Wild Jin Jun Mei Black Tea from Wu Yi Mountains * Spring 2017

Tea type
Black Tea
Black Tea Leaves
Butter, Caramel, Cedar, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Earth, Graham Cracker, Grass, Hay, Honey, Leather, Lemon Zest, Malt, Marshmallow, Mineral, Nutmeg, Orange Zest, Peanut, Pine, Plum, Smoke, Straw, Sugarcane, Toasted, Walnut, Yeasty
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Bulk, Loose Leaf
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Edit tea info Last updated by eastkyteaguy
Average preparation
6 g 4 oz / 118 ml

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From Yunnan Sourcing

Jin Jun Mei growing wild and unmanaged in the Wu Yi Mountains of Fujian. This Jin Jun Mei grows in the same areas as Wu Yi’s famous Rock Oolongs and has that same mineral sweetness and flower aroma. Being traditionally processed Jin Jun Mei but from a biodiverse environment gives this tea a strong character both in terms of taste and overall feeling. Strong full mouth feeling, viscous, and expansive. Notes of dark chocolate that comes and goes, mineral and sweet with some floral and peppery notes. Difficult to describe the experience of drinking this tea! Just try it!

Recommend brewing with 85-90C water and using very short infusions at first.

April 2017 Harvest

Wu Yi Township in Fujian Province

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1 Tasting Note

1026 tasting notes

This was another one of my sipdowns from September, this one coming from around the very end of the month. Not only did this tea end up holding the distinction of being the very worst tea I drank last month, it was also one of the very worst teas I have ever consumed. Nothing about this tea clicked for me.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a brief rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 194 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was followed by 16 additional 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, 5 minutes, and 7 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves produced aromas of cedar, pine, straw, hay, cinnamon, and malt. After the rinse, I detected new aromas of fresh yeast rolls, roasted peanut, and honey. The first infusion introduced aromas of roasted walnut, smoke, and leather. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of roasted peanut, straw, malt, hay, cedar, and pine that were complimented by hints of smoke, baked bread, roasted walnut, honey, and sugarcane. The subsequent infusions introduced aromas of minerals, nutmeg, cocoa, caramel, toasted marshmallow, sugarcane, and grass. Slightly stronger notes of honey, sugarcane, and roasted walnut came out in the mouth along with impressions of minerals, leather, earth, yeast roll, cinnamon, nutmeg, graham cracker, cocoa, orange zest, toasted marshmallow, grass, butter, and caramel. I also picked up on hints of lemon zest and plum. As the tea faded, the liquor emphasized notes of minerals, butter, malt, yeast roll, straw, and roasted peanut that were underscored by hints of hay, smoke, orange zest, caramel, sugarcane, honey, and toasted marshmallow.

This was a very odd, awkward, and unsatisfying Jin Jun Mei. There was a lot going on with it, but none of its aroma or flavor components really came together in any sort of pleasant way for any length of time. The mouthfeel of the tea liquor also struck me as being very harsh and chalky. Overall, there was nothing about this tea that was pleasant or enjoyable. Even though I have a small pouch of the Spring 2018 version of this tea, I now doubt that I will be in any rush to get to it.

Flavors: Butter, Caramel, Cedar, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Earth, Graham Cracker, Grass, Hay, Honey, Leather, Lemon Zest, Malt, Marshmallow, Mineral, Nutmeg, Orange Zest, Peanut, Pine, Plum, Smoke, Straw, Sugarcane, Toasted, Walnut, Yeasty

6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

Whoa, I thought Jin Jun Mei was supposed to be awesome. I have a sampke of a different one to try. Hope it turns out to be a good one.


Ashmanra, Jin Jun Mei can be awesome. It’s just that there are tons of different types of Jin Jun Mei out there, and naturally, not all of them are enjoyable. I think Yunnan Sourcing alone stocks like 4-6 different types of Jin Jun Mei most years. So far, I have found the quality of their offerings to be hit or miss. I do, however, love their Mei Zhan Varietal Jin Jun Mei, and their Imperial Tong Mu Guan Jin Jun Mei and Pure Gold Jin Jun Mei can be very nice too. A couple years ago, they stocked a Competition Grade Jin Jun Mei that I loved, but I don’t recall seeing it since. On a more personal note, I have never entirely understood the hype around Jin Jun Mei. It’s a big deal in parts of China and some other overseas markets, but I have never understood why it is so prized. To me, it’s always just been a somewhat spicy, malty, earthy black tea with prominent honey aromas and flavors. I think the appeal of it might be a cultural thing. I’ve heard several people who are very knowledgeable about Chinese tea culture claim that Chinese tea critics and merchants tend to primarily evaluate tea based on origin, time of harvest, appearance, and feel more than smell or taste, so that might have something to do with it. All I know is that most of the Jin Jun Mei I have tried have not competed well against things like Yunnan Dian Hong and Wuyi Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong/Lapsang Souchong in terms of aroma and flavor.


I agree Jin Jun Mei seems overrated. Granted, I’ve only had 2 of them from Verdant – one was just okay, the other one tasted like hot dog water. I’ll take a Golden Monkey or Unsmoked Lapsang over Jin Jun Mei any day.

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