Jin Shan, also referred to as Jin Mountain, is a tea grown in one of China’s ancient tea growing regions in the Anhui province. The area where this tea is grown is home to an equally ancient Buddhist monastery. Since it was Chinese monks from this region who introduced Japanese monks to tea a few thousand years ago, it is highly plausible that this style of tea is what was shared.
Procured from Harney & Sons, the beautiful dark green leaves are small and stiff with a touch of silver on the ends; the leaves have a thin downy coat that gives them a frosted look. Most of the leaves are twisted into small bits, but as you can see from the picture below, there are a select few that seem to have unraveled.
You will want to steep this tea at about 175 degrees for two to three minuets. The resulting liquor will be a very pale yellow.
The steeped leaves have the scent of kale, spinach, and steamed green beans. My tasting partner, Lori, was able to pick up on a faint citrus smells of orange blossoms and grapefruit. I on the other hand, didn’t smell anything but spinach and green beans.
Light in body, the liquor has a slight astringency to it, with flavors of wet, leafy vegetables and green beans.
The flavors of this tea remind me of warm, late spring days when a garden has it’s first fruits ready for harvest. It is a reminder to take time to pause, be thankful, and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Too often I go from one task to the next, one goal to the next. Rarely do I pause to appreciate the challenges I have just overcome, to celebrate what was just accomplished.
This is an integral part of life that is missing in our modern American culture. It keeps us from a moment of peace and joy, an opportunity to truly appreciate. It also keeps us from the opportunity to completely analyze life. As we quickly jump to the next goal we deny ourselves the chance to re-evaluate our next goal. Is it still appropriate? Are the steps that we thought we should take still the best steps? Has something better come along?
Often we must set aside one good thing for a better thing. Without a moment to pause, appreciate, and review, we may find that we are sacrificing what is best as we rush to what is merely good.