drank Jin Jun Mei (2017) by Old Ways Tea
637 tasting notes

This was a freebie provided by Old Ways Tea what seems like many lives ago.

Some jots:

Dry leaf — deep, dark old growth forest, orchids, spicy, WOW.
Warmed leaf — complex HOLY COW
Liquor color — clear cool brown w/ a green-grey-blue ring around the edge of the cup
Tastes — woody, leathery, malty, sweet, mineral, creamy, fruity, spicy, cooling, sweet potato, lemon, lychee, baked bread, brown sugar, herbs.
Progression — the low tones fade as sweet potato comes forward, then finally black pepper and citrus come to the forefront. Most pronounced black pepper note I’ve ever experienced in hongcha.

Got 6 good short steeps like most hong.

I had a very difficult time parsing this tea due to my mood and the tea’s complexity and low tonal nature.
May I point you in the direction of eastkyteaguy’s review?

Flavors: Baked Bread, Black Pepper, Brown Sugar, Citrus, Citrusy, Creamy, Forest Floor, Fruity, Herbs, Leather, Lemon, Lychee, Malt, Mineral, Orchid, Pine, Spicy, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes, Wet Rocks, Wood

205 °F / 96 °C 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Always up for a trade. I keep an updated cupboard. Check it out. Don’t be shy — message me if you want to try something! I send international :)

Most enjoyment:

I prefer straight loose-leaf and compressed tea, teabags for ease of use and herbal teas/tisanes. My favorite teas come from all over including China, Taiwan, Nepal, Darjeeling, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan and Georgia. The only one that doesn’t do much for me is Ceylon.

I abandoned my preference reference in early 2020, favoring a focus on qualitative description and because everybody uses a different rating scale. I’m still comfortable toggling the ‘Not/Recommended’ button.

Preference reference:

100-90: A tea I can lose myself into. Something about it makes me slow down and appreciate not only the tea but all of life or a moment in time. If it’s a bagged or herbal tea, it’s of standout quality in comparison to similar items.
89-80: Fits my profile well enough to buy again. Some could be daily drinker teas.
79-70: Not a preferred tea. I might buy more or try a different harvest. Would gladly have a cup if offered.
69-60: Not necessarily a bad tea but one that I won’t buy again. Would have a cup if offered.
59-1: Lacking several elements, strangely clunky, possess off flavors/aroma/texture or something about it makes me not want to finish.
Unrated: Haven’t made up my mind or some other reason. If it’s puerh, I likely think it needs more age.

Some things about me:

Endless curiosity and fascination have led me to wear many hats. Stubbornness and naivety have led me down dark paths. The restlessness isn’t improving with age but at least at 37, I’m finally aware of my nature. I have high physical energy and love being around people but am easily exhausted. My most recent caricature is that of an environmental engineering masters dropout working in retail electrical sales. An impatient woman with a knack for making stupid decisions, a lover of Jesus, science, art, beauty and language who happens to ride a motorcycle and bicycle, dabbles in sax, wields a chainsaw and drinks tea out of tiny pots. They call me “Trouble”.


Sonoma County, California, USA

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