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When your taste buds want a really refreshing tea, Chun Mei is a perfect choice, and is widely drunk in China during and after meals with strongly flavoured foods. With a very consistent size and shape, TeaVivre's Chun Mee is a grade 1 Chun Mee that has been picked early in the year, before the rainy season sets in, to ensure it has the best taste and a smooth, sweet aftertaste this tea is famed for.
Recommend Brewing Guide:
Chun Mei – sometimes called Zhen Mei – is the most popular type of “eyebrow tea” in China, so named because when dry it's narrow, curved shape looks like a fine, painted on eyebrow. The traditional local drink of Anhui, it is also now widely grown in Zhejiang, Jiangxi provinces.
The production of this tea, especially high quality Chun Mei like TeaVivre's, is particularly laborious and time consuming, as each leaf must be carefully hand rolled at exactly the right temperature to ensure the uniformity in the size and shape of each leaf, that is needed to ensure the resulting tea delivers the exact combination of sweetness and astringency this tea is renowned for.
Chun Mee, like all green teas, has high levels of antioxidants that reportedly reduce the incidence of cancer, promote good skin tone and help reduce the affects of aging. Also high in vitamin C, fluoride and calcium, they also promote healthy teeth and bones.
For more information on the health benefits of Green teas, take a look at our article on Tea Health benefit.
Chun Mei should brewed in water around 194 ºF (90 ºC) for less than 30 seconds. A longer time will give the tea a bitter taste. It can be infused 7 or 8 times.
For more information on some of the skills and arts of brewing tea, check out our article on How To Make Zhen Mei Green Tea.
The source of tea is from the traditional birthplace of this tea, high in mountains of Anhui province. This amazingly beautiful area is a mix of high rugged mountains and dense forests, with the cool temperatures and perpetually misty conditions ideal for growing the delicate buds and leaves.
Chun Mei traces its roots back to a traditional green tea produced in Anhui during Ming Dynasty in the 1600's, called Anhui green tea. As the hand rolling and processing techniques of this tea evolved and improved, the highest quality versions of this tea were given a new name – Chun Mei – to distinguish them from the earlier, inferior, forms. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries Chun Mei became hugely popular in China, and to this day is the most commonly drunk green tea in the country.
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You're reviewing: Chun Mei Green Tea (Zhen Mei)
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One of my daughter's favorite green teas, this has a briskness that makes it great to pair with food or to serve after a meal to clear the palate. The brisk sensation is followed by rising sweet aftertaste. Daughter would give it five stars, I give it four only because I am not an avid brisk tea drinker. The sweet aftertaste fascinates me, though, and I keep it around to serve with rich Asian style foods to cut through their inherent heaviness.
This tea has a distinctive flavor from other green teas I've tried. I enjoy it very much and could easily make it my every day tea. I do usually have a cup of Chun Mei every day. I'm not experienced enough to really pinpoint the flavors of the tea. All I know is that for me, it seems "spicy". I like it because it's not like any other green tea I've tried and I love the unusual flavor. I also love the price. I make sure I never run out of Chun Mei. I would really miss it.
No one ever seems to talk about Chun Mei--Long Jing, Sencha, Mao Feng, Gunpowder, the list of famous green teas goes on and on, but poor little Chun Mei seems to get little respect. The only time I've ever seen it named as a China green tea is on the box of the Tazo filterbag Chun Mee. Lots of other filterbags appear to contain Chun Mei--or a blend one of the components of which is Chun Mei--but when it comes time to rave about loose leaf greens, the topic never seems to come up. That's why I decided to order a sample of this tea from Teavivre. I wanted to know what this tea looks and tastes like in loose leaf form. I agree with the description of the dried leaves as eyebrow-like. They are very cute. The dried form also looks a bit like something on the road to becoming Gunpowder. The liquor is light golden brown and tastes rather robust and earthy. It's actually quite good, with a stronger cooked flavor. This tea is hearty but not at all bitter. I'll definitely be ordering a full supply, as I find Chun Mei to be tasty and think that it would pair well with spicy food. In fact, I enjoyed this tea right after a heavily spiced Thai meal. I wonder whether the low price of Chun Mei is an indication that many green tea drinkers prefer less assertive flavors? No matter: I like it, I do.
Mmmm…nummy. THis is perfect for when you’re in a mood for savory flavors. At first, the scent of the leaves confused me. Then I realized I was smelling nori. I love nori. This tea totally reminds me of a chinese pantry. Dried shrimp, dried shitakes, fermented soy products… all those things used in chinese cooking to add a punch of umami. Is umami even possible in tea leaves? Delicious. Slightly brothy and a hint of dryness on the tongue. Am I having soup? Ok, let’s back pedal a bit and talk about the leaves and the steeping parameters. I was tickled to see how mini the little leaf pellets were in the pouch. Adorable! I was also surprised by the steeping instructions. Less than 30 seconds in 90 C? I’ve never seen a green calling for such a short steep. And the temp is a bit high for my usual greens, but since the directions were so specific, I figured they were worth following. I can’t imagine going for more than 30 seconds with this tea. The flavor is perfect at 29 seconds. I imagine it would get astringent if left longer, judging by the dryness already present. I love the care Teavivre shows toward their teas. Every variety is treated with respect. This review was originally published on Steepster by Mercuryhime in January, 2012. TeaVivre add this whole review here by getting permission from Mercuryhime.
I was surprised at the similarity to gunpowder green tea. A cloudy brew with that characteristic smokey, earthy taste. Certainly is a good everyday tea for the very reasonable price, but I have been spoiled with the crisp, clear complexity of your finer greens. Thanks nonetheless for the free sample.
This tea was provided to me due to a free sample which is great because every time I order new tea I get to broaden my range of teas to see what I like and dislike. This tea has a very earthy flavor as described in the summary and is quite strong. I preferred later steepings and be sure not to over-steep this particular tea. Overall a good tea to taste but not something I could drink every day.
Ooh, here we go. This is what I like in a green tea. I know it seems weird, but I didn’t know what I was “tasting for” in them before. I had experienced so few that I didn’t know what characteristics I liked and wanted to pursue. The smokiness pleases the black tea lover in me. It’s more in the scent than the taste; subtle. I don’t exactly taste the plum that Teavivre describes, but I sense some sort of creaminess that I’m also liking. There are no strong vegetable or seaweed tastes to it, which I’m still adjusting to. Maybe a little nuttiness. Anyway, this is really good. I’m going to have to explore Chun Mei, I think. This review was originally published on Steepster by Tabby on May, 2012. TeaVivre add this whole review here by getting permission from Tabby.
Another free sample generously provided to me by TeaVivre! Dry leaf: Small and dark green leaves that smelled of spinach. They were whole, but the leaves were so small that they resembled a BOP grade, almost. I understand the reasoning behind the short steep time when looking at the leaves. Steeped leaf: Once steeped, the liquor is a light brown – the fact it is so dark is surprising given I’ve steeped some greens for 2 minutes and only gotten a pale green. The smell is quite brothy and savory, and as it cools, almost…floral, strangely enough. The taste is…strong. And very different. It’s drying like a white wine on the tongue, but not thin or watery. It seems kind of bitter, but that plum aftertaste was there – it seemed a bit metallic, though. It is definitely memorable and different than any other green tea I’ve tried. As it cools most of the dryness and the sharpness in the aftertaste fades away. It leaves more of a sour nuttiness in its stead. Overall: I’m glad I got to try it but I don’t know that it’s a tea I want to keep on hand. It could be the fact that it shares so many qualities with wine or sake – I don’t drink alcohol because I can’t stand the taste and so this is has unpleasant associations to me. Maybe later steeps will be more to my liking? This review was originally published on Steepster by JoonSusanna on March, 2012. TeaVivre add this whole review here by getting permission from JoonSusanna.
I'm reviewing this again because I feel like my last review was incomplete. My last review was based off of a western-style brewing. I've tried the gaiwan method recommended by TeaVivre (3oz water, 5g leaf, 7 steeps). I enjoyed this tea much more using this method. It produced a fuller and more interesting brew than the three-steep western method. According to some simple math, this method is slightly more economical as well!
This is an average Chun Mei. I brewed it according to the instructions(2 tsp, 8 oz, three steepings: 30s, 1m,1m 30s)The 2nd steeping was the best. This is an average Chun Mei. I have had better; this one lacks the sweetness that I have tasted in other Chun Mei's. But I have had worse Chun Mei's as well. For price, this is a great, affordable tea to drink everyday.
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