The 1st thing that caught my eye was that it is a wild picked tea. ”Interesting” I thought… So, I opened the pouch, and found a plethora of golds, deep rich browns and silky blacks. The dry leaves are very fine and smell of dry moss and an earthy aroma. Hints of malt and honey seem to be hiding in the background as well.
As the liquor brewed, it turned an amber color, and has a nose of malt and the honey scent came through very clearly. The and buds are whole, slender and tippy, but seem to disappear in the brew. I’m a bit of a “foodie”, and to me presentation is as important as the taste. That said, this brew makes up for that in the aroma and the flavor.
To smell the honey and malty nose, is reminiscent of a hot bowl of cream of wheat. (One of my favorites) the malty flavor is the star here. Complimented by the deep honey and a subtle earthy notes, the brew is a homey, warm inviting cuppa.
Verdant Tea has this to say about Jin Jun Mei:
This wild-picked budset tea provides a uniquely rich and savory cup. In early steepings, the malty profiles of barley and wheat are in the foreground, with the sweet creaminess of butter. These savory flavors feel somewhat like fresh-baked whole-grain toast with a touch of sweet cream butter melted on top. Yet the aftertaste betrays the fine budset quality of the tea through a smooth sweetness, as though a touch of honey was spread on the buttered toast.
As per my usual, no sweetener or cream, but that’s not to say that this stand alone tea couldn’t stand up to them both. Personally, I prefer Turbinado sugar, but honey will also be a great way to sweeten and enhance. A bit of citrus may also be used, but sparingly. The earthy notes can easily be covered by too much of a good thing. Iced, this takes on a bit of a bitter astringency that I was not too fond of, but I know that some of you folks like that, so, give it a try.
After tasting and smelling this lovely little brew, I immediately thought about a bon fire with friends and a BBQ to go along with it. Cool evenings and good food always make for a great time. So, pair this with a hearty stew of venison, or Bison. Strong flavors, and deep rich gravy seem to bring out the malt and earthiness in the cup. With desert, I’d have to suggest anything with chocolate (I know gals… EVERYTHING is better with chocolate) But this cuppa can handle the rich and bitter sweetness without loosing anything.
For the kids, try a small scoop of vanilla fudge swirl in the cup. I adds sweetness and allows moms to control the sugar content, but still gives them an “adult” sipper. Add this strongly brewed to eggnog for a holiday treat.
Everything about this tea has been carefully selected and again, like so many of their teas, Verdant Tea has yet again brought the wonders and flavors of the east to the rest of the world in a simple but elegantly crafted tea. The deep rich flavor can be enjoyed as is, sweet, or anyway you prefer. This is not a timid tea, and the rich nose and bold color will prove this sip after sip. Known for its tea, Yunnan and Verdant Tea have yet again gone the extra mile to showcase care and superior quality. Bon appetite.