I cannot believe that I am the first person to get around to reviewing this tea on Steepster. One of my more recent sipdowns, I finished a 10g sample pouch of this tea last week. First thing, what is going on with this tea’s name? I always been under the impression that teas of this sort were called Yin Jun Mei. Sorry, but “Silver Jun Mei” just seems weird to me. Silly name aside, this was an excellent black tea. I actually preferred it to What-Cha’s also totally excellent Jin Jun Mei.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a very brief rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in a 4 ounce gaiwan filled with 203 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased by 15 subsequent infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, and 5 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted aromas of dark chocolate, malt, pine, and roasted nuts. After the rinse, I found heavier pine and dark chocolate scents plus a new aroma of smoke. There was a hint of charcoal too. The first infusion brought out cleaner aromas of dark chocolate, pine, charcoal, and smoke as well as a stronger malt scent and a clear roasted chestnut aroma. In the mouth, the tea liquor offered notes of malt, smoke, cream, pine, roasted chestnut, and dark chocolate. There were alternating notes of caramel and charcoal as well. On the swallow, I found an interesting and unexpected hint of cooked green beans. The subsequent infusions saw the nose turn a bit smoother. Stronger caramel and cooked green bean notes asserted themselves on the palate, while new flavors of brown sugar, orange zest, mesquite, raisin, date, and minerals emerged. When I pushed myself, I could also identify subtler impressions of honey, tobacco, sweet potato, and ginger. By the time I reached the final infusions, the tea was mostly presenting me with milder notes of minerals, orange zest, cooked green beans, malt, and cream balanced by vaguer honey, date, brown sugar, and raisin impressions in places.
I did not know what to expect going into this one, but I ended up being thrilled with what I got. This was an incredibly durable, complex tea with great texture and a unique combination of aromas and flavors that set it apart from some of the other Wuyi black teas I have tried recently. If you are looking for a black tea with a ton of character and do not mind a few interesting quirks, this would be a tea for you.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Butter, Caramel, Char, Chestnut, Cream, Dark Chocolate, Dates, Ginger, Green Beans, Honey, Malt, Orange Zest, Pine, Raisins, Smoke, Sweet Potatoes, Tobacco, Wood