Numi's Keemun

Originally posted to "Dickens of a Blog" in much the same form.


Official Blurb from Product Page: "This Chinese tea from Anhui province, creates a rich burgandy infusion. It has a delicate aroma that suggests roasted sugar cane, a deep malt flavor with hints of port wine and fresh pine needles.".

keemun loose tea surrounding a cup

I picked up a bag of this from good ole Amazon for the nice and low price of under $1 per ounce (translates to less than $0.10 per cup). It was part of my "I have a couple nice, regional oolongs and greens but no really straight blacks," realization. With the exception of Lapsang Souchong and Darjeeling, everything was a blended source: breakfast blends, Earl Greys, and so on. The "roasted sugar cane" was what sold me. That, and I saw the word "keemun" associated with some of the blends I already liked.

It does have a smoked flavor to it, albeit mild. And it does have a malt flavor, kind of strong. If you are a black tea drinker that considers Ceylon a standard, then this is going to be a really full flavor for you. In fact, it is one of the most distinctive flavors that I have ever tried. It is a flavor meant to be taken straight, and enjoyed as a whole. There are a couple of little hints of other flavors that I cannot quite place, meaning if one was just to chug this, or drink it with a meal, they would probably be lost.

I have made many cups of it, and have enjoyed every single one. This tea gets high marks for me as a distinct black tea that does not require "aquiring the taste".

The Numi blend is designed to be resteeped a couple of times, but this never quite works with black teas for me. A pound bag is only about $24 if you buy it straight, so it's still a damned fine bargain.

I've personally moved on to the Keemun that I can get from my favorite local tea shop but this is going to be a very tight close second. I rate it a Great with no reservation.

Written by W Doug Bolden

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