Roast Beef Arugula Tea Sandwiches & A Giveaway!

Today, it’s my pleasure to introduce Cup Above Tea to you, a tea company based out of Australia founded by Certified Tea Master, Alison Dillon. One of the first to earn this prestigious title in her country, Alison has transformed a simple passion for tea into her life’s work.

Sometimes, less is more. There are no added or artificial flavorings in Cup Above Tea, nor are there any contrived, snazzy names. The company specializes in single-batch teas from a few small family gardens located around the world.What sets this company apart is their commitment to the idea of provenance–understanding where each tea is grown, who grew it, and how it is processed. There’s a reverence and appreciation for authenticity and good practice, which is a hallmark of the brand.

What I love most about Cup Above Tea is that you’re able to see each of the growers for a specific type of tea. Love the GyokuroMaster Kurihara grew it. Can’t get enough of the Jin Jun Mei? We have Master Zhu to thank. There’s something very genuine about connecting a face to a cup of tea, and this is what sets Cup Above Tea apart.

Upon studying the 4 of the teas she had sent me, I decided to make some tea sandwiches to enhance my tasting experience. Drinking a lot of tea on an empty stomach isn’t always the best idea, so I went back to a tried-and-true recipe of mine, Classic Roast Beef Arugula Tea Sandwiches.

For non-vegetarian afternoon tea enthusiasts, this little sandwich is always a hit. There are very few ingredients used here, so you’ll want to make sure each one is the best you can get. I especially love using pre-washed arugula (a.k.a. rocket) for its convenience. Using organic, baby arugula is ideal. Cup Above Tea’s thin and twisted Jin Jun Mei, also called Handsome Golden Eyebrow, was my absolute favorite of all the teas. This tea is harvested from the tea plant’s smallest leaves and shoots, and is grown by the Chen family in the Wuyi Mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage site. As you can see in this CCTV video clip, this is a land of prisine waters and mineral-rich, rocky soil.

Jin Jun Mei is produced in 2 grades, gold and sliver, but true to its name, the one featured by Cup Above Tea is the gold grade. Each cup of this steep is a treasure, so I’m careful to brew it the maximum number of times that I can–4 steepings–as it makes a rare and spectacular cup.

***Enter the Giveaway***

Tea Master, Alison Dillon, has graciously offered to co-host a giveaway here at Thirsty for Tea!

Enter to win a cherished pouch of Jin Jun Mei (Handsome Golden Eyebrow), a sweet and savory Chinese black tea of the highest grade. This is exceptional tea…world class…and very rare.

To Enter: 1. “Like” Cup Above Tea on Facebook and 2. Leave a message on this post.

  1. This giveaway is open to readers living outside the US. The winner will be announced on May 23, 2016. Good Luck!!
  2. ***Congratulations, Cathereine! You are the winner of a pouch of Jin Jun Mei from Cup Above Tea!!***


Roast Beef Arugula Tea Sandwiches

Makes 12 tea sandwiches. 


8 large slices of thinly cut, rare roast beef

4 slices of provolone cheese

1 cup of baby arugula

8 slices whole wheat bread, frozen

1/4 cup mayo

2-3 tsp hot cream horseradish

pepper to taste


workspace/large cutting board

serrated knife



1. Mix the mayo, horseradish, and pepper together. Spread the spicy mayo evenly and thinly, on one side of each piece of bread.

2. Now, on 4 of the 8 slices of bread, first layer one slice of cheese, then two pieces of roast beef. Top the beef with a single layer of arugula leaves.

3. Place a slice of bread, mayo side down, on each of the stacked slices. Press the top slice down gently to compact the ingredients, then use the serrated knife to cut the crusts off. Slice each crustless sandwich into 3 smaller rectangular pieces. Place sandwiches in an airtight container in the fridge and enjoy within 1-2 days (if you’re lucky, with some Jin Jun Mei!).

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Stephanie Bracken

Wow. The sandwiches sound so simple but yummy!! And I’m super curious about Jin Jun Mei. I clicked around on Cup Above’s website. It’s really interesting to learn the personal stories of the growers. So cool. Thanks for sharing.

Kathleen J. Kaminski

The tea sounds delightful, as do those sandwiches! Thanks for the chance to win such an exquisite tea. I liked their page and now really want Earl Grey and Lapsang Souchong tea salted caramel marshmallows!

Patricia A

Perfect match – Jin Jun Mei tea and Roast Beef Arugula tea sandwich!

Cathereine Carroca

Bonnie, it has been such a pleasure to meet you on here and I thank you for your wonderful insight. I have a passion for tea as well. I am always on the hunt for a new tea anywhere I travel like yourself. What an amazing day and age we live in that we can just point, click and order! May I ask where you store your leaves in between steepings? Sometimes I want to switch up and try something different in between and the leaves will go in my fridge and I forget they are there or I add additional leaves and brew it for iced tea. Thank you again – the Jin Jun Mei sounds amazing.

Bonnie Eng

Congratulations, Cathereine! You’re the winner of a pouch of Jin Jun Mei!

Catherine Carroca

Thank you Bonnie. I am so excited to try this wonderful tea. I love to support companies like A Cup Above and look forward to ordering some tea from them in the future! Their facebook page is inspiring, as is, your wonderful blog!


Hi, thanks for hosting this giveaway and for the recipe! This tea does indeed sound very tempting so I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed 🙂


Mhmm~ I wish I had those sandwiches for tea (and right now ;))

Wow I did not know that there is a tea area in the UNESCO, I need to check that out! Super interested how that tea tastes and I can totally agree, with such special teas you need to get every steep you can get out of it to enjoy it fully 🙂


I liked the post on Facebook 🙂 thanks for sharing Cup Above, it looks really interesting! Your description of Jin Jun Mei got me curious.

Notes on Tea

I like Jin Jun Mei! I’ve drunk it once so would be thrilled to drink it again, at home.

Alexsia, Soggyenderman

I can’t resist entering to win Jin Jin Mei, it is one of my favorite red teas! And the recipe for the sandwich looks delicious, I love arugula and think it goes so well with roast beef.

Maya Kulkarni

Wow! Sandwiches look great and very excited about the giveaway. Cup Above Tea sounds like a fantastic company too. Will check out their other teas!

Michelle Masters

I’ve liked the Facebook page, and hope I get a chance to try the tea. I love the name – Handsome Golden Eyebrow is so much more interesting than, say, English Breakfast tea. 🙂


Lovely blog post, Bonnie! Cup Above Tea sounds like a wonderful company. I love finding new companies that are passionate not only for quality leaf, but also for the farmer and their land.


Hi, Bonnie! Thanks for introducing another nifty company. (Cup Above Tea packaging is so cute!) I haven’t heard of Jin Jun Mei before, so I’m excited to get a chance to try. Need to make a trip to Wuyi Mountain!


These sandwiches seem delicious! I liked the page, hope I’ll win! 😉

Ruy Morris

I have yet to try black tea, and I’d love to try Jin Jun Mei (Handsome Golden Eyebrow) for my first time. Great photos!