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Black Tea

Keemun Needle

Keemun is often referred to in China as King of the Red Tea or the Burgundy of China Tea.  Keemun was first produced during the Qing Dynasty (1875) Emperor Guang Xu, 6th year, 1875. 

After failing as a civil servant and to placate his disappointed father,Yu Quianchen decided to produce black tea in his native Anhui province.  Yu traveled to the Fujian province to learn the secrets of black tea production.  Prior to this time, Anhui was only known for the commercial production of green and yellow teas, such as Huang Shan Mao Feng, Tai Ping Hou Kui and Huo Shan Huang Ya. 

Yu’s first produced black tea in his home in Yi County of the Anhui Province.  Yu then opened a tea house in Dongzhi County on Yao Du Street and started imitating Fujian Congfu and Lapsang Souchong black tea.  The following year Yu’s black tea production spread to Qimen County. 

The Qimen County production exceeded his expectations and Keemun tea quickly gained popularity in England becoming one of the most prominent ingredients in fine English Breakfast tea blends. The English people loved Keemun and it was often given as a gift on the Queen’s birthday. 

In 1915, Keemun Black Tea received a Golden Medal in the Panama International Exposition and Keemun became the highest priced black tea during that period.  In 1913 fifty kilograms of Keemun sold for over 360 Liang or Silver pieces.  Keemun continued to win many local and national awards and medals throughout the years and in 1986 it became listed among China's Ten Most Famous Teas.