I’ve recently found that I’m getting more and more into straight teas. I’ve tried a few flavored teas to recently but I just felt that pull to pull out my gaiwan and experiment. I’ve found myself eager to sit down and spend the time to enjoy the tea sip by sip in smaller quantities and this tea is a beautiful example of why.
Not too long ago, I brewed this tea up in the traditional western fashion- teapot, few scoops of tea with water prepped at a bit below boiling, steeped for a few minutes, poured into my tea cup and enjoyed. While the tea was tasty with soft chocolate notes , I wanted to see how the flavor would change if brewed with gong fu style.
Now when I do gong fu, I do a modified version that works with not only my crazy busy job but my house in a whole. I don’t get too deep into measuring and making sure everything is on point. I 100% should because I’ve over leafed and under leafed on more occasions than I would like to admit, but in the same- I have a very go go go 8-5 and after work so I have just decided to pour and go. Eventually I’ll get to the point where I measure out the night before so I’m all prepared for the next day. Please forgive me that I don’t have all of the measurements to how exactly I steeped up this ditty.
Using my gaiwan, I popped in some leaf and water at 200F. Gave the leaves a quick rinse and quickly added in more water to go about my first infusion.
-First infusion: Delicious toffee notes with a small hint of chocolate and no astringency and a hint of malt. At this point, we are talking dessert tea here. Really lovely and nice. Can not get enough and the brew was gone in no time.
-Second infusion: Still those same delicious toffee notes but the chocolate touches are becoming a bit stronger.
-Third Infusion: Toffee notes are pretty distant now and the chocolate notes have also subsided a bit with the malt touches and a new astringency coming in.
-Fourth Infusion: The astringency is really the power player at this point and I’m thinking about taking the leaves to make a cold brew. Not a huge fan of super astringent teas and the brew is taking a turn in that direction.
Now, I was working the whole time I enjoyed this tea so probably if I would have timed the steeps, etc- the tea would have probably lasted for more infusions to my liking. All in all, love the adventure this tea took me on. I’m a big fan of this black tea anyway so I was excited to try a more intimidate way to enjoy the tea.
Want to Know More About This Tea?
Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Tealyra
Jin Jun Mei (Beautiful Golden Eyebrow in Mandarin) is a famous Chinese tea known for its deep auburn golden hue and delicate slender leaves, like a beautiful women’s eyebrow. It is one of the most beloved Chinese teas, grown and produced in Fujian province.
In the springtime, the two small leaves are plucked from the stem and allowed to fully oxidize; this full oxidation gives Jin Jun Mei its deep and malty aromatic profile. Jin Jun Mei is made of slim black and gold tips, covered in a delicate golden fuzz. Once steeped, it has a smooth body and well rounded mouth-feel; its taste is sweet, honey-like, malty, velvety smooth and has hints of vanilla.
Jin Jun Mei is best enjoyed straight, and try multiple steeping it multiple times!
Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!
Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Chinese Tea-Shop
Black Tea- Golden Junmee
Other Names: Jin Jun Mei, 金骏眉
Description: Golden Junmee is one of the rarest teas we have for sale here. This is a must try for all black tea lovers. Golden Junmee is made only with the young tea buds and is very low yield, about 5000 buds per 50g of tea. This tea was very recently created when some young tea buds were discovered in the Wuyi National Nature Reserve. These buds were taken to Tong Mu were they were processed in conjunction with ancient methods as to produce the best possible tea.
I know I say this a lot, but this tea is amazing! What can I say, I love tea, and with so many great teas out there, it is so easy for me to find a tea over which to get excited! And this tea is definitely exciting.
This rare tea is so incredibly flavorful. The sweetness is the most pronounced of the flavors here, and it is a sweetness that is quite like caramel. I can almost taste the burnt-sugar in this cup! There is also a very pleasant, savory bitterness that hits the palate just after the start of the sip and stays until about mid-sip, which is when the sweetness washes over it. Just before the end of the sip, an interesting sour note arrives. It’s such a lovely play of contrasts right upon the palate.
In addition, I can taste notes of flowers and fruit, which, if I close my eyes, transports me to my childhood: my gramma’s backyard in early summer, just as the plums and apricots from her tree, as well as the berries on the vines are ripening from that warm California sunshine. The honeysuckles and flowers from the white ginger plants are emitting their lovely fragrance. It’s such a delicious memory that is brought to life simply by sipping on this tea.
This is a tea that I would recommend to any tea connoisseur. It’s a MUST try! And while this tea may seem a bit pricey, it produces multiple infusions that are every bit as flavorful as the first cup. I love the way each subsequent infusion reveals different aspects of this tea’s “personality.” A truly exquisite experience.