I recently received a sample set from Crafted Leaf Teas that they were giving away and in that set contained a special surpise: Jin Jun Mei. Listed on their website were the contents of the pack and JJM was not one of those included in the set. It looks like a substitution was made and I am quite happy about it. Why, you ask? Because JJM is known to be one of the most expensive black teas there is. After tasting it, I can see why.
I used 3.8 grams in a Gawain with 200F water. Infusions were 10 seconds + 5. The leaves are small and gave a faint smell of cocoa, which was exciting.
The first infusion had notes of malt, which I don’t always get from Chinese black teas, and some fruit notes, like apple or pear, and the finish was….. milky. It took me a while to pick up that finish because I had never tasted that in a black tea before and I wasn’t expecting it, but it was pleasant.
On the second infusion I picked up more of a milky taste and a hint of cocoa but it lost the fruity notes. The third infusion is where it gets fun. The third infusion tasted just like… wait for it…. chocolate milk. I felt like a kid drinking a special treat, it was awesome! Fourth infusion was more chocolate milky goodness.
The fifth infusion threw me another curveball. This time it tasted like a malted chocolate. The malt returned but the cocoa stayed and I have to say I really enjoyed this twist too. This tea is full of surprises. The sixth and seventh tasted like chocolate malt as well.
To recap – It started with malty fruit milky taste, then became chocolate milky, then chocolate malty. This tea was an adventure and I really enjoyed. I can see why it is usually so expensive.
So, just HOW expensive is it? It is currently listed for $12.00 for 25 grams. $.48 a gram is getting up there, but it’s not overly expensive. If you stretch it out like I like to do, then you are looking at: 6 (100ml of water) solo sessions per bag so that’s $2 per session. 7 infusions per session makes it $.29 per cup. That ranks right up there as the most expensive tea that I have blogged about, but it’s close. I don’t think I would drink it everyday, but you could. I certainly think it is worth it to get this tea and have it as a treat. $.29 per cup is still very cheap compared to most other beverages out there so it’s really not expensive at all in the grand scheme of things.
This tea was quite a fascinating journey in itself and I was pleasantly surprised by it. I highly recommend trying it out.