This tea may have a short history (only invented in 2005), but its popularity spread all over the world so quickly. It is a real example that Chinese tea masters continue to innovate and make exception teas.
I wrote about Jin Jun Mei before, but I felt that this one was unique. This is because, at the bottom of the package, I found yellow fuzzy balls. I did not see the fuzz separated from the buds before. So, I was not sure what to make of it. But thanks to this source, I now understand how I ended up with the fuzzy balls.
The fuzz on the buds indicates that the tea has been picked very early in the spring from the newly emerging buds. As the tea goes through processing (withering, rolling, fermentation, drying) the fuzzy hairs of the buds evaporate, and mostly the pieces disappear or simply stay in the wok or other surfaces. But sometimes they gather and form fuzzy balls, and they remain with the tea. Actually, it does look strange at first but thinking about how rare this happens (and it happens with premium first flush teas) I think it is great to have these fuzzy balls with the tea.
When I taste this tea, I did not know it was Jin Jun Mei. It was an excellent tea, just judging on the buds and the colour. The taste was terrific. It almost had two layers of flavours. The first kicked in immediately after the sip, and it was citrus fruits. It felt like a little pleasant short explosion in my mouth. After this short explosion, a malt flavour stays on and lingers a little bit. This tea was very floral, but the sweetness I expected was not there neither I tasted astringency. I tasted dates, nuts and could smell a delicate and floral aroma. As you see, it carried a diverse range of scents and tastes and amazed me.
One of the best black teas I have ever tasted. Surely!
Origin: Wuyi Shan, Fujian Harvest time: Early spring 2020
Leaf colour: Dark brown with plenty of golden buds and fuzz Liquor colour: Dark amber
Tea Aroma: Floral and honey-like
Tea Taste: Citrus fruits, date, maltness and nuts
Steeping: Place about 4 g of this tea in a gaiwan or teapot and add hot water around 90°C. After rinsing the leaves, you can steep for 10 seconds and add 10 second to each consecutive steeping. You can re-steep this tea about four times.
Shelf life: Up to 2 years