The name of this classic tea from Jiangxi province in China translates to “precious eyebrow”, due to the unique “eyebrow” shape of Chunmee’s pan-fired leaf. The tea leaves are a shiny, grey-green with a smoky or dusty appearance and produce a lovely, astringent yellow liquor and a gentle aroma often compared to plums. It has a pleasant vegetal briskness, and one may detect a hint of smokiness which Chinese teas of this style often retain from the pan-firing. A sensitive palette may even experience a hint of spiciness!
This tea, while delightful when prepared well, can be unforgiving to over-steeping or if prepared with water too hot (remember to never put boiling water on green tea!). Doing so will create an infusion that is very strong, astringent or even bitter. Be kind to your Chunmee and use cooler water with controlled steeps of 2-3 minutes or less – then enjoy re-steeps of the same leaf!