One of the nicest aspects of exploring the world of Chinese teas is the richness of the stories and names that go with them. They are never dull or prosaic and however insane they may seem they are usually strangely fitting.
It is hard to imagine that a western tea would be given such a sweet and evocative name as Chun Mee or precious eyebrows. One look at the sardonically arched leaves can tell you where the name comes from. The tea takes its distinctive appearance from the rolling process it undergoes before pan firing at the exact temperature required to create the perfect flavour and few people would question it’s preciousness.
Chun Mee is a very mellow green tea but becomes extremely bitter if over brewed or made with water that is too hot, so it needs careful handling. It has a plum like after taste, a very slight smokeyness and an acidity that makes it an excellent palate cleanser, so it is one of the few green teas robust enough to survive next to food. In China it is a popular everyday tea which can be drunk in pretty much any situation throughout the day. If there were such a thing as a standard Chinese green tea then Chun Mee would be it.
It is said to be the descendent of a tea from Anhui province in the Ming dynasty but it is now produced throughout Southern China. It is one of the less expensive green teas and fairly easy to track down. It comes highly recommended by a large percentage of the global population and would make a very good first step for those who are wanting to move beyond the supermarket black teas.
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