Jin Jun Mei

Tea type
Black Tea
Black Tea
Cocoa, Honey, Sweet Potatoes, Yams
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Loose Leaf
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Harney & Sons The Store
Average preparation
2 min, 0 sec 16 oz / 473 ml

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From Harney & Sons

This comes from the Wuyi Mountains (where Lapsang comes from) golden & sweet. The big golden tips are so pretty. Please note this tea is not smoked like Lapsang. Jin Jun Mei means Golden Beautiful Eyebrow.

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Since 1983 Harney & Sons has been the source for fine teas. We travel the globe to find the best teas and accept only the exceptional. We put our years of experience to work to bring you the best Single-Estate teas, and blends beyond compare.

3 Tasting Notes

3202 tasting notes

I made this gong fu style first and wrote a review for Sororitea Sisters. The following day I served it at tea time made western style and that is what I will address here.

First of all, I read a lot of hype of JJM and had high hopes. It is crazy expensive – $75 an ounce. No, I didn’t pay that. I used my reward points to buy a sample pack. I got one gong fu session and two large pots of tea out of the leaves when you include resteeps. The sample was $10. The two ounce tin is $149.

This was….good but not $75 an ounce good. It was savory like Zhen Qu from Southern Season and had hints of Golden Monkey flavors. I tried regular cups and Jianzhen cups. It just wasn’t the over-the-moon experience I was hoping it would be.

I served an out of date Tangerine White from Revolution as the other tea at tea time, and my guest said she preferred that to the JJM, and she is a black tea lover, preferring unflavored black most of all. That kind of says something.

Again, it wasn’t bad, but there are $6 an ounce teas that taste as good or better to me. I feel bad saying it because I love Harney and Sons and they and their teas have been great to me. Maybe my tastes are not refined enough to appreciate this tea. That is quite possible.
I wouldn’t mind hearing from a real JJM lover who has tried several and see how this compares for them.


Yikes! Real Jin Jun Mei is indeed expensive—Zhen Tea has 15 grams for $78. I haven’t tried anything of that quality, and the much cheaper version I had from Yunnan Sourcing wasn’t that exciting. You might have better luck with Old Ways Tea or other Wuyi-based vendors, which I’ve heard are somewhere in the middle in terms of price and quality. (I’d also like to know if the really expensive stuff is worth it.)


Yeah, for $3 per gram I would expect something quite out of ordinary too. Not sure Harney & Sons are the best source for that level of teas, though. I mean, I did see some quite expensive offerings on their site but was always skeptical about them.
Also, I am forever skeptical of Jin Jun Meis: they look to me as an attempt to rebrand tippy Lapsang Souchongs by giving them a sexy name and building up the hype. Still like them, though.


I must have missed the memo about JJM being related to Lapsang Souchong, which is a tea I like a lot when it’s unsmoked. Yunnan Sourcing has a few unsmoked Lapsangs that are both affordable and tasty.


Teavivre’s unsmoked Lapsang is cheaper and better than this one to me!


I’ve never had Teavivre’s unsmoked Lapsang; I might have to remedy that.


I will have to try Teavivre’s unsmoked Lapsang as well. Thank you. ^^


I second ashmanra: Teavivre’s Lapsang has been one of my favorites for years. It is quite complex for the price.


I can chime in a little on Jin Jun Mei, having tried a decent number over the past couple of years. In my opinion, Jin Jun Mei is a hot ticket tea for three primary reasons. The first is that black tea is becoming a bigger deal among tea drinkers in China, and Jin Jun Mei happens to be one of the newer black teas that just came along and got some attention at the time domestic interest in Chinese black tea was noticeably increasing. The second is that a number of more traditional Chinese tea reviewers and critics tend to heavily weight leaf grade and appearance in their evaluations of tea, and Jin Jun Mei is generally produced in grades that are considered desirable and attractive. The final reason is that “mi xiang” teas have recently become a huge craze among Chinese and Taiwanese tea drinkers, and Jin Jun Mei tends to have a natural honey scent and/or flavor, which producers and vendors have capitalized on in their marketing. Due to these and probably other factors, demand for Jin Jun Mei has skyrocketed, and prices have gone through the roof. The yearly Jin Jun Mei competitions in Wuyishan have become a huge deal, and should a tea place in the competition, expected demand drives price speculation through the roof. This, however, does not mean that lower grade teas cannot be just as good or better in terms of value for individual drinkers. Personally, I still prefer teas like Jin Mao Hou and Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong to Jin Jun Mei and refuse to pay ridiculous prices for competition Jin Jun Mei as the reputation of the producer and appearance of the leaf tend to be primary deciding factors in competition placement and thus the price point at which such high grade teas are sold. I also tend to evaluate teas based on a combination of aroma, flavor, and feel, so I have little reason to expect greatness out of teas that are exorbitantly priced due to evaluations primarily or wholly based on other characteristics. I think one’s primary consideration in tea reviewing should be how a tea strikes them at or around the time of consumption and not how special and great a certain tea is proclaimed to be and/or how it is priced. Having tried competition grade Jin Jun Mei (not awarded teas), I can honestly state that I have tried cheaper teas of the style that have struck me as being just as good or slightly better.

Roswell Strange

Thanks eastkyteaguy – I actually found that really informative and helpful! :)


Yes, indeed! Thank you, eastkyteaguy! Makes sense. The Teavivre unsmoked lapsang that I like is Xheng Shan Xiao Zhang, I believe. I prefer it to this JJM.


No problem. On a related note, black tea in China is very much subject to fads and crazes, much like pu-erh, Wuyi and Anxi oolongs, Fuding white teas, Keemun, and many of the more famous green teas. Right now, Jin Jun Mei is clearly a hot commodity. For some time there, it was Yunnan Dian Hong, though I do not know whether or not it ever commanded such ridiculous prices among tea vendors. Of course, Keemun has also long been a big deal. I have a feeling that once the Jin Jun Mei craze dies down, we’ll start seeing something like unsmoked lapsang souchong, Laoshan black, Phoenix black, or black Tieguanyin become the hot new thing. Smoked lapsang souchong is also worth keeping an eye on for the time being. It has long had a reputation as a lower end tea for Westerners, but it is actually becoming more popular in China. More vendors are starting to offer it. Oh, and if you are ever looking for something akin to Jin Jun Mei at a fraction of the price, check out Yin Jun Mei, which is Jin Jun Mei’s lower grade counterpart. Berylleb Tea and What-Cha both used to offer great ones.

Ilse Wouters

If I may say so : thank you for all these comments, it gives me quite a few ideas for teas to find, to try and to discover.

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110 tasting notes

Earthy, reminds me of the nice Keemun Snail from the same folks.

2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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687 tasting notes

Went to a Chinese New Year Celebration this weekend. That always makes me want tea, so I tried my new sample. This tea is pretty, and smells amazing. There is mainly a scent of honey and yams. The flavour is mostly sweet potato, with honey and cocoa notes.

Had while playing Harvest Moon- The Tale of Two Towns.

Flavors: Cocoa, Honey, Sweet Potatoes, Yams

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