’s Black Needles so I’m excited for this. :D

I’ve been kind of “experimenting” with Keemun and I think I should try a really good one, so I’ll give that one a shot too.

I know I like the maltiness of Assam and if it’s as good as you and others say, I’ll give the Kopili a go.

On a side note, I love how Stash actually give volume discounts when you buy 100g or more :D:D

I might go out on a limb and try Guayusa and Black Tea, since it’s made with Yunnan and may serve to replace the morning coffee I’ve been making a part of my routine lately…

Caravan and Darjeeling Wood Smoke: I’m a little scared of smoky teas after I got a tin of Lapsang from DavidsTea …

I’ll try a few bags of the Pu-Erh and Darjeeling Summer, though.. (I found your review “Writer-chick” ;)

Well, that’s it, I think I’m ready to place my order!! :)

Michelle Butler Hallett

Ooh, let me know what you think of the Guayusa and Yunnan — another one I almost ordered. Really hoping you like it all and don’t feel that I steered you wrong.

Michelle Butler Hallett

(gasps) However did you figure out my pseudonym?


Hah, are you serious? You are a writer, n’est-ce pas? :P

Btw, I had to cancel my whole order because of an unexpected vet bill… damn animals, why do we have to love them so much… :P

Michelle Butler Hallett

No, not serious, just being a smart-arse.

Hope your pet’s feeling better.

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818 tasting notes

Yesterday, we had afternoon tea for my mom and grandmother’s birthdays. I brought a large bag of teas, but my mom had quite a few herself! She recently ordered from Harney & Sons and Stash, so I got to try a few new ones. We enjoyed lemon cream scones, egg salad sandwiches, haystack cookies, white chocolate kona shortbread cookies and lemon bundt cake. Yum!

So, I’ve always kinda poo-poohed (if that’s a word) Stash tea because I thought everything they sold was bagged tea. Plus, I’ve had their spicy chai and I hate it. My mom, however, changed my opinion when she brought out a couple of their teas in loose form and gave me samples to try at home. I’m not sure I’ve ever really had a straight keemum before, but after reading the description for Golden Moon Tea’s version, my curiosity peaked. (I still intend to order some of that tea).

As for Stash’s version, it wasn’t exactly love at first sip, but as I sipped, it really grew on me. The description talks of plum and orchid notes…not sure I get that. What I did taste was a sweetness that was hard to place, but by the end of the cup I thought I got cocoa notes. Yay! I also tasted some smokiness, which I’m not a fan of, but it was balanced by the other flavors in the cup and didn’t overpower. Not bad! I guess Stash could still be a player in my cupboard. ;)

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