Premium Keemun Hao Ya Black Tea

Tea type
Black Tea
Chinese Keemun Black Tea
Earth, Flowers, Malt, Mushrooms, Pineapple, Fruity, Lychee, Smooth, Sweet, Chocolate, Spices, Brown Sugar, Sugarcane, Sour, Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Dark Wood, Smoke, Baked Bread, Honey, Oats, Wheat, Leather, Caramel, Yams, Cedar, Peppercorn
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Edit tea info Last updated by TeaVivre
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 5 g 19 oz / 566 ml

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168 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I got to add a bit of this back to my stash thanks to LiberTeas! I’m having a cup right now! It’s awesome…I’m so happy to have this tea back in my stash! Thanks LiberTEAs!” Read full tasting note
  • “This is the most second most expensive keemun in teavivres arsenal and i think it might be the one i like least. Which, of course suits me just fine lol. The aroma of this one reminds me of...” Read full tasting note
  • “2 minute steep. Smoke on the Water (live) blasting. I’m ready. I love the dark chocolate smell of the dry leaf. The wet leaf has a good black tea scent but is slightly smoky, and I am nervous. This...” Read full tasting note
  • “I enjoy having Keemun as a breakfast tea. Even if I am naughty most of the time and miss the most important meal of the day I never forget my morning tea. Keemun is so rich and malty that it works...” Read full tasting note

From Teavivre

Origin: Qimen, Anhui, China

Ingredients: Dark black, glossy thin buds topped with golden tips

Taste: A bold but smooth, fruity taste with a lingering, mellow aftertaste

Brew: 1-2 teaspoons for 8oz of water. Brew at 194 ºF (90 ºC) for 2 to 3 minutes (exact time depends on your taste – a longer time will give the tea a stronger taste and color)

Health Benefits: Keemun black tea is fully oxidised, and so does not have the same level of antioxidants as our Green or White teas. However it still makes a great healthy tea to drink, especially if drunk with no or minimal milk and sugar, and provides a great natural source of fluoride and other vitamins.

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168 Tasting Notes

1220 tasting notes

Actual Keemun!

I made 3 steeps in my gaiwan for the same times as the not really Keemun: 15, 20, 25 seconds. All into a mug! This is like so complex.

It’s sweet, it’s smoky, it’s sweet, it’s chocolate. That is an accurate summary of each sip.

I’ve just sat here with this open, despite drinking all of this first cup…more? I think so.

And 3 more tastes just the same. I bet this could be steeped like 12 more times and still taste amazing! But it’s getting too late for that. Next time I order from Teavivre, I’m getting more of this. Except I think my last order is lost at sea.


Ugh, did you lose a teavivre order? That bites!


I’m hoping it’s just held up, but it’s been 15 days and it hasn’t made it even to NYC or wherever. Last time it was there in less than 2 weeks. I’ll give it another 2 weeks of not being tracked anywhere but leaving China before completely freaking out.


this one is such a morning favourite of mine…
Hope your order gets rescued! But if it doesn’t, I have no worries that Teavivre will replace it. But how frustrating having to wait again!

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271 tasting notes

Drinking this today, as had Teavivre’s Organic Superfine Keemun yesterday.

Dry leaf is darker and glossy as described, and is also finer and more compact than the superfine leaf. Brewed aroma of malt with floral and some smoke. Tastes sweet and lightly malty with cocoa notes and a hint of smokiness. Quite delicious.

In comparison to the superfine version, this one seems bolder somehow in that it is less sweet and floral with more smoke and cocoa. I still have a serving of each so will try them both again another day in a side by side comparison. I enjoyed both very much but think I may have preferred yesterdays cup a bit better.. will try again though.

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

Great job Caile! I look forward to your side by side comparison.


Smoky cocoa = delicious!


Thanks! I’m curious as well to see how I’ll find them. I just looked at the teavivre site and there is a price difference with the organic superfine being more.. As well, this one says it has moderate caffeine and the superfine has low caffeine – I wonder why that is?


Yes, the Premium Keemun is a tasty way to start your day & a good value too.


I’m hoping to get to a comparison on sunday since i think 4? or 5 of teavivres are in my house at the moment heh


Oh good! I have been hoping to see your reviews of these!


I’m glad to see comparisons for these two!

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2392 tasting notes

Additional notes: Having this one again – two teaspoons, 18 minutes after boiling, two minutes. For a two year old opened sample (just in a ziplock), this is still mighty scrumptious. It’s actually darker than the Bailin Gongfu even with the same temp, time, amount of leaves. I’m noticing dark chocolate that I never would have noticed before, to go along with the slight smokiness. SO good. The second steep was steeped after 16 minutes for 3-4 minutes. (Basically these are notes for me for future cups.) Also very delicious. It’s very different from anything else I have, really.

This was not the 2013 harvest…it was from 2011 or 2012, maybe even 2010. Does anyone know if the 2013 harvest is the same/similar?

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1184 tasting notes

Mmmm, so delicious. I used 1 tsp of leaf for this cup.
This Keemun is so smooth with some sweet fruity notes and a tiny bit of malty smoke in the background somewhere.
It is good chilled as well.
I am going to have to compare Teavivre’s Keemuns because I am going to have to keep one of them stocked for sure!
Which level of Keemun is most preferred by you Steepsterites!?

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

I also love their Organic Superfine Keemun Fragrant but it’s so much more fruity and chocolaty, it’s hard to compare. I just keep both cause they each serve their purpose!

Terri HarpLady

I have only tried the Orb. Superfine Fragrant Keemun. I need to try this one too. :)

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1328 tasting notes

I’ve sort of lost the whole tea writing mood lately, as you can see from all the short I’m-behind-posts. We’re having this one right now, though, and I’m going to make myself sit down and write something pseudo-intelligent about it.

I like a Keemun to be largely smooth and rounded, but with a little bit of a smoky edge to it. Just a bit. I like the smokier tasting Keemuns better than the more floral tasting ones, and my least favourites are the ones that fall right in the middle of that spectrum because they’re so confusing!

This one has a mild aroma. It’s grainy and kinda sweet, and unfortunately it’s one of those where I can’t tell whether I think it’s more one or more the other. sigh In many other things I would call that a perfect balance, but in this particular kind of tea? I really really want it to be more smoky than floral. I really can’t decide what I think here, and now I’ve put lotion on my hands and can’t smell anything other than that so we’ll just move on.

The flavour is going a lot better in terms of leaning towards smoky or floral. Unfortunately for me, it’s more floral. Still, it’s better than the middle of the scale.

It makes up for this, though, by being extraordinarily cocoa-y. It’s just not a note I’m connecting with this type at all, normally, so it’s really interesting to find it here. It was actually the boyfriend who found it and pointed it out to me, and now I can’t untaste it.

It’s like all the grainyness that I would normally have expected to find has been transformed into cocoa. How interesting!

Another thing that’s interesting is how I’m apparently the only one to have thought it more floral than smoky… It makes me feel a little disappointed in my own tastebuds.

I’m dithering about this one. It’s a very good tea, yes, but it’s not at all what I want in a Keemun. I have to say, I miss the grain. I miss the association to proper Danish rye bread, dark and wholegrain-y, like this (not my site, not my picture. The magic of Google image search)

I’m definitely very much enjoying this one, but it’s not… it’s not it! So, if you were me, would you rate it solely on the experience of this particular cup, or would you deduct points for not being what you wanted it to be?

I’m going to give it a tentative score. Then we’ll see if I end up adjusting it.

Thomas Smith

I can’t really tell from the picture they have – how tippy or golden is this one? Many of the Hao Ya versions I’ve had are either floral-fruity or a lightweight cocoa and I’ve come to associate the level of down prevalence with level of cocoa character for Hao Ya just as I do for northern Fujian reds.


I can’t really tell that sort of thing. At the site there is a better picture where you can zoom in. Mysteriously I actually thought I had cheaped out and ordered the Grade 1 instead, and had to check the bag several times to convince myself that it wasn’t. Maybe it was the Bai Lin I did that with, regular as opposed to organic…

I’ve had a Hao Ya Keemun before and remember that one as really good but that was before I was experienced enough with them to be able to define what I wanted from the type.

I’m beginning to wonder if perhaps I’m just not made for higher grades of tea. Often I find them too dainty and with not enough oomph to them. I tried the higher grade of the Tan Yang Te Ji (oh gosh at a price!) once and discovered the same thing.

Oh, and I hear you met a friend of mine at the tea festival! Small world! :D

Thomas Smith

Hahaha, yeah I was hoping I’d meet a few steepsterites who I’ve read reviews from but only talked to one person who identified herself as a user. It was a nice event that I hope is improved upon for next year.

I’m in the process of moving right now, but in a month or two after getting settled I would like to throw some teas out your way to get your opinion on them. If you send me an address in a personal message I’ll see what I can do after my furniture and finances have settled back down. May include some of the more florally reds you may not care too much for but will attempt to make up for it with others I think you’ll like. I’m flakey on trades, though, so if two or more months have gone by I haven’t forgotten (ask Auggie).


I wish I could have gone and met Steepsterites too. I would particularly love to meet the woman you met in person, I’ve known her for several years now. Unfortunately that sort of travelling is not for me, partly because I find it a rather large expense and partly because travelling is super-stressful for me. I have learned to handle the trip to the UK to visit with the boyfriend’s family fairly, but I still don’t think I could do it alone.

As for the swap, I sent you a message. Sounds like you have some specific things in mind you want to share. How intersting. :D

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134 tasting notes

Today, was my first foray into Chinese Gongfu brewing. Thus, it was also the first time I used a gaiwan and TeaVivre’s Double-wall Glass Tea Cups

Recommended Brewing Instructions:

Water: 3oz / 85ml 194℉ / 90℃ 5 Grams Tea ( 6 steeps: rinse,15s,25s,40s,70s,100s,130s Rinsing time is around 3 seconds

RO water re-mineralized with an Aptera filter

I selected this tea as I’m very familiar with how it tastes brewing western-style conveniently in a tea mug with a Finum brew basket This is my regular breakfast tea. I wanted to see how changing the brewing method would affect the flavor.

As this was my first my Gongfu brewing, I had to make do with what we had on hand. We don’t yet have a water boiler or a variable-temp electric kettle I used a classic Revere Ware SS Copper-bottom stove-top kettle to boil water, which was then poured into a tea mug with a DAVIDsTEA Thermometer/Timer in the thermometer mode. A meat cutting board served as a tea tray/desk for collecting water.

Even though all the teaware used was first rinsed with boiling water, 3oz. of boiling water when first poured into the tea mug with the thermometer immediately cooled to 190℉. (3oz. was simply not a large enough quantity of water to overcome the ambient temperature of the tea mug. Normally, 8oz of boiling water poured into a room-temperature mug will immediately cool to 197-199℉.) Thus, a 10 sec. reheat in the microwave was needed. The water was allowed to cool to 194℉, then added to the gaiwan.

A Teavana Perfect Preset Tea Timer was used in the count-up mode to control the brewing time. In lieu of a tea pitcher & a matching tea strainer, a heavy Pyrex measuring cup and a small fine kitchen strainer were used.

Using the Gong-fu method produced a more nuanced flavor profile with enhanced aroma c/w Teavivre’s recommend Western brewing instructions. Steeps 4-6 were a little lighter than the first three. However, they still had more flavor than the 3rd steep using their Western method.

The obvious disadvantage to this method is the time necessary for 6 steeps each of which only produces 3oz. Additionally, since this was my first endeavor with Gong-fu brewing, I was focusing on the procedure and my technique, which somewhat distracted me from discerning the aroma & flavor differences between these two techniques.

195 °F / 90 °C 5 g 3 OZ / 88 ML

Not having an electric water boiler or kettle with a variable temperature control or presets has definitely limited my exposure to the joys of gongfu brewing. I would welcome any recommendations. Thanks!


I use an inexpensive electric water like this one

It doesn’t have very precise temperature control, but it’s easy to open the lid and look at the boiling plate and see the size and shape of the water bubbles, and if it’s at a full boil or not. It fits nicely on my little side table with my tea stuff, and is easy to refill (I bring a liter of water in a pitcher to the table, and top off my electric pot every few pours, to keep the water from getting flat with being boiled).

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368 tasting notes

The dry leaf of this tea has a powerful aroma. Stronger than anything I’ve had on hand in a good long while. Oddly, the smell is all Yunnan golden. Deeply sweet, like roasted figs.

The cup isn’t nearly as bold on a short steep but there’s a very pleasant round, full presence of the tea from start to finish.

I don’t have nearly as much astringency as I did from this tea the other day. Maybe I did over-cook it a bit, then?

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172 tasting notes

Free sample provided by Teavivre, thanks again to them. This is my first Keemun, hooray! I always love when I get to try something completely new to me. As far as aroma goes, I noticed similarities to my previous experiences with Chinese black teas, such as a malty aroma with hints of cocoa and a slight bit of honey. While the leaf was steeping, the cocoa aroma intensified and a small amount of smoke presented itself. Every tea has a tone or a feeling to it, and the tone that this tea was presenting was dark and haunting.

The taste followed suit with the aromas. Dark chocolate, lots of malt and a little smokiness. This tea has some real heft to it. It’s not bitter, but it’s intense. It’s not astringent, but it’s robust. It reminds me of some really high quality coffee in its intensity, but it lacks the acidity of coffee. The smokiness is almost like an illusion to me, you can’t smell it or taste it on nearly the same level as a lapsang souchong, you just kind of feel like it’s there.

This tea would make a great wake up cup as well as an awesome late night tea.

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2272 tasting notes

What a heavenly day! It was 44F this morning when the sun rose, and just a bit above that when I went out to feed the chickens. Breakfast was served by candlelight and with hot cocoa, but I knew I had to have some great tea to enjoy this first truly autumnal day. After breakfast, youngest and I made a pot of this to enjoy.

Quite a few of the Teavivre black teas have instructions for lower temps and shorter steep times, and I quite often make them by western parameters because I am used to the strength. This one, however, is best made just how they recommend. The water is cooler – 194F and the steep time quite short at two minutes, but that is fine with me because I get my tea faster!

The morning pot of tea was lovely and bracing, comforting and warming. I saved the leaves and we made two more steeps this afternoon as we enjoyed the cool air and the brilliant blue sky with the sunlight hitting the tops of the pines and making them almost glow with fresh green color. And the tea was perfect. Perfect perfect perfect for this beautiful, blessed day. There is cocoa, walnut skins, malt, and pure beauty in this.

Some of you know that hubby used to drink grocery store black tea with tons of sugar and milk, but then he really started getting into oolongs and greens and even whites. He has eschewed black tea for a long time now because he says he wouldn’t enjoy it without additions.

Since he drinks puerh and likes it, I didn’t mention what I was drinking outside on the big quilt in my secret garden. Guess who drank two cups?

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1627 tasting notes

Wowzers! This actually made me jittery this morning! No tea has done that for me… at least not in a very long time! This is great for the mornings since I need that caffeine eye opener! I love this malty tea.

200 °F / 93 °C 7 min, 0 sec

I had to tone this one down the first time I had it. So strong!

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