05 Keemun Congfu from Joseph Wesley Black Tea – Tea Review

I always recommend Joseph Wesley Black Teas for people who want really good black tea. I put in order a few months back for one of their beautifully handmade chawans, but also snagged their 05 Keemun Congfu.

05 Keemun Joseph Wesley Oolong Owl (3)

More packaging! I always enjoy Joseph Wesley’s packaging.

05 Keemun Joseph Wesley Oolong Owl (4)

05 Keemun Joseph Wesley Oolong Owl (2)

Dry Leaf and Steeping Instructions

Joseph Wesley’s 05 Keemun Congfu has thin delicate leaves with odd gold tip. The scent of this tea is strong, heady, and fruity.

05 Keemun Joseph Wesley Oolong Owl (5)

I am in the process of finding a good ratio for steeping blacks, and turns out there is very little info out there on how to gongfu a keemun. This should be gongfu, it is in the name! Whatever, I am gongfu’ing it as that is what I want to do, I’ll make it work. I used boiling water and 1 gram to 15ml ratio.

Tasting of Joseph Wesley Black Teas’ 05 Keemun Congfu

First, Second, Third, and Fourth Infusion: 05 Keemun Congfu steeps up a ruddy light tea with strong fruit scent.

05 Keemun Joseph Wesley Oolong Owl (6)

The sip taste very different to the fruity scent, as it tastes like dark chocolate, a touch bitter sweet and hint of char with a molasses finish. Each steeping gets more savory with a chocolate mole feel and deeper sticky molasses.
The aftertaste in some sips is fruit, sometimes floral, the odd time I get bittersweet chocolate and brown sugar. The flavor is bright and strong, yet not dry.

Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Infusion: The black tea is getting lighter and more sweet, a big shift from savory to sweet. 05 Keemun Congfu now has a brown sugar taste with light back ground of malt. The final steepings got sweeter and sweeter until the flavor died. It lost the bittersweet and all was never bitter or dry.

05 Keemun Joseph Wesley Oolong Owl (9)

Western Style

I thought of playing with gongfu parameters more, but I should really just follow the package instructions 190-195F for 2.5-3 minutes. I used 4grams of leaf. Western style 05 Keemun Congfu steeps up just as pretty!

05 keemun oolong owl

This one is interesting western steeped as everything just melded together into something different. It sips in honey sweet, malty, little molasses, fruity and background of wisps of dry char. Aftertaste is dry and sweet. It is much lighter than the gongfu style, but interestingly has some dryness. Try both steeping methods and see what you like!


05 Keemun Congfu is a great complex black tea for black tea lovers! This tea is like having dinner and dessert at the same time. The tea starts savory rich, pairing great with meat. With later steepings the tea gets sweet.

I can see this tea being excellent to cook with for potency of the flavor, so it would make a great tea egg or meat marinade.

By the way, Joseph Wesley Black Teas tea cans fit a Tea Owl perfectly.

05 Keemun Joseph Wesley Oolong Owl (8)

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  • northernteaist

    It’s funny – I’ve got a Tarry Souchong that only really works Western style, and a Yunnan Gold that is undrinkable unless you gong-fu it.

    Incidentally the ratio I use for the Yunnan Gold is about 5g for a 150ml gaiwan, although I’ve found it’s best to err on the side of caution – it’s better to have a little too little in the gaiwan than a little too much…

  • aardvarkcheeselog

    > …very little info out there on how to gongfu a keemun. … I used boiling water and 1 gram to 15ml ratio.

    I too have Qimen tea said to be ‘gongfu,’ and generally go more in the neighborhood of 1g:20ml. I find it does not offer as many steeps as puer or decent oolong, though I think I tend to give up sooner than you.