Black Buds Jin Jun Mei

Tea type
Black Tea
Not available
Cocoa, Dark Bittersweet, Malt, Molasses, Baked Bread, Bergamot, Black Pepper, Cedar, Chocolate, Ginger, Grain, Honey, Mineral, Orange, Pine, Sweet Potatoes, Vanilla, Wood, Yeast, Floral, Fruity
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Loose Leaf
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Edit tea info Last updated by Sil
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 4 oz / 129 ml

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9 Tasting Notes

5193 tasting notes

Sipdown! 83/365

Another tea I drank all but a single cup’s worth of at work. It was quite good. Very smooth, rich, malty, heavier on the hay notes than chocolate. Would definitely have this again.

Evol Ving Ness

Do you have 365 teas or are you calculating the days and drinks of the year?


I have somewhere over 1000 teas, heh. I have a 2019 goal of removing at least 365 via sipdowns! Many of the teas I have are swap samples or taster pouches, so this should be pretty achievable :)

Evol Ving Ness

Wow, you go girl!

Sil has been nudging me towards doing a tea excel chart, but nope, not doing it. The truth may be just a bit too harsh.

Mastress Alita

I love my tea Excel sheet, it fits my librarian cataloging needs well.


Every so often I insist on doing an excel sheet or documenting teas in a journal just because I like the practice of making inventories. Then I get lazy and stop maintaining them and a couple months later do it all over again. I find it helps me get a grasp on my cupboard and gives me focus.


Oof, you guys are making the lure of documenting my teas very irresistible. I was planning on doing it per company (bin) as I go through each blender, since that should keep it manageable in terms of doing a bit every now and then, but now I just want to get started. :D My husband and I both love tracking things in Excel. Somewhat different, but we recently started tracking budgety stuff in Excel, and it’s now 8 sheets of various things and formulas and whatnot. Haha.

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576 tasting notes

This was far more interesting than Verdant’s regular Jin Jun Mei. Lots of bold flavor, beautiful color, and a rich body with hints of malt chocolate. On the nose, I get sweet cocoa, malt, and cherries. The wet leaf adds some ash and woodsy notes.

First steep is thick and malty with a little molasses in the finish. Bittersweet chocolate notes come out as it cools. The second steep produces a deep dark cherry red liquor. Much stronger flavor with some hints of bitterness. This was probably because I oversteeped it. The next few infusions tasted like Golden Monkey with lots of brown sugar and malt. A syrupy, honey like sweetness sets in during later steepings.

I enjoyed this one a lot. It was robust and delicious. However, I won’t be rushing out to order more as its similar to some of the Chinese black teas I already have.

Flavors: Cocoa, Dark Bittersweet, Malt, Molasses

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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1000 tasting notes

Alright, here comes the second and final review of the day. I’m sure some of you who read my reviews have noted that I have been moving away from black teas over the course of the previous 2-3 months. That is the result of a deliberate decision on my part. I find oolongs more challenging and more appealing at this point in my life, so I have made more of an effort to focus on them. That, however, does not mean that I will no longer be drinking and/or reviewing other types of tea. All of the above brings us to this tea. Until this afternoon, I had been putting it off for months. I only had a sample pouch and finally got sick of looking at it. If I had only known what I was missing…

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 5 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 195 F water for 10 seconds. I followed this infusion up with a ridiculous series of 14 additional infusions. I did not want to give up on this one. Steep times for these infusions were 8 seconds, 10 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, and 5 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted aromas of roasted grain, buttered yeast rolls, wood, and honey. After the rinse, the woodiness was amplified, while aromas of vanilla, ginger, and chocolate began to emerge. The first infusion saw a hint of sweet potato appear. In the mouth, I detected notes of buttered yeast roll, wood, vanilla, ginger, chocolate, roasted grain, and honey. Subsequent infusions grew more intense and complex. Impressions of cracked black pepper, minerals, mandarin orange, bergamot, pine, and cedar began to express themselves both on the nose and on the palate just as the impression of sweet potato finally made its mark in the mouth. The later infusions were heavy on the minerals, though subtle notes of wood, pine, cedar, and yeast roll still provided a semblance of balance. Every time I thought the tea was done, however, touches of honey, ginger, and vanilla would come back swinging just before the finish.

This was a truly beautiful and intriguing tea. Like most of Li Xiangxi’s offerings, it started to fade rather early, but clung to interesting combinations of flavors, a taut, lean body, and a wonderfully sharp, focused Wuyi rock texture as it faded. Normally, I am all about teas that peak early and maintain consistency over a controlled and extended fade. Even though this tea’s peak was shorter and its fade longer than most, it had so much to offer. This was definitely the kind of tea that rewarded patience and focus. If you are a fan of Jin Jun Mei, you owe it to yourself to try this tea.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Bergamot, Black Pepper, Cedar, Chocolate, Ginger, Grain, Honey, Mineral, Orange, Pine, Sweet Potatoes, Vanilla, Wood, Yeast

195 °F / 90 °C 5 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
Daylon R Thomas

Verdant’s black teas this year just look fantastic in general.


Daylon, I know. It’s kind of crazy, right? Every time I think I’m ready to move on from Verdant’s stuff, they bring in something new that blows me away. I know I tend to be a big defender of their Wuyi offerings, but man, this was just a really good tea. What’s worse is this sample was from last year’s spring harvest. I’m beginning to find that a lot of Wuyi and Guangdong teas last like no other. I’ve even heard of dedicated Wuyi black/oolong and Dan Cong enthusiasts ageing their teas at home for anywhere from 1-3 years from the point of acquisition just to see how the roast settles.

Daylon R Thomas

I know that Alistair ages his some of the Wuyis and Guangdongs he’s picked up. One of the best blacks was a Tie Guan Yin varietal processed as a black. I’m finding that I prefer black, white, and greener oolong teas on the Fujian side of the Wu Yi’s myself, and I’ve always liked Dan Congs in general.


Everyone I know raves about black/red Tieguanyin. I’ll have to investigate further. For me, I tend to focus mostly on Wuyi, Anxi, and Taiwanese oolongs. I’m still getting into Dan Cong, but I’m much more open to them now than I was just a month or two ago. I’ve got a Feng Huang Pomelo & Flower Aroma Dan Cong from Yunnan Sourcing that was a product of the Spring 2015 harvest. I just started it a couple days ago and hope to have a review session in the books by the end of next week at the latest. I am not sure how I feel about it at the moment, but it seems promising.

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57 tasting notes

A delicious, robust tea. The taste is strongly of malt and chocolate, with floral and fruity notes playing in the background. Very smooth, little astringency.

Flavors: Chocolate, Floral, Fruity, Malt

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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13010 tasting notes

another tasty treat from today. So many teas, so little time..

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