2020 Jin Jun Mei Tea Tasting (Characteas)

  • Last edited: October 30, 2021
  • Time to read: 3 min.

I’m still really busy but I just had to do a proper tea tasting. Having many different teas can lead to not knowing what to drink and that is what I felt for today’s session. I picked a tea from my latest order at Characteas. The tea I’m drinking today is a 2020 Jin Jun Mei, also known as gleaming brow.

2020 Jin Jun Mei

Jin Jun Mei is a famous tea because it’s very labour intensive to produce. It’s made from thousands of tiny buds that are picked by hand. This tea originally comes from Tongmu village in China’s Fujian Province. However, most Jin Jun Mei that is sold doesn’t actually come from this village because it’s hard to get the real deal… The particular tea that I’m drinking today comes from Xincun village, which is a one hour drive away from Tong Mu.

I really appreciate the honesty that it doesn’t really come from Tong Mu because most other shops sell their tea as being from the actual village. Other than the leaves themselves, this tea is produced in the exact same way as Jin Jun Mei from Tong Mu village.

Tea Tasting

  • 6g for a 170ml Zini teapot
  • Water 99°C

I see dark buds with a yellow hue. Mostly medium-sized buds. The aroma is a bit creamy with a touch of malt and some fruity top notes. It smells really summery!

2020 Jin Jun Mei Characteas Tea Adventures

Infusion 1 (15 sec): the first impression is really good. It’s quite intense already. There is a prominent lychee fruitiness right from the start with a dark sugar undertone. I also feel there is a maltiness somewhere in there. The combination works well and it’s nice to start the session this way.

Infusion 2 (20 sec): the liquor looks thick and juicy. The lychee fruitiness and sugar are still present and stay around for longer. The finish and aftertaste are a lot more intense than the previous infusion. It’s still a bit malty as well.

Infusion 3 (25 sec): it feels similar to the previous infusion with some slight differences. My initial impression is the same, but I’m also getting a touch of citrus (subtle oranges) from the middle onwards. The aftertaste is good as I’m getting something fruity with a malty twist.

Infusion 4 (30 sec): I feel the sweeter flavours are fading a bit. It’s less sugary and it’s shifting more towards the citrus end of the spectrum; especially the finish and aftertaste.

Infusion 5 (40 sec): flavours are fading. It’s still sweet and a tiny hint of lychee is coming through but I really have to look for it. The finish and aftertaste have a lingering fruitiness that is more intense than the actual infusion. Still enjoyable!

Infusion 6 (50 sec): the liquor still looks good and thick. It’s similar to the previous infusion. The sweeter fruits are a bit less intense. I’m also picking up strong citrus notes in this one. From the finish onwards, it’s as if oranges are floating around in my mouth and throat. This goes on well into the aftertaste. The aftertaste has dark sugar to it as well.

Conclusion

This was the first time trying this tea and it was a lot of fun. I expected the leaves to be even smaller than what they are, but after reading the description on the website, I knew why it wasn’t top of the line.

However, the session was really good and I experienced sweet lychee with a sugary sweet undertone. From the middle onwards, it shifted more towards citrus fruits with a strong presence of oranges. I do think this tea is worth it and it finds a nice balance between price and quality.

If you’re interested in trying this 2020 Jin Jun Mei, you can buy it here.

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