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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Loose Leaf
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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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21 Want it Want it

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34 Own it Own it

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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

2148 tasting notes

Tea #37 from Another Traveling Tea Box

While I’m normally a fan of a strong black tea, this one isn’t for me. I hate to say that since I’m a huge fan of most of the teas from TeaVivre that I’ve tried. Perhaps I’ll have to order a few different types and see if I stumble across one I do enjoy. I hate to completely give up on a style of tea, but so far my experience with Keemun has been rather lackluster.

The tea is very strong, which would generally appeal to me, but the combination of flavors just don’t suit my tastes. There was a hint of bitterness and a subtle smoky flavor that I don’t think went well with the dark chocolate notes I kept picking up. While I didn’t care for it, I do think this makes a great fall tea for someone who likes straight blacks with a hint of smoke.

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

Sorry for this tea does not your favorite, i’m glad you can tell me your honest feeling about this tea. And your satisfactions are the best encourage for us to go forward.

Dr Jim

It’s one of my favorites, which is why I put it in the box. Too bad you didn’t like it but it’s a matter of taste – I love the smoke.

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185 tasting notes

So, Keemun number 3! Semi-backlog, as I finished this about an hour and a half ago, but I was in the middle of making dinner. So you get the Steepster’s Digest version:

-More similar to the Grade 2 Keemun than either the Grade 1 or the Superfine
-Stout, but not as as stout as the Grade 2
-Lacking a lot of the fruitiness of the Grade 1, but it’s still apparent. Just… less so.
-Not as smokey as Grade 2, but smokier than Grade 1
-Somewhere around no astringency. Very smooth.

Out of the four, this is my second favorite. It’s very, very good, but something about the Grade 2 just appeals to the blue collar in me. It’s like a working man’s tea. So yeah, if sometime in the future, Marty McFly is reading this and wondering what tea to buy… I would recommend giving all of them a shot. It’s almost like you need to toss them on a scatterplot, or some sort of four-square diagram. Depending what you’re looking for, any of the four grades of Teavivre’s Keemun are excellent choices.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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863 tasting notes

This was another free sample generously provided to me by TeaVivre. Thank you so much!

Steeping notes: 3 tsp. leaf to 500 ml water at the below parameters. No additives.

Dry leaf: Small, dark, and compact. There was a slight smoky smell but really it smelled more cocoa-y and slightly musty than actual smoke.

Steeped leaf: A dark reddish brown color. The smell was quite similar to that of the dry leaf – a touch more musty once it was wet, though. The taste was not smoky at all, which was a really good thing for me – I was nervous about that aspect of the flavor but it is not present (maybe because I lowered the steep time?), so yay!

Frankly, the strongest taste I’m getting is dark chocolate on the swallow. It’s bitter like dark chocolate, but not bitter like an astringent tea would be, if that makes any sense. The texture is verging on thin, but that’s more down to my chickening out on steep time than anything else. As it cools the musty scent is transferring into the taste, but it’s still not smoky, so I’ll take it.

Overall: I think this must be a milder Keemun, and even though I wouldn’t venture much further as a matter of personal taste, I think it would be a good gateway tea for those who do want to explore smokier teas. As it cools I’m finding it somewhat abrasive on the back of my throat so I could definitely decrease the steep time when I have it again and see if that improves. Not bad at all!

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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251 tasting notes

Thank you to Angel at Teavivre for this wonderful sample!

Dry: Short and twisty black loose leaf tea with a few golden tips mixed in. Has a pleasant notably sweet and lightly malted fragrance. I really like Teavivre’s Keemuns apparently because this one is another winner!

Steeped: Medium coppery-brown clear liquor. I didn’t add anything to this and the brewed aroma (Western method) retains a bit of that sweet note from the loose leaf. There is also a touch of smoke and of course that lovely malt.

Taste: I really like this tea, just as much as I enjoyed the Grade 1 I tried recently. They are very similar, but this one seems to be a bit more flavorful perhaps. I may need to do a side-to-side comparison soon so I know which one to order a larger bag of. I love the feeling when you taste a tea and just know you need to keep it around.

Anyhow, this is a wonderful breakfast choice for a Sunday morning. Thick mouthfeel added to a rich, fruity, mellow base. There is a slight pleasant mellow floral and smoke aftertaste. The complexity makes me think of a lower cacao percentage dark chocolate with that sweet aroma and taste dancing around on my tongue. I might need to have a nibble of the hazelnut and currant dark chocolate I have stashed with this tea for just such an occasion. :)

195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Terri HarpLady

I will have to try this one. I love the organic super fragrant one, but really I wish to sample them all! :)

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612 tasting notes

I can never quite get over how wrong my guesses at what keemuns would taste like before trying any were—I was thinking heavily smoky and sharp, acrid, like knock-you-out generic lapsang souchongs. But no! For me they are more overwhelmingly about the smell of toasted chocolate than anything else, including smoke, and it’s been a rather pleasant surprise to discover this. There’s also a chewy grain quality here, an element I’ve noticed present in all of the Teavivre black teas I’ve tried so far (along with that complex relatively mellow sweetness I tend to associate with Chinese tea). A little bit of bitterness, but noticeably less than in the H&S version I tried earlier this month. There is a woodgrainy mouthfeel, I’m guessing from the tannin, and for some reason it works here with the softness of the flavor.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

This is the tea I currently enjoy every morning.
Have you tried 1.5 tsp. / 8 oz. / 194*F / 2 to 3 minutes?
Have you also tried it Gaiwan style?


I did 1.5 tsp/8oz/205F/3min western style. Haven’t used my gaiwan yet; only got it about a week ago. Looking forward to getting the hang of using it soon though!


" A little bit of bitterness, …"
A lower temp. should help western or gaiwan style.
With 1.5 tsp. you may find that less time is needed too.


Yeah, when I tried the Harney Keemun Hao Ya A I definitely decided I’d have to steep for less time. This wasn’t too bitter for me at all though, it was just right. I don’t mind a little depending on context, and here I thought it went nicely with the rich toasted chocolate and grain flavor. It helps that there’s some sweetness to it too. Thanks for your guidance! I appreciate it.


Happy to help. Hope you enjoy it.

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432 tasting notes

Deliciously smoky but not over the top. I enjoyed this during a Google+ Hangout dedicated to tea and this was the tea of the week. I picked this beauty out from Teavivre as I knew it just had to be delicious. So far what I have tasted from this company has been wonderful and I will continue to purchase from there.

Highly Recommend!!!

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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34 tasting notes

I’m not getting a lot of smokiness with this tea like some of the other review, but it’s definitely a sturdy tea. I rationed out this sample in my group of tea to drink on those “oh my god I think I got hit by a train” mornings. Especially for the price – this is worth keeping around

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372 tasting notes

I started off my morning with this today and yesterday. I’ve seen Keemun described in many ways. Woody, smokey, piney, winey, earthy, nutty, and leathery. Every time I have a cup of keemun I find myself at a loss for words on how to compare the flavor. I can pickup the keemun in breakfast blends, to some degree in Lapsangs, and in some Pu-Erh. Really I guess when it all boils down the flavor is Chinese black. Of course another great offering from Teavivre. For me the flavor of keemun is old. Not in a bad way mind you. The taste reminds me of antiquity. If that sounds crazy I’m sorry. There is a hint of cedar wood sipping keemun, a little leathery as well. Oddly enough there’s a slight hint of perfume in it. Similar to a very high hopped India Pale Ale. So maybe it’s a little hoppy as well. Overall though a very good tea!

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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348 tasting notes

I forgot I even had this. And – lo and behold – I finished the whole thing in a two day’s stretch. The pots I brewed of it turned out perfect – smokey, sweet, and…nostalgic?

Hard to explain.

It was accompanied by several other “finali-teas”, which I had to expand upon here:

Point being, sometimes a perfect pot o’ tea is the perfect omen for a week of goods and bads.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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109 tasting notes

I was excited to get this Keemun Hao Ya. Up til now every place I bought Keemun from just called it “Keemun” – no differentiating between types of grades (not even Rishi).

Packaging is great with a sealed foil envelope inside a re-sealable foil pouch (all Teavivre’s have been like that).

Leaves are black with a few golden buds. Dry leaf aroma is fairly chocolate-y. Brewed leaf aroma has more pine notes. Liquor is very coppery. The taste is traditional Keemun to me-notes of chocolate, pine, smoke. Nothing predominates. It seems more smokey if you let it cool TOO much, though.

I find one heaping teaspoon gets you two solid steeps-maybe 3 depending on your preference. I tried 2 teaspoons, and I got 3 steeps, but they were more inconsistent. I consider this tea a great value-I paid much more for a Keemun Reserve from Rishi and used 6 teaspoons to get 5 steeps-with the first one being almost undrinkably bitter (no matter what adjustments I made). AND, I think this tea from TeaVivre is a little bit better than Rishi’s as well.

I’d say this is the best Keemun I’ve tasted yet. Will definitely re-purchase when the new harvest comes out this summer.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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