A new semester means new interns in the eBA office, and new interns meant we had to put our Teatime Tuesday series on pause while everyone got up to speed. Now that things are once again cooking along–and just in time for the return of below-freezing nighttime temperatures!–we are happy to return to our regular programming: eight weeks of highlighting teas from Seven Cups Tea, a local Tucson tea shop. Offering everything from traditional tea ceremonies to over 70 loose leaf Chinese tea varieties, Seven Cups is an Arizona resource for exploring both Chinese tea and the traditions that surround it.
Today’s tea is Jin Kong Que, Golden Peacock. I must confess, I started drinking this tea before I had a chance to write about it, and I have been nothing but delighted with the experience. This is everything I look for in a default tea: not too aggressive, low on the bitterness, a little sweet, and with a simple enough flavor profile that I can drink it while doing other things and still feel like I’m getting a good experience of the flavor.
Hailing from the remote Jing Mai region in the Yunnan Province, the Jin Kong Que is a black tea with a sweet and slightly woody flavor. While black tea has historically been a product reserved for China’s export trade, well-made black teas like the Jin Kong Que have recently become popular in China’s domestic market, along with the puer tea the Jin Mai region is known for. This has meant a tremendous change for the people who live in this area, as once- remote and scattered villages making tea to supplement their livelihoods have become centers of interest to a nation of tea drinkers and overseas Chinese tea enthusiasts. Andrew McNeill, general manager at Seven Cups, recommends interested readers check out the complex story of how the tea trade is influencing local residents’ lives in the book Puer Tea by Jinghong Zhang.
This tea, with its minute-and-a-half brew time, is perfect for those days where you don’t want to have to wait (or in my case, where you wouldn’t mind waiting, but it’s too cold to sit in front of a computer without something hot to drink). 1.5 tablespoons to sixteen ounces of water gets you a full strength brew, and with each serving good for six infusions, the Golden Peacock is a great buy starting at $14.48 for a 50 gram bag, and can be purchased in-store or online.