1026 Tasting Notes

97

As I started getting my notes together to write this review, it struck me that I could not even remotely recall when I finished what I had of this tea. It had to have been sometime in late July or around the start of the month. Though I can’t quite place my sipdown of this tea, I do recall being extremely impressed by it as well as a little shocked that I had not seen this tea receive more hype online. Everyone knows that I tend to be a huge Feng Qing tea fanboy, but honestly, this struck me as being one of the very best Feng Qing black teas I have ever tried.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea buds in 4 ounces of 194 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased by 18 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, 10 minutes, and 15 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry buds emitted aromas of sweet potato, baked bread, malt, cream, cinnamon, cocoa, and sugarcane. After the rinse, I detected new aromas of roasted almond, roasted peanut, marshmallow, banana, and pine. The first infusion brought out aromas of eucalyptus, black pepper, orange zest, and camphor. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of sweet potato, malt, cream, baked bread, sugarcane, eucalyptus, roasted almond, black pepper, and orange zest that were chased by hints of butter, cocoa, cinnamon, banana, pine, red apple, anise, and menthol. The subsequent infusions introduced aromas of clove, anise, cedar, red apple, and lemon zest. Stronger and more immediately noticeable impressions of butter, red apple, cinnamon, and pine appeared in the mouth alongside hints of marshmallow and roasted peanut and impressions of camphor. New notes of minerals, clove, honey, caramel, lemon zest, cedar, peach, apricot, plum, and roasted walnut were also detectable, and I even was able to pick up some hints of red grape here and there. As the tea faded, the liquor settled and emphasized notes of minerals, baked bread, malt, cream, orange zest, lemon zest, sugarcane, and roasted almond that were balanced by belatedly emerging earthy notes and hints of black pepper, eucalyptus, camphor, cocoa, roasted peanut, menthol, and red grape.

This was a complex and challenging tea that was simultaneously lively and delightfully playful, but that being said, now that I think about it, I suppose I can see why this tea was not more heralded by the community. There was a whole lot going on with it, and it was the sort of tea you really had to work with to fully coax out its charms. Personally, I didn’t mind the extra effort and attention it required, but I can see why some people may not have enjoyed it as much as I did. For me, this tea was well worth the effort as its complexity, depth, and captivating quirks reminded me of why I fell in love with Feng Qing black teas in the first place.

Flavors: Almond, Anise, Apricot, banana, Black Pepper, Bread, Butter, Camphor, Cedar, Cinnamon, Clove, Cocoa, Cream, Earth, Eucalyptus, Grapes, Lemon Zest, Malt, Marshmallow, Menthol, Mineral, Orange Zest, Peach, Peanut, Pine, Plum, Red Apple, Sugarcane, Sweet Potatoes, Walnut

Preparation
6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

94

Here is another July sipdown, this one coming from the first half of the month. I thought this was the last of the 2017 Wuyi black teas I needed to finish, but today I discovered that I have one left that I totally forgot about buying. Anyway, this was a great Wuyi black tea, and that is really saying something considering that I do not generally go for Jin Jun Mei. I found this tea to be very unique and engaging with pleasant body and texture and tons of complexity.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea buds in 4 ounces of 194 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased by 17 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, and 10 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry buds emitted aromas of honey, cinnamon, pine, and sugarcane. After the rinse, I picked up new aromas of malt, grass, roasted almond, straw, green olive, and banana. The first infusion brought out aromas of black pepper and green bell pepper. In the mouth, the tea liquor offered notes of cream, oats, butter, straw, grass, malt, sugarcane, and roasted almond that were underscored by hints of honey, green bell pepper, banana, and green olive. The subsequent infusions introduced aromas of cream, butter, oats, clove, rose, eucalyptus, petrichor, caramel, and baked bread. Stronger notes of green olive, green bell pepper, and pine appeared in the mouth alongside slightly amplified impressions of banana and honey. Black pepper notes also appeared and so did mineral, moss, watermelon rind, clove, ginger, sweet potato, eucalyptus, caramel, baked bread, petrichor, pear, and orange zest notes. I also picked up some hints of rose and cinnamon. As the tea faded, the liquor offered notes of minerals, moss, pine, grass, malt, cream, oats, sugarcane, caramel, and green bell pepper that were balanced by hints of baked bread, butter, petrichor, roasted almond, ginger, sweet potato, watermelon rind, and black pepper.

This was an incredibly interesting twist on a Wuyi Jin Jun Mei. To this point in my tea drinking life, I do not recall ever trying another Wuyi black tea quite like this one. I was especially impressed by its complexity, and I should also note that the tea liquor was superbly balanced in the mouth. I will definitely be seeking out a few more teas like this one in the not too distant future.

Flavors: Almond, banana, Black Pepper, Bread, Butter, Caramel, Cinnamon, Clove, Cream, Eucalyptus, Ginger, Grass, Green Bell Peppers, Honey, Malt, Melon, Mineral, Moss, Oats, Olives, Orange Zest, Pear, Petrichor, Pine, Rose, Straw, Sugarcane, Sweet Potatoes

Preparation
6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

92
drank Qi Lan (2017) by Old Ways Tea
1026 tasting notes

Folks, here is my final review of the day. This was another of my July sipdowns. Some of you may recall that I was extremely impressed by the 2016 version of this tea, and once I dug through my sample stash to find this offering, I was excited to try it. Well, I am happy to report that I found this offering to be even better than the one from 2016.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After the rinse, I steeped 5 grams of loose tea leaves in 3 ounces of 203 F water for 6 seconds. This infusion was chased by 17 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 8 seconds, 10 seconds, 13 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, and 10 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves produced aromas of roasted almond, rock sugar, cream, char, pine, raisin, and dark chocolate. After the rinse, I detected new aromas of orchid, blueberry, and raspberry as well as subtle scents of grass and baked bread. The first infusion introduced a slightly stronger baked bread scent as well as a subtle blackberry aroma. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of orchid, cream, char, blueberry, baked bread, blackberry, roasted almond, pine, and rock sugar that were balanced by hints of grass, butter, raspberry, smoke, raisin, and black cherry. The subsequent infusions introduced aromas of orange zest, roasted peanut, cedar, rose, black cherry, butter, banana, cinnamon, and roasted grain. Stronger and more immediately noticeable impressions of raisin, grass, butter, and black cherry came out in the mouth alongside very subtle hints of dark chocolate and slightly amplified raspberry notes. Impressions of cedar, roasted peanut, minerals, plum, rose, orange zest, and pomegranate also appeared alongside subtle roasted grain, cinnamon, banana, and nutmeg notes. As the tea faded, the liquor emphasized lingering notes of minerals, cream, grass, butter, roasted almond, roasted peanut, roasted grain, and orange zest that were underscored by hints of pine, char, rock sugar, raisin, black cherry, blueberry, orchid, and pomegranate. There were also some hints of popcorn that came out late.

This was a tremendously enjoyable Qi Lan that yielded a liquor with a smooth mouthfeel and incredible depth and complexity on the nose and in the mouth. Fans of the cultivar should find a lot to enjoy in this tea. Considering that Old Ways Tea is batting 1.000 with their roasted Qi Lan oolongs, I cannot wait for the 2018 and 2019 versions.

Flavors: Almond, banana, Blackberry, Blueberry, Bread, Butter, Cedar, Char, Cherry, Cinnamon, Cream, Dark Chocolate, Fruity, Grain, Grass, Mineral, Nutmeg, Orange Zest, Orchid, Peanut, Pine, Plum, Popcorn, Raisins, Raspberry, Roasted, Rose, Smoke, Sugar

Preparation
5 g 3 OZ / 88 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

90
drank Rou Gui (2017) by Old Ways Tea
1026 tasting notes

This was another of my July sipdowns. I’ve been on a quest the last couple of years to develop a better understanding of Rou Gui. It is apparently a super popular oolong overseas, but I have had great difficulty seeing the appeal. To me, it often seems very woody and heavy, though I have managed to try several Rou Gui that have shown tremendous depth and character. This was one of them. I was actually surprised by how much I enjoyed this tea.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After the rinse, I steeped 5 grams of loose tea leaves in 3 ounces of 203 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was followed by 17 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, and 10 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves produced aromas of cinnamon, rock sugar, mushroom, cream, vanilla, pomegranate, and blueberry. After the rinse, I noted new aromas of roasted almond, black cherry, earth, and pine. The first infusion introduced aromas of smoke, char, and plum. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of cinnamon, rock sugar, cream, vanilla, roasted almond, and blueberry that were chased by hints of pine, smoke, char, earth, black cherry, nutmeg, and pomegranate. The subsequent infusions introduced aromas of red apple, red wine, blackberry, and tobacco as well as stronger smoke and char scents. Stronger and more immediately noticeable smoke, char, earth, pomegranate, and black cherry notes appeared in the mouth alongside impressions of mushroom, roasted almond, and plum. I also found notes of blackberry, red wine, minerals, and tobacco as well as hints of grass, cooked spinach, cocoa, red apple, and orange zest. As the tea faded, the liquor emphasized lingering notes of minerals, pine, smoke, black cherry, earth, cinnamon, and roasted almond that were chased by hints of grass, red apple, cocoa, pomegranate, tobacco, red wine, mushroom, and blackberry. There were even a few hints of roasted barley that emerged on the last two or three infusions.

This was a very nice Rou Gui. It was not quite as nutty or as woody as I was expecting, but it displayed tremendously enjoyable spice and fruit notes. It’s rather hard to get me to give an overwhelmingly positive review to a Rou Gui, but this one was delightful. Old Ways Tea continues to impress me with their offerings.

Flavors: Almond, Blackberry, Blueberry, Char, Cherry, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Cream, Earth, Fruity, Grass, Mineral, Mushrooms, Orange Zest, Pine, Plum, Red Apple, Red Wine, Roasted, Roasted Barley, Smoke, Spinach, Sugar, Tobacco, Vanilla

Preparation
5 g 3 OZ / 88 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

80

I’m moving on to a more recent sipdown with this review. I’m pretty sure this was either the last tea I finished in July or the first one I finished in August. Those of you who are familiar with my reviews of Wuyi oolongs will realize that I am more than a bit of a Shui Xian nut as I purchase and try tons of different Shui Xian oolongs. Normally, I find it to be a tea that is hard to screw up, though it is certainly possible to get hold of a bad one (there was a Zheng Yan Shui Xian from Yunnan Sourcing a couple years back that still makes me cringe when I think about it). Fortunately, this was not a bad Shui Xian. Old Ways Tea generally does Shui Xian really well, and though this was not the best Shui Xian I have tried from them, it was a very good, solid one.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After the rinse, I steeped 5 grams of loose tea leaves in 3 ounces of 208 F water for 6 seconds. This infusion was followed by 16 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, and 10 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves produced aromas of charcoal, smoke, pine, pomegranate, cinnamon, raisin, cranberry, and dried blueberry. After the rinse, I detected new aromas of tobacco, black cherry, and strawberry. The first infusion introduced aromas of dark chocolate, orange zest, and black cherry. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of cream, butter, charcoal, smoke, rock sugar, cinnamon, raisin, cranberry, pomegranate, and black cherry that were chased by hints of malt, pine, dried blueberry, blackberry, grass, and orange zest. The subsequent infusions introduced aromas of grass, rock sugar, roasted peanut, and tar as well as subtler scents of malt, mushroom, and earth. Hints of strawberry, tobacco, and dark chocolate appeared in the mouth alongside stronger notes of grass, orange zest, pine, malt, and blackberry. I also picked up hints of tar, mushroom, and honey as well as stronger impressions of minerals, earth, and roasted peanut. As the tea faded, the liquor emphasized notes of minerals, malt, earth, cream, charcoal, pine, orange zest, and grass that were underscored by hints of roasted peanut, tar, raisin, rock sugar, butter, pomegranate, mushroom, black cherry, blackberry, and tobacco.

This was a very pleasant Shui Xian that was something of a grower in the sense that I found myself growing fonder of it the more time I spent with it. I was extremely impressed by how balanced its flavors were as well as the pleasant body and texture it displayed. It did fade a little quickly, however, and there were a few moments where I thought it got just a little muddy in the mouth, but aside from those relatively minor gripes, I did not find there to be much wrong with this one. It was definitely a worthwhile Shui Xian overall.

Flavors: Blackberry, Butter, Char, Cherry, Cinnamon, Cranberry, Cream, Dark Chocolate, Dried Fruit, Earth, Fruity, Grass, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Mushrooms, Orange Zest, Peanut, Pine, Raisins, Smoke, Strawberry, Sugar, Tar, Tobacco

Preparation
Boiling 5 g 3 OZ / 88 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

90

This was another of my sipdowns from either late May or early June. I’d been trying to clean out the vast backlog of black tea reviews before moving on to any of the oolongs, but I have ended up having a crazy couple of weeks and started falling way behind again after making great progress toward getting everything up to date. Whenever I see an oolong from Taiwan simply labeled as “red” or something similar, I instantly get the impression that I am not dealing with a higher end tea, and usually that is true, but I often find myself enjoying such teas. That was certainly the case with this one.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After the rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 203 F water for 10 seconds. This infusion was followed by 16 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, 10 minutes, and 15 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves produced aromas of cinnamon, brown sugar, raisin, roasted almond, plum, chocolate, and praline. After the rinse, I noted new aromas of roasted peanut, orchid, grass, and sugarcane. The first infusion brought out orange zest, cherry, violet, baked bread, and straw aromas. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of orchid, baked bread, roasted almond, raisin, cream, plum, cherry, orange zest, sugarcane, and grass notes that were chased by hints of cinnamon, praline, brown sugar, violet, and roasted peanut. The subsequent infusions introduced aromas of roasted pecan, blueberry, pine, raspberry, nutmeg, and red apple. Stronger and more immediately noticeable impressions of violet, brown sugar, cinnamon, and roasted peanut appeared in the mouth alongside impressions of chocolate and hints of straw and spinach. I also noted impressions of minerals, blueberry, roasted pecan, red apple, raspberry, pine, and nutmeg. As the tea faded, I found that the liquor emphasized lingering notes of minerals, orange zest, pine, cherry, sugarcane, and cream that were underscored by hints of baked bread, red apple, grass, straw, spinach, roasted pecan, orchid, and roasted almond.

This was a tremendously drinkable and enjoyable oolong. Though roasted Si Ji Chun has been hit or miss for me over the years, I found a lot to appreciate about this one. Fans of Taiwanese roasted oolongs would probably be into it and would find it to be a very nice, rewarding daily drinker. I could also see it working as an introduction to roasted oolong for curious drinkers.

Flavors: Almond, Blueberry, Bread, Brown Sugar, Cherry, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Grass, Mineral, Nutmeg, Orange Zest, Orchid, Peanut, Pecan, Pine, Plum, Raisins, Raspberry, Red Apple, Spinach, Straw, Sugarcane, Violet

Preparation
6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

83

This was another July sipdown. I finished this tea after working my way through the Classic Bai Lin Gongfu. If I had to guess, I would say I probably finished the last of it somewhere around the start of the last week in July. This one did not impress me as much as its lower grade sibling, although I still found it to be a more or less very good tea.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 194 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased by 17 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, and 10 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves produced aromas of dark chocolate, cedar, honey, cinnamon, and straw. After the rinse, I noted new aromas of roasted almond, roasted peanut, butter, and malt. The first infusion brought out aromas of cream, grass, and green bell pepper. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of roasted almond, roasted peanut, green bell pepper, straw, malt, and cinnamon that were backed by hints of cedar, butter, honey, and grass. The subsequent infusions offered aromas of orange zest, oats, violet, and earth. Notes of cream came out in the mouth alongside stronger notes of green bell pepper, grass, and cedar. I also detected impressions of golden raisin, oats, minerals, orange zest, lemon zest, roasted walnut, and earth as well as hints of caramel, baked bread, violet, and dark chocolate. As the tea faded, the liquor emphasized notes of minerals, roasted peanut, earth, malt, straw, butter, and cream that were underscored by hints of orange zest, green bell pepper, oats, golden raisin, honey, and grass.

This tea struck me as being rather different from the Classic Bai Lin Gongfu. It seemed more reserved and refined, and it also lacked the other tea’s smokiness and sweetness. It also kind of struck me as being a stuffier, more temperamental tea, one that was easy for me to appreciate but difficult for me to truly love. If I had to pick between the two, I would choose the lower end tea with no regrets, as it was more interesting. This tea, however, was far from bad and well worth a try.

Flavors: Almond, Almond, Bread, Bread, Butter, Butter, Caramel, Caramel, Cedar, Cedar, Cinnamon, Cinnamon, Cream, Cream, Dark Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Earth, Earth, Grass, Grass, Green Bell Peppers, Green Bell Peppers, Honey, Honey, Lemon Zest, Lemon Zest, Oats, Oats, Orange Zest, Orange Zest, Peanut, Peanut, Raisins, Raisins, Straw, Straw, Violet, Violet, Walnut, Walnut

Preparation
6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

94

It’s time to move on to one of the teas I drank in July. I spent a lot of time with this one. I think I spent a week working my way through a 50 gram pouch of this tea, probably conducting around 5 or 6 gongfu sessions with it. Overall, I found it to be an excellent example of a Golden Monkey black tea.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 194 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased by 18 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, 10 minutes, and 15 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves produced aromas of malt, cinnamon, chocolate, smoke, cedar, and sweet potato. After the rinse, I detected new aromas of roasted peanut, roasted almond, and cream that were underscored by a subtle geranium scent. The first infusion brought out aromas of brown sugar and baked bread. In the mouth, the tea liquor offered notes of malt, cream, roasted peanut, brown sugar, and chocolate that were backed by hints of baked bread, smoke, cedar, cinnamon, roasted almond, and sweet potato. The subsequent infusions introduced aromas of orange zest, earth, lemon zest, and black pepper. I also caught more clearly defined geranium scents and some subtle butter and green olive aromas. Stronger and more immediately noticeable impressions of roasted almond, cedar, smoke, and baked bread came out in the mouth along with hints of roasted walnut, geranium, black pepper, and green olive. I also detected impressions of earth, orange zest, lemon zest, minerals, butter, and moss. As the tea faded, the liquor emphasized notes of minerals, earth, cedar, roasted almond, cinnamon, smoke, malt, and cream that were underscored by hints of baked bread, butter, orange zest, green olive, sweet potato, chocolate, and brown sugar.

This was an incredibly enjoyable Fujianese black tea. I can see why each year’s release quickly finds an audience here on Steepster. This tea offered up a liquor that was not only tremendously aromatic and flavorful, but also displayed great body and texture in the mouth. I would definitely recommend this one, but if it is no longer available, or you just don’t want to spend money on an older tea, pick up some of this year’s harvest or wait until next spring.

Flavors: Almond, Almond, Black Pepper, Black Pepper, Bread, Bread, Brown Sugar, Brown Sugar, Butter, Butter, Cedar, Cedar, Chocolate, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Cinnamon, Cream, Cream, Earth, Earth, Geranium, Geranium, Lemon Zest, Lemon Zest, Malt, Malt, Mineral, Mineral, Moss, Moss, Olives, Olives, Orange Zest, Orange Zest, Peanut, Peanut, Smoke, Smoke, Sweet Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Walnut, Walnut

Preparation
6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

89

Okay, here is another June sipdown before I call it quits for the evening. I think this one came from the middle of the month when I was transitioning from Yunnan black teas to Wuyi black teas. I know it was either the first or the second of the three Wuyi teas I drank during the month. Anyway, this was a very good Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong. Yunnan Sourcing usually does a really good job of sourcing teas of this type. I often find their Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong to be more rewarding than their Jin Jun Mei.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 194 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased by 17 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, and 10 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves produced aromas of orchid, honey, pine, cedar, cinnamon, baked bread, dark chocolate, and peach. After the rinse, I detected new aromas of roasted peanut, roasted almond, and malt as well as a few subtle grassy scents. The first infusion brought out aromas of red apple and straw. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of orchid, straw, honey, pine, cinnamon, baked bread, red apple, and malt that were backed by hints of roasted almond, oats, dark chocolate, and cream. The subsequent infusions introduced aromas of tangerine zest, lemon zest, pear, caramel, juniper, butter, sugarcane, green olive, and violet. Stronger and more immediately noticeable impressions of oats, cream, dark chocolate, and roasted almond appeared in the mouth alongside belatedly emerging notes of cedar and roasted peanut as well as hints of peach and grass. I also picked up on impressions of minerals, butter, lemon zest, tangerine zest, caramel, earth, plum, green olive, juniper, pear, sugarcane, and violet. As the tea faded, the tea liquor emphasized mineral, malt, tangerine zest, lemon zest, cream, baked bread, and pine notes that were balanced by hints of butter, plum, sugarcane, dark chocolate, orchid, red apple, cinnamon, juniper, grass, and straw.

This was a ridiculously complex and enjoyable Wuyi black tea. Had it not faded a little quickly for my tastes and had some of the flavors not expressed themselves in a way that felt somewhat rushed and muddled in places, I would have no problem with scoring this tea a 90 or higher. As is, though, it was a very good tea that fell just short of excellence for me. I have no doubt that others would enjoy it more, and that is fine.

Flavors: Almond, Bread, Butter, Caramel, Cedar, Cinnamon, Citrus, Cream, Dark Chocolate, Earth, Grass, Herbaceous, Honey, Lemon Zest, Malt, Oats, Olives, Orchid, Peach, Peanut, Pear, Pine, Plum, Red Apple, Straw, Sugarcane, Violet

Preparation
6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
Ubacat

Great review! This is one of my favourite blacks from YS. I am almost finished the bag and I have not left a review yet. I’ve got the 2018 tea.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

84

This was another June sipdown. I’ll eventually get through all of them. I know I had initially intended to drink and review this tea back in May, but I took a little extra time with a few other teas and then took an extended break from reviewing, so I did not get around to drinking this tea until June, and now I’m finally getting around to reviewing it. Like most of the other Jin Jun Mei carried by Yunnan Sourcing, this one was rock solid if not truly exceptional.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 194 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased by 15 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, and 5 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea buds emitted aromas of baked bread, malt, sweet potato, pine, cinnamon, and cedar. After the rinse, I detected new aromas of dark chocolate, sugarcane, honey, and roasted peanut. The first infusion introduced aromas of vanilla and cream along with a subtle banana scent. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of baked bread, malt, cream, cinnamon, honey, pine, sweet potato, and dark chocolate that were balanced by hints of smoke, sugarcane, lemon zest, brown toast, and earth. The subsequent infusions introduced aromas of minerals, moss, earth, grass, toast, and orange zest, though I also caught some very subtle green olive scents as well. Stronger and more immediate impressions of earth, brown toast, sugarcane, and lemon zest appeared in the mouth alongside belatedly emerging notes of roasted peanut, vanilla, and cedar and fleeting hints of banana. I also noted impressions of minerals, grass, ginger, moss, and orange zest that were accompanied by hints of leather and green olive. As the tea faded, the liquor emphasized notes of minerals, malt, cream, brown toast, baked bread, and earth that were backed by hints of sugarcane, vanilla, grass, pine, lemon zest, roasted peanut, and dark chocolate.

This was a very nice and very drinkable Jin Jun Mei, but it peaked quickly and faded even more quickly. I really had to push myself to get the number of infusions out of it that I did. As a fan of relatively lengthy gongfu sessions, I found that disappointing, but I also appreciated this tea’s approachability and the fact that it offered some aromas and flavors that I do not normally get out of Jin Jun Mei. Overall, this one was a mixed bag, but I found much more to appreciate than to fault.

Flavors: banana, Bread, Brown Toast, Cedar, Cinnamon, Cream, Dark Chocolate, Earth, Ginger, Grass, Honey, Leather, Lemon Zest, Malt, Mineral, Moss, Olives, Orange Zest, Peanut, Pine, Smoke, Sugarcane, Sweet Potatoes, Vanilla

Preparation
6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Profile

Bio

My grading criteria for tea is as follows:

90-100: Exceptional. I love this stuff. If I can get it, I will drink it pretty much every day.

80-89: Very good. I really like this stuff and wouldn’t mind keeping it around for regular consumption.

70-79: Good. I like this stuff, but may or may not reach for it regularly.

60-69: Solid. I rather like this stuff and think it’s a little bit better-than-average. I’ll drink it with no complaints, but am more likely to reach for something I find more enjoyable than revisit it with regularity.

50-59: Average. I find this stuff to be more or less okay, but it is highly doubtful that I will revisit it in the near future if at all.

40-49: A little below average. I don’t really care for this tea and likely won’t have it again.

39 and lower: Varying degrees of yucky.

Don’t be surprised if my average scores are a bit on the high side because I tend to know what I like and what I dislike and will steer clear of teas I am likely to find unappealing.

Location

KY

Following These People

Moderator Tools

Mark as Spammer