DetailsKEEMUN 3 MONKEY
(China Special Black Tea)
Country of Origin: China
Region: Qimen County, Anhui Province (home of the original keemun)
Grade: 3 Monkey
Altitude: 2000 - 3000 feet above sea level
Manufacture Type: Special Keemun orthodox
Cup Characteristics: A complex and subtle flavour that is aromatic and penetrating without being lush or floral.
Infusion: Bright tending reddish
Of all the Chinese black teas the ones most familiar to the West are commonly called congou teas. The two principal divisions are north China congou and south China congou. The north China congous - from the provinces of Kiangsu, Anhui and Hunan were all typical English breakfast style teas. The most famous of these congous are the keemuns. The 3 Monkey Keemun though not the best keemun produced (the best keemun is grade Hoa Ya A) is noted for its excellent value and deep rich flavor. The aroma of 3 Monkey is somewhat difficult to describe. One is tempted to describe the subtle scents with that of long unopened jewelry boxes, with hints of incense or distant pine.
The Chinese say that the bouquet of 3 Monkey is like the perfume of an orchid and the less poetic will say that it is like toast hot from the oven. It has been suggested that the reason 3 Monkey is a classic English breakfast tea is that its fragrance is brought out by the addition of milk.
In any event the thick reddish liquor from the fine, tightly rolled leaves of this superb tea have a deep, rich concentrated flavor, reminiscent of the fine qualities of Burgundy wine. Keemun is the best-keeping of China black teas and will keep for years, and if well stored take on a mellow winy character
Milk and a dash of sugar help capture the complex nature of this tea, but it is also perfectly acceptable to consume this tea straight-up.