Jinjunmei | 金駿眉
Tasting notes: Dried rose, longan, sweet potato
Origin: Tongmuguan, Fujian, China
Cultivar: 武夷菜茶 Wuyi Caicha
Jinjunmei is made only of delicate buds covered in a golden fur. It has a beautiful floral aroma, reminiscent of dried rose petals, and a sweet flavour with notes of longan and steamed sweet potato.
It was invented in Tongmuguan in 2005 by a 24th generation tea master called Jiang Yuanxun, who was looking for something new to reverse the downward trend of black tea demand.
This was due to the rise of Indian tea plantations and the denationalisation of tea factories in China, which forced black tea producers to sell domestically instead. Because the local market was so much smaller than the export market, black tea production in Tongmuguan suffered.
Jiang Yuanxin tried making black tea purely from buds, and after much experimenting with cultivars, processing methods and plucking times, Jinjunmei (Golden Eyebrows) was born. It is highly laborious to make, as the buds are picked one at a time and sorted by hand—it takes up to 80,000 buds to make 500g of tea!
First sold in 2008, it was an instant success and now is one of the most sought-after teas in China and one of the most expensive black teas out there.
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