The history of many teas can be traced back for thousands of years. Stories uncovered in ancient textbooks and memoirs of idolised contributors are just some of the ways in which we piece together tea’s illustrious and expansive past. Although we cherish these fond and fascinating facts dating back to centuries past, the magic of tea lies in its incredible ability to develop and adapt to this ever-changing world. Since its original discovery, millions of different blends have been created over the course of time with new concoctions becoming established in markets every year. For a new blend of tea to prosper, age is no longer a main factor in its recognition. In fact, one of the world’s most popular black teas was first produced in the late 19th Century, which by the standards of tea history – is very young! This article focusing on the history of when can only be described Keemun Tea.

History of Keemun Tea

Keemun tea is largely considered one of the most renowned black teas varieties produced in


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China. Its name derives from an archaic English spelling of the county in which it is produced, Qimen. The county can be found in the Anhui Province of China with the tea often grown in mountainous regions covered in forest and prone to low temperatures, high humidity and frequent fog. These conditions help in creating Keemun Tea’s distinctive flavour which is often described as particularly mellow while its aroma is slightly floral and smoky.

First produced in 1875, Keemun tea’s story begins with a former Chinese civil servant, Yu Ganchen, who lost his job and in his shame, took it upon himself to travel to the Fuijian Province in a quest to uncover the secrets of black tea production. With the result far exceeding his expectations, Yu Ganchen returned to Qimen county to establish three factories for the production of black tea. Prior to that time, the Anhui Province had only produced green teas so across the county, Yu Ganchen’s endeavours were considered remarkable and revolutionary.

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When it was discovered that the conditions found in the Anhui Province were well-suited to black tea’s production, Keemun tea exploded onto the markets across China, followed by the western hemisphere soon after.  Its world-renown was officially recognised in the early 20th century with awards including the Gold prize at the 1913 International Exposition in Italy followed by the Gold prize at the 1915 International Exposition in Panama. The latter half of the 20th century also saw Keemun tea win the Gold prize at the 26th World Premium Food Product Contest held in Belgium in 1987.

Keemun Tea Today

Today, Keemun tea continues to make a name for itself and is often one of the key components found in English Breakfast tea. It is also credited with a number of health benefits often associated with most black tea variants including digestive aid and weight loss capabilities. Although not as rich in antioxidants as its green and white tea cousins, black teas such as Keemun still have many benefits with frequent consumption. When it comes to digestion, drinking a cup of Keemun tea after your meals has the ability to reduce the risk of indigestion

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by getting rid of excess acidity in your stomach. Meanwhile, it also helps in boosting your metabolism which ultimately enables your body to process food faster while also get rid of unwanted waste better. This in turn enhances your chances of swifter weight loss.

Here at the Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company, we have a sizable selection of different Keemun teas for you to try at your leisure. This includes our very own Keemun Mao Feng Black Tea, which is arguably one of the most well-renowned varieties of the blend. Traditionally harvested earlier than others, and containing leafsets of two leaves and a bud, it is lighter and sweeter than other Keemun teas. This particular blend is very high quality and comes with a winey taste and fruity notes. Also with longer brewing comes different, more subtle characteristics.
Perhaps you would prefer to try something a little different? Then why not experience our Keemun Orchid Tea? This top quality Keemun loose leaf tea with its beautifully rolled leaves gives a full bodied aromatic aroma likened to wild Orchids. Its flavour is sweet with fragrant taste notes of Honey, Plum, Orchid, Pine and Sesame.
Whichever you decide upon, you can be sure that adding Keemun tea to your collection will prove that not everything needs to get better with age.