"Red Plum" Jiu Qu Hong Mei
Origin: Da Hu Mountain area of Zhejiang
Varietal: Longjing #43
Harvest: Mid-April 2021
Altitude: 400 meters
Picking: Bud and top leaf
Know your tea:
With very uniform, long, wirey, delicately hand-rolled leaves, this Jiu Qu Hong Mei is a relatively lesser-known black tea even though it has been in production for nearly 200 years. 'Hong Mei' means 'Red Plum" because the tea liqueur is a reddish amber and the taste and aroma of the tea reminds one of stone fruit. The timing of picking this tea is pivotal in its quality, and right before or after Guyu (the 6th solar term in the Chinese lunisolar calendar which is divided into 24 terms) is the best time.
Ingredients: 100% pure tea
Tasting Notes: Top notes of lychee, back notes of Shimjee mushrooms, caramel, and cayenne. Heady and pleasant.
Liqueur Body: Reddish amber-colored, full-bodied, thick with a smooth finish. A good alternative to black coffee.
We encourage you to experiment with the amount of leaves, amount and temperature of water, and infusion times to reach your preferred strength of tea, but here's a suggestion for this particular tea:
Rinse your tea before the first infusion, to 'awaken' the leaves. You can do this by just submerging the leaves in warm water at the prescribed temperature for each particular tea, and then discarding that water. This will also preheat the vessel and prevent the water temperature from drastically falling during the infusion.
Most reinfusions require the same or higher temperatures than the first infusion because the leaves will already be moist, but the time for each reinfusion will first reduce till a certain number of reinfusions, and then it will need to be increased till you've maxed out the potential of the leaves.
Pairing Suggestion: A sweet, glazed donut!