Sweet, rich, deep, piquant, and slightly smokey, this tea is fittingly similar to its Wuyi cousin, Jin Jun Mei (Golden Horse's eyebrow). Compared to Jin Jun Mei, its flavor it more spicy and exotic. Jiu Qu Hong Mei is also a bit more piquant, less earthy, and more smokey. It's flavor is bolder on the tongue and palate, with less of an olfactory component than Jin Jun Mei. I say "fittingly" similar as the Jiu Qu (Nine Bends) in the name refers to the nine bends the Nine Bend Stream (Jiu Qu Xi) takes as it wanders through the Wuyi Mountains, where this tea historically originated. Like its Wuyi cousin, Jiu Qu Hong Mei is deep, rich, sweet, fruity, and a bit smokey, with subtle hints of plums. Jin Jun Mei has a broader flavor that is apparent in the nose, while Jiu Qu Hong Mei's wild, assertive flavor is all on the tongue and in the mouth.
These days, this tea is made from the same bushes that produce Dragonwell, though it is picked later in the season and processed to make a black tea. When brewed, this tea has a deep red color, reminiscent of plums and the dangerously tasty waxberry liquor which is popular in the region where it's grown.
Lasts about 6 brews.