Wild-Picked Yunnan Jin Jun Mei

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Black Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by David Duckler
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205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 12 oz / 354 ml

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58 Tasting Notes View all

  • “First gongfu session of the day, this savory Jin Jun Mei the Charlotte Zero sent to me awhile back is doing the trick. It starts out like whole wheat honey toast, later taking on a peppery quality...” Read full tasting note
  • “Another day of intense study, another black tea, and another delightful piece of music. It’s really crunch time for me, so I’ll keep this brief. Today, I’m pairing this malty black tea with more...” Read full tasting note
  • “It’s been four months since I reviewed this tea. I was wondering what I would think after going so long without even tasting it at all. I’ll admit that I was hoarding the half ounce portion in my...” Read full tasting note
  • “mmmm sipdown on another tea that the lovely terri sent my way. It was really nice to have this back in my cupboard again for a brief moment :) I really like the steeps and resteeps of this one,...” Read full tasting note

From Verdant Tea

A malty, savory black tea with the crisp sweetness of Jin Jun Mei and the buttery thickness of Dian Hong…

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.

In later steepings, the savory grain flavors are more subdued, replaced by an unexpected crisp flavor, and slight sparkling peppery texture. It may be a bit too metaphorical, but this tea almost tastes sunny in later steepings. There is a bright warmth, coupled with the brilliant red-orange of the tea in the cup that suggests morning sunlight.

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58 Tasting Notes

3294 tasting notes

First gongfu session of the day, this savory Jin Jun Mei the Charlotte Zero sent to me awhile back is doing the trick. It starts out like whole wheat honey toast, later taking on a peppery quality & a linen mouth. This is a tea Verdant use to offer, which I hoarded for awhile, & then finally reluctantly drank the last of it. It was a real treat when Charlotte sent me the rest of hers, & I have enough to drink it one more time.

Gratefully, I’ve discovered that Yunnan Sourcing carries a couple of different Jin Jun Mei’s, & they are excellent, so I am saved! :)



Terri HarpLady

Did I send you any of this one?

Terri HarpLady

Have I sent you any of YS Jin Jun Mei’s?


i’ve tried this one via you… uh not sure on the YS ones

Terri HarpLady

I think I’m sending the YS versions with the BBBB this round :)

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250 tasting notes

Another day of intense study, another black tea, and another delightful piece of music. It’s really crunch time for me, so I’ll keep this brief. Today, I’m pairing this malty black tea with more philosophy (but I don’t agree with the author today, so it’s a bit frustrating…), and I’m listening to Das Rheingold as performed by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and Sir Georg Solti. Not the best recording, but I bought this when I was a little less picky, so if you know of a really good recording. please leave a comment.

Anyway, back to the tea, it’s very malty. Not as much as the Golden Buds that I was drinking yesterday, but it’s still the dominant flavor. The tea is a bit too strong yet to be classified as creamy, but I’d say that it will probably be next steep. Finally, the sweet aftertaste provides a nice smooth finish to complete the experience. It’s worthy to note that the tea is sweeter and a bit weaker than last time I brewed it, but not by a terribly significant margin.

As the forth scene of Das Rheingold draws to a close, so does my second cup of this tea. It must say that this was a singularly unique experience for drinking tea, but that might be due in part to the nasty weather I just had to deal with. Anyway, the malt flavor of the tea has begun to retreat a bit, and a wheat flavor has become evident. Also, the wonderful buttery mouth-feel has started to show itself, which combines with the wheat to give a sensation similar to taking a bite of buttered wheat bread, and letting it sit on the tongue. If you’ve ever done this, you’ll realize that it starts to taste sweeter the longer it sits there, kind of like how this tea has a sweet finish. Of course, you should take what I say with a grain of salt, as campus food leaves me longing for something a bit more flavorful…

As the the second act of Die Walküreplays (with an interlude of Byzantine music, see the comment from Bonnie for more info), the third cup of tea finally reached the right temperature to drink. The big developments of this cup was the malt flavor going dormant, and the beginnings of the peppercorn flavors beginning to show up in the aftertaste, lingering on the hard palate of my mouth. Unfortunately, I think this tea is past it’s prime, and I’ll probably only get one more cup out of these leaves.

Ah, the forth infusion of this tea was delightful in it’s subtleties. Most of the flavors of the tea are in decline, but the peppercorn flavor provides a delightful sensation as it dances across the surfaces of the mouth, and once again lingering on the hard palate. Unfortunately, there isn’t much else left for the flavor, so this is definitely the final cup. Surprisingly, one of the things that has stuck around until the (figuratively) bitter end was the buttery mouthfeel. Usually this little sensation would have been long gone from the tea, but that just goes to show how good this tea really is.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

I began to notice on the second steep as it cooled a bit a yam sugar wheat bread flavor, but you’re right that it was not as malty. I did enjoy this tea. I was listening to Russian Chant with it.

Joshua Smith

Oh, I remember when you posted that! That was some wonderful music to listen to, and sparked a bit of n obsession for me. Anyway, as I’m sitting here composing the edit for the second post, I have to agree with you about the wheat bread flavor in the second infusion. Combined with the newly-emerged buttery mouth-feel, it creates a very cozy experience, especially since the weather here has taken a turn for the dreary.


Very good too! Here is something different…tell me what you think. It is in Hagia Sophia (now a museum) so you know what it means to me that it is being sung in this sacred space. http://youtu.be/RwFYUJb03d0
So many people have never heard the more ancient Byzantine Christian music like this. It is still being sung here in the U.S. too.

Joshua Smith

Wow. That was some powerful stuff. The best part was the acoustics of of the Hagia Sophia letting the voices echo, giving the music that otherworldly quality. I wish I could get an album that was full of music like that…


I have a bunch of CD’s. Jim Marks can shoot you suggestions. I can shoot you a message with some I have but I need to go to the post office to send some samples off to a guy in Denver. I’ll be back. Uh Look at Sacred Treasures Choral Masterworks from Russia there’s a series (Hearts of Space) but I have others from like St. Catherines on Mt. Sinai and Vaalam in Russia and so on.

Joshua Smith

That would be greatly appreciated. I’ll send Jim Marks a PM to ask him as well. Again, thanks for the recommendations!

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676 tasting notes

It’s been four months since I reviewed this tea.

I was wondering what I would think after going so long without even tasting it at all.
I’ll admit that I was hoarding the half ounce portion in my stash for some unknown reason. (Am I the only one that has the fear of a tea disappearing forever?) I must have more faith that there are further tea adventures ahead of me and bid this and other hoarded tea’s farewell.

Oh what a beautiful liquor this Jin Jun Mei has! Bright red-orange, golden and clear. Something like looking at a radiant amber topaz in the sunlight.

The flavor is not what I think of as a heavy Winter, stuck in the dark library… malty Black Tea. This one is a Spring morning and the World is waking up from months of frost malt type of tea. It’s flavor is alive and vibrant.

I make a caramelized Italian golden squash dish (Mario Batali’s recipe)using long slices of pumpkin (or squash), butter, brown sugar and a little balsamic vinegar and basil at the end. The squash turns into the most delicious sweet and savory, buttery dish. Oh my!

When I drink this tea, I think of this dish! The yammy, buttery and roasted flavor melting in my mouth are what I taste in this Verdant tea.
You can see why I hoarded it. Why wouldn’t I steal away as much as I could for a treat? But it’s gone.
I will have to look with anticipation for that next tea around the corner and now, after four months of drinking stunning tea’s…I know those tea gems exist. I have confidence.

This was a great cup of tea!

My learning continues, it’s just slow.


Drink tea and carry on!

Daisy Chubb

You’re right! More gems are growing right now to taste and explore in the future <3


I do the same thing!! hoarding fave teas… but no more. I will drink them all


You have till sun up my little friend!


LOL oh dear. I hope you mean next week :P


Har har!

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15147 tasting notes

mmmm sipdown on another tea that the lovely terri sent my way. It was really nice to have this back in my cupboard again for a brief moment :) I really like the steeps and resteeps of this one, though it’s not my all time favourite from verdant, but it’s by far NOT my least favourite black tea :) thank you terri!

Terri HarpLady

I loved this one. It’s not my fav, but I really enjoyed having it in my cupboard, & I’m sad to not have it anymore. Too bad they aren’t planning to restock it. Glad you liked it!


You may want to edit “but it’s by far my least favourite black” :D


i hope that was cause i was missing the word tea? :) otherwise….i’m confused lol


Haha, you’re saying that it’s by far your least favourite black tea. Meaning, you hated it more than Adagio’s! I assume you mean, it’s far from being your least favourite black :P


oh there we go… man. i’m tired. my other half just thought you were being uh…something lol


Bahahaha, nice correction. And nope! You can tell your other half… uh…. :P


you know him..always trying to cause trouble :)

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516 tasting notes

Enjoying a cup as soon as I woke up today! What an amazing way tot start the day.
It tastes like I’ve sweetened it with honey (I haven’t), and each sip transforms from a caramel note, to something more grainy, to something dry and crunchy but always sweet!

I’m sadly out of my favourite Canadian Grains bread by Dempsters – but it toasts up to a great sweet crunch with all of the whole grains – that would pair very well with this tea.

Grocery shopping today! But until then, I’ve been watching this 24/7 Live Corgi Puppy Cam. It’s taken over my life!


OMG! So freakin’ cute! They look like lil drunken’ Sailors! LOL :)
One of our 3 dogs is a Corgi/Lab Mix – he’s hilarious!

Daisy Chubb

Don’t they! Stumbling around haha! Oh wow what a fun mix, he must have a lot of adorable energy !! :D


I’ll have to start posting some stuff…I have a bunch of pics on my FB but will have to start a photo thread somewhere

Hesper June

Well, I was going to do stuff today, but forget that.
Drink Tea and watch puppies!!!

Daisy Chubb

@Bliss – I would loooove to see some photos! :)

Daisy Chubb

I apologize in advance to anyone who is glued to their computer screen for the entire day, maybe more. I’m sure the stuff can wait, right HJ? lol

Hesper June

Haha! Well, Daisy, I am supposed to milk my neighbors goats while she is away at funeral…so, no..goats are not real patient.
But, I just hoped nothing too darling would happen while I was away;)

Jim Marks

Set up a web cam to record what is broadcast by the web cam so you can catch what you miss while you’re off milking.

May the memory of your neighbor’s departed be eternal. Ya Rabbu rham.

Hesper June

Thank you, Jim.
Yes…they need a puppy DVR so you can go back and see if you missed anything thrilling.
Although, these guys seem to just do a lot of sleeping.

Jim Marks

Much like the two fur balls I have at home, they somehow manage to be very cute while just sleeping.

Anyone else a fan of Cowboy Bebop? Great Welsh Corgi action in that.

Daisy Chubb

Yes! Ein! My first corgi love, and such a great dancer ;)

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1353 tasting notes

Auggy shared this one with me. A couple of years ago I received an education in Jin Jun Mei as a type from someone here on Steepster. I believe it may have been Spoonvonstrup (who hasn’t been around lately, what’s up with that?) but I can’t remember for certain. At the time I got some JJMs that were produced in Yunnan and some that were produced in Fujian, and I came to the conclusion that while I enjoyed them all, I greatly preferred the Fujian ones.

Biiiiiig surprise to everyone present, I’m sure.

Anyway, I know the type and I know it’s one that I like, so I was happy that Auggy had shared hers with me. I’m not the least bit surprised that it would by a type she would be interested in. In fact, knowing Auggy and knowing me and knowing how closely our tea-tastes often match, I’d have been immensely shocked if she hadn’t bothered at all.

Back when I received the aforementioned JJM education, I did actually also receive a sample of this one. I’m afraid I gave it a somewhat lack-luster rating, but that must have been a different harvest. It could easily be that this one suits me better or that my taste has changed a little. Therefore I’m not particularly concerned about that now.

The aroma of the leaves here was rather odd. There isn’t really very much of it and what is there reminds me mostly about the Oriental Beauty oolong I wrote about earlier. I remembered smokyness and grain and such. What happened?

Oh well, it’s not the smell of the dry leaf that counts. It’s the aroma of the brew and the flavour that counts, so we’ll see how that turns out. I’m still not put off.

Oh yeah, this is a different story! Now it’s all grainy and thick and malty. In regards to the malt, it’s an almost syrup-y sort of smell. It’s actually very sweet when you really get your nose into it. I’m thinking chocolate and caramel here. Dark, dark ones, but still.

As for the flavour, first off it does have that Yunnan-y taste of hay, which… I could live without, frankly, but it’s not super-strong. After that it goes all out on the grain and the malt, and it gives me that association to Danish rye bread that I look for in a really great keemun. The dark dark chocolate-y caramel-y sort of malty note is making up a good deal of the body along with the grain. It’s fairly discreet, but once you’ve noticed it you find that it’s all over. I rather like that.

Now, I’ve looked up what I said about this the first time, and let’s just say that I don’t agree with myself at all. Back then, I had a sort of two-step experience of the flavour, which I’m not getting at all today. It’s very well merged this time. I suppose that’s a pretty good illustration of differences between harvests. Especially with wild-picked stuff like this, I imagine.

Raising the rating accordingly (and significantly). I may actually invest in some more of this myself in the future. We’ll see.

Strangely, though, Husband didn’t care for it at all. He found it tannin-y. But but but it’s Chinese! A Chinese black doesn’t even know what tannin is! Shocking. Also kind of funny because I count this one in the same sort of general family as keemuns and the Laoshan Black and such like which he enjoys, the latter even to the point of being renamed Life-Giving Tea. I just can’t get a grip on what I think he’ll enjoy and what he won’t. I’m coming to the conclusion that his tongue must be in upside down or something. Or broken.

Oh, and by the way, we bought a house.


Congratulations on the house and I hope you can fix Husband’s tongue. :)


I reckon if I feed him loads of biscuits, it might help. :p


Oh yes, biscuits always help with that sort of thing, speaking of which, I believe I have an unopened packet downstairs … ;)


I spoil Husband by baking them myself. I like baking and biscuits are more fun than other sorts of cake because he actually eats those. Other things, he tends to forget they’re there and I end up eating them by myself.


Home-baked biscuits? Sounds brilliant, and just the thing to go with a nice cup of tea.


congratulations and best of luck!

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6768 tasting notes

I have been sipping on this one for a while but haven’t been able to jot down tasting notes yet and figure it was long overdue since I am now on my last cuppa! This is FAB!

It has a hint of pepper but is a bit smooth and creamy – especially at the end of the sip. The toast-like flavors are great! It’s savory. It has hints of wheat and/or barley, sweet corn, and woodsy notes and I think they are great! 2nd and 3rd infusions are sweeter.

Great cup!


That sounds delicous. I’m always looking for more types of Yunnan to try. Especially since I think my mom is starting to enjoy Yunnan too.

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807 tasting notes

I am working on a review of this tea but its slow going as I am not feeling well today. I am wondering however if anyone else has noticed how badly this tea stains your tea cup and teeth! LOL it is an absolutely wonderful tea – one of my favorites now, but dang it stains!


Yeah BIG yikes – it spotted the inside of two of my tea cups in this leopard print pattern really dark with a light overall stain. Its really bizarre! LOL Im thinking its time to do a teeth whitening!


Weird. I do also think that I’ll have to get back to teeth-whitening soon though, with all this tea I’m drinking…


Funny! Sounds like you might have calcium in your water at home. That is often the cause of “staining” with black tea (though it definitely comes off with a sponge or toothbrush!). I wonder if you noticed it more with this tea because it’s got so much downy fuzz all over?


Perhaps … I sure have not noticed it with any other black teas before. I will however begin to start looking very closely! Calcium in the water is very possible. Im in the midwest.

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2816 tasting notes

I had written a review of this and then my computer died and I had to restart and lost it. Boo!

Anyway I had one longish steep of this, about 4 minutes or so, I thought this tea was malty and very grainy. Definitely reminded me of toast and had a sweet flavor with only a tinge of bitterness. I thought that might be related to the longer steeping time.

My second cup I re-steeped the same leaves for around 3 minutes and got a nice mahogany colored tea liquor. Now I think it reminds me a bit of the dark German rye bread that I get sometimes and it’s also a bit like a golden monkey.

This is a tasty tea but I will probably not feel a burning desire to order more because I already have a few teas with similar flavor profiles. I enjoyed it though!

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

I guess the summer heat is getting to your computer :)

Doug F

I feel inundated with quality black China teas with similar flavor profiles. I’m trying to home in on my favorites and keep them in stock.


@Triumph, yeah I know the feeling but right now I am inundated with darjeelings!
@kOmpir, I don’t know what happened but it was annoying!

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412 tasting notes

This smells so sweet and buttery, like sweet potato pie, or butterscotch. The flavor is more rugged, showing grain and the peppery side of yunnan rather than chocolate or cream. There is a sweetness though, as I sip longer. The description suggests honey and butter on toast – that seems about right, but it’s a hearty wheat bread, well-toasted and crunchy.

Sometimes when I first sip I’m convinced that I oversteeped this, but then the bitterness never actually materializes, it just rolls into that rumbly dark toast taste.

I’m also going to wager that this is highly caffeinated, from the way it’s going to my head already.

Overall, a good strong black tea to drink straight-up and start the day

ETA: On my 3rd steep now, more mild but still flavorful, getting more sparkly spice and a bit of fruit.

western style, 2 heaping tsp to 8oz water

205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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