Monday, November 11, 2013

Life In Teacup, Wuyi Jin Jun Mei

Life In Teacup Description:
This Jin Jun Mei is not Zheng Shan Tang brand, whose price in China is about US$1500 per pound. This tea uses leaf materials from Wuyi Mountain and is made by the best tea workers of over 40 years of experience.

Production Year : 2013
Production Season: Spring
Production Region: Fujian Province, Wuyi Mountain region

Sample provided by Life In Teacup

My Review:
Every tea drinker has a favorite type of tea that just the mention of makes them a bit weak kneed. I love assertive Chinese greens and subtle Silver Needle whites, but a Fujian or Yunnan black tea (red tea in China) really gets my motor running.

I opened the sample bag to be greeted by a warm aroma reminiscent of my grandfathers pipe tobacco (minus the cherry) and sweet hay. The leaf is beautiful. Click on the picture above to expand it for a closer look. Simply gorgeous.

I used a scoop of leaf in my press with water heated to 200 F. I steeped for three minutes. These parameters were just a western guess. I'll try a much shorter eastern steep next. The liquor is dark caramel in color and scent.

The sip is honey, caramel/cocoa, and malt. The malt is lighter than some Fujian teas I have sampled but present and pleasant. There is a not really earthy, but more leafy quality to the taste. This is not bitter or biting. It is somewhat drying with a long steep. For those who don't tolerate black tea well this probably should not be sipped on an empty stomach. That is an excuse to nibble on a cookie - just in case you need such an excuse.

For my second cup I reduced the steep time to just over one minute. I found this cup to have more honey sweetness. It was smoother yet just as flavorful as the first cup. I am not detecting the dryness now though I must admit to having recently learned I am kind of immune from initially detecting it. I am more likely to become aware of it only after some gut burning. More cookies? Why, yes, thank you. Even though I did not perceive them as 'medically' necessary. I am not one to buck tradition - especially when it comes to tea and cookies.

I am pretty certain this would steep at least once more, probably even more had I kept the first steep shorter. Unfortunately I won't find out today as I am out of time. Well maybe one more cookie.

I am not a big fan of Assam tea unless it is blended with other less forceful black teas. Ceylon is my go to for flavored tea. Fujian, though I find to be just sublime all on its own and this is a very tasty one.

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