Sample package label:
“USDA Organic, Fair Trade certified
Suggested Steeping Guide:
One scant 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 second review is of their premium Keemun.

8-oz water with total dissolved solids (TDS) of 25 ppm, heated to 212*F
1 “scant” Tevanna teaspoon, without sweeteners, milk or cream.

This tea has a mild smoky fragrance.
Dark brown hue

1st cup:
3-min Initial Impression: The taste is medium-bodied & smooth. It’s not at all bitter or astringent. (I then let it steep for an additional two minutes.)
5-min: Too long – It now has a prominent roasted quality that overshadows the subtle wine-like Keemun flavor.

2nd cup:
4-min: It’s a deep, smooth, rich, full-bodied breakfast tea with a slight smokiness and a subtle wine-like Keemun flavor that’s not at all bitter or astringent.

5-min re-steep:
Still enjoyable and a little lighter as you would expect. In fact, the classic wine-like Keemun flavor is now a little better appreciated.

Impression: A smooth, full-bodied, organic Keemun that is more robust than their less expensive organic Keemun. However, it has a subtle classic wine-like Keemun flavor, which one would not expect of a premium Hao Ya A.

Suggestion: Using teaspoon measurements such as “scant” “rounded”, “generous”, “heaping”, etc. are sometimes too imprecise. Adding the weight of tea in grams to the brewing recommendations would insure an optimum first impression and be more time efficient.

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

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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My wife and I enjoy shou that:
- is Full-bodied, thick, rich, creamy smooth
- produces a full-mouth feeling with a long pleasing finish
- w/o obvious acidity, astringency, or bitterness
- Retains this profile & is complex enough to enjoy for multiple steeps

Notes of interest:
- natural rich chocolate (as opposed to too bittersweet cocoa)
- honey, caramel, stone fruits, sweet potato, barley, fresh baked bread

Notes not of interest: Floral, vegetal, woody.

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, King Tea Mall, Whispering Pines, & Arbor Teas. 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:
20g / 6 oz / 205° / 60s preheat / 60s warm leaves / 5s rinse / 5 min rest / 5s / 5 / 7 / 10 / 15 / 20 / 25 /30 / 45 / 60. Every two steeps combined in a sharing pitcher.

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 an Impact Alkaline re-mineralization filter
Model: Zeta RO:
- Dow Filmtec TFC R.O. membrane
- Omnipure Inline Post filter
- Impact Alkaline Filter
All filters made in USA & NSF-Certified.
- Aquatec ERP-500 & ASV 2000
- 3/8" Output
- HM Digital DM-2 TDS meter

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


Mid-Atlantic, USA

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