Happy 4754 in the Era of Tea! If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out this History of Tea post I made a while back. I’m sick at home today so I was somehow able to convince myself to pull together a blog post. What with being feverish, I’ll tell you right now the photography on this one is just going to suck. That being said, I’ve just turned 35 and age means dying brain cells (especially in my family ^^;;). It’s possible my best photography lies behind me.
I’d like to preface this review by stating that I recognize the challenge Arbor Teas faces in locating an organic, fair traded Chinese Chun Mee that actually stands up to the competition AND that they can somehow turn a profit on. Props sincerely given. I was very excited to learn you can read all about their Jiangxi Co-op tea garden if you are so inclined (being given the exact terroir of a tea is quite rare (and saves me a LOT of research time), a fact that gave rise to the “Tea Mysteries” facet of this blog). Apologies for the unavoidable doubly parenthetic doggerel.
In aroma, Arbor’s Chun Mee is a rich wetland bouquet. Oddly, rather than the characteristic rough and tumble Chun Mee “curl“, this Chun Mee has a flatter, rounded out flavor with a slight buttery aspect and a clipped aftertaste. That doesn’t much come as a surprise though, given the loose leaf itself mostly lacks the expected Chun Mee-eyebrow curl. The texture is woodier, more White than your typical Chinese Green. Finally, the liquor is homogenous: a bright jade infusion. Arbor’s Chun Mee is definitely fun and unique, but if you’re looking for a traditional Chinese Chun Mee experience you may wish to look elsewhere… actually you won’t really have to look. Chun Mee is very common–there’s at least 64 other vendors that retail Chun Mee. One of the first loose leaf teas I ever tried was a Chun Mee from TeaGschwendner that I can recommend with confidence.
- Aroma – 94
- Taste – 92
- Texture – 94
- Spunk – 94
- Rarity – 93 (but only on account of it being organic)
- Availability – 92
- Appearance – 93
- Organic/Fair trade – 96 (i tend to rate Arbor Teas higher in this regard since even their packaging is compostable/biodegradable!)
Mean score – Rounds to 94. Really, I have no complaints.