What an honour to receive a phone call last Sunday (29/7) that one of our favourite black Chinese teas had been given a very deserving honour of being named the 2018 Grand Champion tea at Hobart's Royal Agricultural Show Fine Food Awards.
At The Steepery Tea Co. our main objective is to source and curate a selection of pure leaf teas ('true teas') from various growing regions across the world to showcase the diversity of the leaf and the tea makers craft in producing exceptional tea. Searching for tea and continually cupping samples is where we dedicate a significant amount of time to bring in selections that we think our customers would enjoy.
Black tea is a well-loved favourite in the Australian market. And personally, we love black tea of all types whether they be a strong, brisk and malty Assam from India that can withstand a splash of milk or a more complex, fruity and spiced Qimen from China. If you would like to learn a little bit about the difference between these styles of black teas take a look at Cuppa Cha's tea knowledge channel.
What we like to focus on are those black teas that are more than a commodity (supermarket) tea. They must come from traceable origins and be from a single-garden that makes their aroma and flavour profile distinct and unique. When looking to China for black teas the choice is endless. We fall most in love with those that are craft as much as they are an art to produce. Considerations are given to the terroir (micro-climate in China from where the tea is produced), the plucking standard, and the steps in the production taken by the tea maker to produce beautiful teas. All our teas from China are designed to be drunk plain without milk.
Jin Jun Mei Honey....let's start at the beginning. These pictures have been provided to me by the Chen family tea garden.
The plucking standard is bud only.
The Jin Jun Mei Honey is oxidised during the late evening. The tea is oxidised by placing the buds in a basket with a wet cloth over the top. The baskets are put in a warm room and slowly oxidised over a period of 8-10 hours. The tea is subjected to a light baking to dry and finish the tea.
The result is beautiful. A gold medal-winning tea infact!
We encourage you to try this incredible tea for yourself. It is full-bodied and rich and we think by knowing a little more about the process you will now be able to appreciate the craft that goes into producing a champion tea like Jin Jun Mei Honey. Buy now from our online store.
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