Jinjunmei Thé Noir

Picture of Jinjunmei Thé Noir
Brand:D.M.D Bridge
Style:Black Tea

This tea's info last updated: Sep. 27, 2023

Ratings & Reviews

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Reviewer pic78 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 3/5
(1448 reviews) on

This was one of the better teas I've bought in-person in a long time, and was quite delicious, but was still disappointing, especially in terms of value, relative to similar teas I have bought online, particularly in that it did not resteep well.

I bought this tea at a Local Vietnamese Grocery Store. The dry leaf looks typical for a Jin Jun mei of relatively low grade. It is mostly dark brown but does have a few hints of golden tips.

The dry leaf is aromatic but perhaps slightly less so than typical for this style of tea. The dry leaf smell pleasantly malty, with a hint of smoky and fruity notes, about what I'd expect from this style of tea, and both pleasant and complex, just not quite as strongly aromatic as typical. I don't know if this is related to the glass jar, which is not an ideal way to store tea; I have no idea how long this was on the shelf; it did not have a packing date printed, only a "best before" date, which was July of 2023, so I suspect it may have been on the shelf for a while because I bought it just this summer, and most companies print the date a few years out. Again, this is two layers of oversight: the best brands store tea in opaque containers, and they print both packaging dates (ideally also harvest dates) and best-by dates.

The first brewed cup is very rich and pleasant. The flavor is rich and balanced, with a light bitterness and sweetness, and a nice rich mouthfeel, just the right amount of pleasant astringency to impart a full-bodied quality, but never too much as to make it feel drying. The cup is pleasantly aromatic, smelling just like the dried leaf but stronger, with notes of dried fruit, faint smoky notes, and strong suggestions of bread or malt. Both complex and pleasant! The cup has a warming effect and I like how I feel after drinking it. If I were judging this only by the first cup, this would be an A+ tea and I would give this at least a 90/100 if not higher.

But the second steep of this tea was disappointingly thin and weak, lacking in every regard. The body is thin and watery, yet somehow manages to have disproportionate unpleasant astringency, the flavor is disappointingly weak, and the aroma was lacking. I've tried a number of Jin Jun Mei teas, including some relatively inexpensive, lower-grade ones, and I have never had one give out so easily as this one. I'd say this is almost a one-cup-wonder, although the second steep wasn't totally bland or watery, so I did steep it.

You can slightly mitigate the imbalance by using a little more leaf, and a shorter first steep, but only slightly. I would recommend a 2 minute first steep followed by a second perhaps 5-8 minute second steep, to get the best out of this tea. But again, this is disappointing as value is concerned because it requires using more leaf.

Overall, I thought this was good and perfectly drinkable, but not competitive price-wise. It cost around $15 for 5.3 ounces, which was not appreciably cheaper than the Classic Robust Jin Jun Mei I buy regularly from Yunnan Sourcing; that tea is MUCH better and resteeps much better in particular.

I don't understand why most Asian markets don't sell top-tier tea, but they just don't. Like I said, this was the best I've had from an in-person store in a long time but it still doesn't live up to my high standards that I've gotten from ordering from top-tier mail-order companies like Yunnan Sourcing and Teavivre.
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