Leaf Appearance: small, dark and twisted with lots of golden tips
Ingredients: black tea
Steep time: 30 seconds
Water Temperature: 212 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Liquor: dark amber
Jin Jun Mei has become quite a trendy (and expensive) black tea in recent years. It is made from the same tea varieties in the Wuyi region of China as the traditional Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong. You might also know it as Lapsang Souchong. The major difference is that the tea is not smoked and there is an emphasis on golden tips being present in the dry leaf. Except for the fact that this one from +Wild Tea Qi is smoked...tea is complicated.
The first thing I noticed after opening the packet was the aroma of the leaves. Holy cow did they smell awesome! I had to laugh when looking back at my notes. I wrote that they smelled like the inside of an apothecary's chest. I don't believe I've ever actually been to an apothecary but I think you get the idea.
When I say that this tea was smoked I don't mean in a burnt rubber tire kind of way. The smoke was a barely detectable layer that kind of tied together the rest of the flavor profile. Under that subtle layer was a wonderfully malty and sweet taste that lingered in my palate after each sip. As my infusions progressed it changed gears to hints of dark red fruit.
At $8.99 per ounce, this time isn't exactly a daily drinker but it's certainly less expensive than other versions I've seen of this tea. I have a feeling that some of this tea will find its way into my shopping cart whenever I place orders in the future. Have you ever tried this tea? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
Jin Jun Mei sample provided for review by Wild Tea Qi.