Rose Keemun Gold
Qimen, Anhui (Keemun Gold) · Pingyin, Shandong (Fresh rose)
Rose Keemun Gold is an experimental and small batch tea made with the highest grade heritage Keemun black tea from Qimen county, Anhui province. What makes this black tea so special is not just that it is scented with freshly harvested heirloom roses, but also the way by which it has been so successfully done.
The art of scenting tea leaves with fresh flowers is a centuries-old tradition, dating back to the Southern Song Dynasty (1125 - 1279 CE). Modern methods have come to favour quick integration, meaning that usually a “rose scented black tea” will simply mean that rose oil, extract or flavoring has been added to dried tea leaves. Rose Keemun Gold was made with the intention of honouring ancestral knowledge, thus great effort and attention was dedicated to the traditional scenting process in its craftsmanship.
The Keemun black tea used for it is crafted in April and then held for when the China roses bloom in July. As the roses begin to open the craftsmen bring the Keemun tea to the flowers, where they are able to scent the tea directly with freshly picked roses, allowing the maximum amount of their fresh aroma to be imparted to the tea.
Tea is long known for its incredible ability to absorb the essence of other things. Its scenting is best done in small batches and by hand to ensure even distribution. For this tea, equal amounts of the freshly picked China roses are scattered over the Keemun Gold tea. They lay together overnight, and the next day the craftsmen separate the rose petals from the tea leaves.Then the tea is slowly roasted over charcoal for a few hours. This batch of Keemun Gold underwent two rounds of scenting with fresh roses, and as a result, has captured so much of the essence of the roses you would swear they are blooming again before you in the gaiwan.
The liquor this tea brews is a rich, golden orange colour. The flavour of roses that it carries is vivid and alive - we feel the flowers’ oil, perfume, and plant matter all together, as though tracing the veins of their petals with our tongue. The subtle tannins of the Keemun black lift the roses into our palates, causing the flowers to fill our head. After a few infusions, as the liquor deepens in its copper hue, the nutrients and ascorbic acid of the roses emerge, offering us something at once intensely compelling and deeply soothing.
. . .
|Steep time||10 - 60 sec|
|No. of infusions||8