Jin Jun Mei
Jīn Jùn Méi
Golden Beautiful Eyebrow
Jin Jun Mei is a Lapsang Souchong black tea from Wuyishan City, Fujian Province, China. It is made from two small shoots plucked in early spring from the plant's stem which are subsequently fully oxidized to giving a tea that has a sweet, fruity and flowery flavor with a long lasting sweet after-taste. The brew is bright reddish in color. The taste is fresh and will make you feel as if you are in the forest!
The cup is thick, rich, complex, sweet, and spicy. Think of a cross between black licorice and Guinness. This tea is very sweet and can be steeped many times.
This is one of the most sought-after black teas from China, despite the fact that it is a ʺnewʺ black tea having been first produced in 2004. The tea comes from Wuyi Mountains Natural Protection Area at between 1200-1800 meters elevation (approximately one mile above sea level).
Jin Jun Mei Black Tea is one of the highest quality, extremely famous black teas from the Wuyi Mountains in Fujian Province in eastern China. Jin Jun Mei is best known as Golden Eyebrow Tea.
Jin Jun Mei black tea typifies how a traditional tea master can transform well-tended, high-quality modern leaf into an elegant, deeply-flavored finished tea that quickly attains world-class status.
The smell and taste of tea from the eastern provinces of China are uniquely, distinct, and particular to this historic tea region of China. All the classes of tea are made in one place or another in this part of China, but the territory of the remote, protected mountainsides of the Wuyi Mountains provides the depth of flavor in its dark oolongs and black teas that we love.
In China, this variety of tea is viewed as one of the most prestigious of all teas. Its price varies depending on the quality, ranging from US$60 to US$700 per ounce. This tea is so excellent - and revered by tea enthusiasts - that even in China there are copycat teas being made in this style. We have seen tea that goes by this name (or by a similar description) selling in urban areas of China and the U.S. for upwards of $300.00 per lb.
Yes this tea is more expensive than some other black teas, but it should be – there is very little of it and it is wonderfully full of concentrated flavor. There are numerous oolongs, white and green teas that cost much more than this. Those of you in the West are just not as familiar with expensive black teas.
Being a “bud-only” pluck (similar to several premium white and green teas, it requires 50,000 buds to manufacture 500 grams (slightly more than 1 lb.). An experienced tea picker can harvest about 2,000 buds a day, so to make about a pound of this tea requires the full day’s work of 20 pickers.
The artful hands of the tea master are then set to work for another labor intensive part of the manufacturing process.
When we appreciate many other types of tea, we look for large and full leaves - however with Jin Jun Mei the smaller and thinner the dried tea leaves, the better. Combined with Lapsang Souchong traditional processing technics, it is a rare treasure. This is one reason why bud-only teas must be more expensive than other teas.
The appearance alternates with black and yellow. The leaves are small and tight and the color alternates with gold, yellow and black. The bud is a gold yellow color.
The dry leaves of the Jin Jun Mei are a uniform dark brown-black color, with an abundance of gold tips. The leaves are fairly short in length, and twisted. The aroma is sweet (malt, molasses), with a touch of spice (cinnamon), and an attractive bakery tone.
Slender and with a slight twist, this medium-sized, bud-only pluck is perfect for yielding a delicious black tea. The careful withering, hand-rolling, and firing of this leaf brings out the wonderful flavors that the territory of the mountains of eastern China have for the tea bushes that thrive there.
Brewing the Perfect Cup
This richly-flavored black tea should be able to be steeped more than one time, especially if the initial steeping is less than four minutes. We do not recommend over-steeping this tea during any particular one steeping.
Use 1 Tablespoon (2-3 grams) per 6 oz. of water (the size of a typical foam cup.) Steep the first infusion at 3 - 5 minutes. Water temperature should be 190° - 200° F
The first infusion produced should be a beautiful bright amber color, perfectly clear and transparent. The aroma should be sweet (malt), with a slight floral (orchid) scent. This liquor has a full bodied, mouth filling taste. The taste is sweet (malt), floral (orchid) and has a fruity acidity to it (pineapple?). Floral (orchid) notes are felt in the finish. There is a very mild astringency. Very tasteful and sweet, despite the short suggested infusion time.
The second infusion (25 seconds) produced a slightly darker shade of amber than the 1st infusion. The aroma loses no strength or character, remaining sweet and slightly floral. Body remains full, with a mouth filling taste. The taste remains sweet, floral, and slight fruity, with a floral finish. The fruity acidity will dissipate some in this second infusion, leaving the malt taste more dominant. Astringency remains mild, but noticeable. The short infusion times, produce great tasting teas, and the leaves should be able to produce quite a few infusions.
The third infusion (35 seconds) produces a liquor more similar to the first infusion, slightly lighter shade of amber than the second infusion. Aroma is less strong on the sweet (malt) scent, and more dominant in the floral (orchid) scent. The body remains full, with a mouth filling taste. The taste will also lighten on the sweet (malt) note, and is more dominant on the floral (orchid) note, with the fruity acidity (pineapple) still light, but noticeable. The floral (orchid) finish and aftertaste remain. The astringency dissipates some. The third infusion has the best balance out of the three infusions. It has a perfect blend of sweet and floral scents and tastes. Very high quality third infusion.
The color remained a nice shade of amber, not much lighter than the third infusion. The aroma lightened on the sweet (malt) scent, but the floral (orchid) scent persisted, and even a fruity scent can be felt. The body lightened some, but is still medium-full. The taste reflected the aroma, lightening on the sweet (malt) note, and maintaining a very pleasant floral (orchid) note, with the fruity note remaining. The aftertaste is still floral and lingering, indicating the quality of the tea.
To get four solid infusions out of a black tea is very impressive. The trick with this tea is the infusion time. This tea has a very nice balance of tastes, and the layering of tastes from infusion to infusion is very impressive.
When you compute the per-cup price based on our price per pound, WhyVisitChina Jin Jun Mei calculates to 28 cents per cup if you steep the leaf once and 15 cents per cup if you steep it twice. Here at WhyVisitChina we think that this tea is arguably the best value in our whole catalogue of teas right now. Supply is limited, so if you are intrigued don’t wait too long to try this spectacular tea.
- Black tea.
- Wu Yi Shan, Fujian Province, China.
- Classic twist shape, with an abundance of tips.
- Taste: mellow, smooth robust flavor, sweet with a toffee-like finish.
- Aroma: Pure black tea aroma with hints of butterscotch and honey, complex floral and fruity.
- Deep red-amber liquor with copper edging.
Supplies are limited, so hurry.