Brewing Hints: Brew in water that has been boiled and allowed to cool for a few minutes. Brew for three to five minutes
Leaf: Green Tea with tiny eyebrow-shaped leaves
Origin: Hunan, China
Characteristics: Clear golden-yellow liquor with a gentle refreshing plummy taste.
Serving Suggestions: Drink without milk, with light, savoury foods.
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£2.35 – £45.09
Chun Mee Tea is a popular green tea that has a slight ‘plummy’ flavour and a golden liquor. Chun Mee is Chinese for ‘Precious Eyebrow’, and is spelled ‘Zhen Mei’
Chun Mee tea is classed as a ‘famous’ Chinese Green tea, which means that it is extremely popular and revered in China. ‘Famous Teas’ change all the time, depending on trends within China, and Chun Mee is a regular contender for this coveted title. It is called ‘Eyebrow Tea’, and the words Chun Mee actually mean ‘Precious Eyebrow’.
The way in which the leaves are shaped for different green teas is very complicated and involved several stages… Chun Mee takes 25 different steps to produce, including 10 different movements of the hands to shape, press and turn the leaves and buds during production. They are described in Mandarin as…
dǒu, dā, nuò, nà, shuǎi, zhuā, tuī, kòu, yā, mó
This roughly translates as:
Shaking, Piling Up, Holding, Pressing Down, Tossing, Grabbing, Pushing, Covering, Pressing and Rubbing.
These movements subtly change the taste, liquor colour and aroma of the finished tea, as well as its shape. Chun Mee leaves are delicately curved like a lady’s eyebrows. They are originally little fat immature tea buds, with the white downy hairs still on the bud, and the hand movements, temperature and time spent making this tea combine to make this beautiful, uniform twist to the finished tea.
Originally, Chun Mee was called ‘Famous Plum’ because of its delightfully smooth, plummy flavour and also because it was first produced in a place called Shangmeizhou, whose name translates as ‘Upper Plum Village’.