Jin Jun Mei Souchong

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Black Tea
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195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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  • “We’re in China for Chinese New Year and my aunt gave us some Jin Jun Mei. I had never heard of this tea before, but I’m told its quite rare, and undergoing some sort of resurgence in...” Read full tasting note
    tinabeans 4 tasting notes

From ChineseTeaArt.com

The highest grade of Lapsang Souchong is called Jun Mei or Beautiful Eyebrow (in English) because the processed tea leaf resembles an eyebrow. Jun Mei can be further categorized into Gold (Jin) and Silver (Yin) grade; we are carrying the Gold. What is special about Jun Mei Souchong is that unlike other Lapsang Souchong, it is processed using tender, full tea leaves and buds harvested in early spring before the Qing Ming festival.
This tea is also known as Zheng Shan Souchong. Zheng Shan means “Original Mountain” and only tea leaves picked from Wuyi (Tong Mu Guan) harvest area can be called as “Zheng Shan”. These tea leaves have a special characteristics in that they have a subtle hint of a sweet fruit in China called “longan”.

Other names:
Jun Mei Black Tea, Gold Jun Mei Lapsang Souchong

The fragrance of Jin Jun Mei Lapsang Souchong are smoky (pine) as any good Lapsang should be, yet the taste has distinct fruity sweet notes underneath the smoky nature of the tea. As this tea ages, the smoky nature will slowly subside while the fruity sweetness of this tea becomes stronger.

Jin Jun Mei Souchong tea leaves are carefully rolled and when infused, they unfurl into young one-bud one-leaf tea leaves. Clear orange color infusion.

Wu Yi Shan, Fujian Province, China

Harvest Period:
Spring 2012 (Ming Qian Cha)

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1 Tasting Note

4 tasting notes

We’re in China for Chinese New Year and my aunt gave us some Jin Jun Mei. I had never heard of this tea before, but I’m told its quite rare, and undergoing some sort of resurgence in China right now. The name means Golden Beautiful Eyebrow, a nod towards the shape/color of the dried leaves, and it comes from Wu Yi Shan, an area known for producing black (or “red” as it’s called in China) tea.

We brewed this gong-fu style. It went for about 6 infusions and produces a gorgeous, glowy deep amber liquid. Sometimes I think I like staring at tea just as much as drinking it…

The flavor of Chinese black teas always seems a little on the light/grassy/vegetal side to me, but maybe that’s just because I’m used to drinking super-dark flavored black teas with tons of milk. Anyway this… there is just a hint of astringency but overall it’s very smooth. Flavors I detected or possibly imagined: pineapple, red dates, and honey. Like a lot of quality Chinese teas, it leaves a sweetness on the tongue long after the last sip. How does that work, I wonder?

I like this tea, but it’s not an everyday tea for me. It takes a lot of concentration to get pass the vegetal overtones, so it’s probably better for those quiet afternoons when you can spare an hour to focus on the tea.

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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