5 o'Clock Tea with Anne Barone

A tranquil spot, a cup of tea, a book, and something to nibble. Afternoon tea is my favorite time of day. Please join me for Thé de 5 Heures.

Keemun panda tea in clear glass cup, teapot tree ornament and Christmas cardKeemun Panda China Black Tea

|| 4 December 2016

Cold, gray, rainy December days demand a good cup of hot tea. Today I tried a new-to-me Keemun China black tea. Keemun is the most popular China black tea. Its flavor is described as winey, fruity. Previously, I tried Peet’s Keemun Fancy and featured it March 2015 in the Cotterstock Hall Tea.

Keemun Panda is an inexpensive Keemun. Nonetheless, when I brewed it following the instructions provided on the tea’s catalog page, it produced a lovely, flavorful cup that I enjoyed more than many far more expensive teas I have tried.

In all my decades as a hot tea drinker, I had never before encountered instructions that tea steeped in a cup requires less steeping time that in a pot. But there it was on the Keemun Panda page.

Time suggested for this Keemun Panda was 3 to 5 minutes in a pot, but only 1 to 2 minutes in a cup. I tried the shorter brewing in a cup. My tea in an infuser in a tall china mug actually steeped 2 and a half minutes. (I was momentarily distracted.) But two and a half minutes was wonderful. I loved the taste so much that sipping the tea I forgot that the timer had sounded to take my bread out of the oven. Oh, dear! Very crisp bread when I finally remembered. But lovely winey, fruity tea. When I brewed a second cup for the image above, in the larger glass cup, the tea required a full 3 minutes. You must experiment a little to find the taste that most pleases you.

Keemun teas are said to take milk well. I prefer this Keemun without milk. In this tea, for me, milk mutes flavor. But it is still very drinkable with milk. Just a question of which you prefer.

You can read more interesting information about Keemun Panda tea on the English Tea Store website. Though you won’t find out why it is called “panda.” (And I haven’t been able to find an explanation elsewhere.) With the info is a short, 46-second video in which a distinguished gray-haired man with an English accent tells you about Keemun Panda tea.

Keemun Panda Tea Info on English Tea Store

image: Keemun Panda tea in clear glass cup, new teapot tree ornament and Anne's first Christmas card for 2016. With kitty cats, no less.