Jiu Qu Hong Mei (九曲红梅, Jiǔ Qū Hóng Méi) is a kind of Chinese black tea and belongs to the Gongfu black tea. It is native to the West Lake of Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province, where is also the hometown of Longjing tea.
The tea liquid of Jiu Qu Hong Mei is bright and red like red plum, so it is called Jiu Qu Hong Mei. Jiu Qu means “twists and turns”. Hong means “red”. Mei means “plum”.
In Zhejiang Province, Jiu Qu Hong Mei and Longjing tea are called “one green and one red” or “emerald (Longjing tea) and agate (Jiu Qu Hong Mei)”.
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History of Jiu Qu Hong Mei
Jiu Qu Hong Mei tea has a history of nearly 200 years. It became famous more than 100 years ago. As early as 1886, it won the Panama World Expo Gold Medal.
Theoretically, Jiu Qu Hong Mei originated from Jiu Qu Creek in Wuyi Mountain, Fujian Province.
In the 1850s, some tea farmers of Wuyi Mountain migrated to Zhejiang Province. When they settled around West Lake, they began to grow tea trees and make tea. Because they are good at making black tea, Jiu Qu Hong Mei was born.
In order to commemorate their hometown, where there is a creek called Jiu Qu Creek, and because the color of the tea liquid is similar to that of red plum, they named it Jiu Qu Hong Mei. Later, Jiu Qu Hong Mei became very famous in Hangzhou City and was favored by tea merchants.
But unfortunately, with the outbreak of the war later, the tea garden was deserted and Jiu Qu Hong Mei began to decline. After the 1960s, as China’s economy began to recover, the tea farmers began to restore the tea garden. Later, the production of Jiu Qu Hong Mei began to recover gradually.
The local government attaches great importance to tea production. It registered the trademark of “Jiu Qu Hong Mei” in 2000. Then the government expanded its influence by holding competitions, participating in the evaluation, and media promotion, which made Jiu Qu Hong Mei develop rapidly.
Characteristics of Jiu Qu Hong Mei
Jiu Qu Hong Mei mainly grows in the towns and mountains around the West Lake. There is a warm, humid, and foggy climate, which is very suitable for the growth of tea trees.
The sandy soil is deep and fertile, with good permeability. This unique ecological environment is very conducive to the formation and accumulation of amino acids, proteins, and aromatics in tea.
The picking time of Jiu Qu Hong Mei is around the Grain Rain (April 19-21). The shape of the finished Jiu Qu Hong Mei is thin, tight, and curled like a fishhook. Its color is red-brown.
After brewing, it has a strong fragrance that is similar to that of orchid, honey, or pine soot. The tea liquid is very bright and red as the color of red plum and it tastes smooth and mellow. The color of the brewed tea leaves is brown.
There is a famous rose tea called Jiu Qu rose black tea, which is made from Jiu Qu Hong Mei and rose.
Benefits of Jiu Qu Hong Mei
Jiu Qu Hong Mei is a kind of black tea, which is a fermented tea and rich in theaflavins and thearubigins. Theaflavins have effects of preventing cardiovascular disease and reducing blood lipids. Thearubigins have an antioxidant effect.
Besides, Jiu Qu Hong Mei is rich in amino acids, proteins, trace elements, and vitamins, which have many health benefits.
Benefits of Jiu Qu Hong Mei:
- Help digestion
- Nourish stomach
- Lower blood sugar
- Lower blood lipids
- Inhibit cardiovascular disease