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China Tea ep. 28 – Keemun, CTC Black Tea, Lapsang Souchong | Sunday Tea Book | Sip-a-long – Traditional Keemun

Keemun (Qimen Black Tea)

Keemun is great to sip alone, or with milk and sugar. Keemun has won the love of the royal family in England, and is considered one of the best black teas (qun fang zui, 群芳最).


Traditional Keemun


Dry Leaf: contained, light sweetness
Liquor Colour: dark orange
Mouth Feel: crisp, clean and refreshing
Flavour: gentle sweetness, mild tart
Bottom Cup: dried fruit

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Qun Fang Zui

Keemun originates from Qimen County, Anhui Province. It’s famous for its high aroma, a unique refreshing and long lasting aroma, known as sugar aroma (sha tang xiang, 砂糖香) or apple aroma (ping guo xiang, 苹果香), mingled with orchid aroma. This unique aroma is also known as Keemun Aroma. Keemun has been very trendy and popular in England. It was presented to the British Queen as a birthday gift as well.

Keemun is known as fine black tea in the international market, especially in London. “I found the aroma of spring, in Chinese Keemun.” (Turkish poet Nazim· Hikmet)


Dry leaves: tight, slim, with fuzz. Dark lustrous in color.


Keemun has a long lasting aroma, fruity and orchid, known as Keemun Aroma. Rich red liqour is bright. Brewed leaves is vivid red. Taste is rich, complex and lingering.

CTC black tea

CTC black tea is the major player in the international tea market, totaling around 80% of the world’s tea exportation. India produces and exports the most CTC black tea. CTC black tea has over a hundred year’s history. China began producing CTC black tea about 30 years ago.

The fragrance of spring

When making CTC black tea, there’s a step during rolling to cut the tea leaves into particle shaped pieces. Because it looks like little broken pieces, it’s called Hong Sui Cha  (红碎茶).


CTC Hong Sui Cha’s full name is Dadugang CTC Hong Sui Cha. It’s produced in Dadugang Tea Factory in Xishuangbanna, Yunnan Province. It’s perfect for filling teabags, and is great with milk, sugar or lemon once brewed.


CTC Hong Sui Cha is fully oxidized and cut into pieces. When brewed, its substance comes out quickly and thoroughly hence it is usually not suitable to rebrew.


The dry leaves: little particle shape, weighty, uniform, deep brown red, lustrous.


Sexy red liquor, rich and sweet aroma, brisk, strong, and bold in taste.

Lapsang Souchong (Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong,正山小种)

Lapsang Souchong is also known as Xingcun Xiao Zhong. “Zheng Shan” means it’s real, from “high mountain area”. All teas from the Wuyi Mountains are “Zheng Shan”. The neighboring areas like Fu’an and Zhenghe also imitate, but the quality is lower, known as Wai Shan Xiao Zhong (外山小种), Ren Gong Xiao Zhong (人工小种) or Yan Xiao Zhong ( z g烟小种).

Shape: thick and sturdy, long and straight

Color: black, radiant

Liquor: syrupy, dark amber gold

Aroma: long and high, pine wood

Brewed Leaves: bronze, thick, silky.

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