Jiu Qu Hong Mei is sometimes Jiu Qu Oolong, and is a relatively unknown black tea produced in the Da Hu Mountain area not too far from the West Lake region of Zhejiang. Jiu Qu Hong Mei (九曲红梅) means Red Plum from Jiu Qu, and is called "Red Plum" because the the tea soup is a lovely red and the taste and aroma of the tea reminds one of plum fruit. There is a also a thick honey and apple taste with little or astringency at all. The aroma is strong and heady with a pleasant character.
Jiu Qu Hong Mei originated in the Jiu Qu area of Wuyi Mountain. It was brought to the West Lake area of Zhejiang by a farmer from northern Fujian who moved north and settled in the Da Hu Mountain area to grow this tea. Gradually the popularity of this varietal grew as other local growers began to cultivate and process this tea.
Whether the Jiu Qu Hong Mei is picked in the right time or not is related to the quality of the tea. Before and after Guyu is the best, the quality is lower when the garden is opened before and after the Qingming Festival. The picking standard of Jiu Qu Red Plum requires one bud and two leaves to develop; it is made by finishing, kneading, fermentation, and drying (baking). The key is fermentation and drying. Jiu Qu Hong Mei is called Jiu Qu Hong Mei because of its red color and fragrance. It has a sweet taste and warms the stomach. Jiu Qu Hong Mei Tea has been produced for nearly 200 years. It became famous more than a hundred years ago. As early as 1886, it won the Panama World Expo Gold Medal, but it's a relatively unknown tea, especially compared to West Lake Longjing Tea.
Harvest Time: mid-April
Region: Da Hu Mountain area of Zhejiang
Varietal: Longjing #43
Altitude: 400 meters