Here is another recent sipdown of mine as I finished what I had of this tea back around the start of the month. Jade Tieguanyin is nothing new to me at this point, but I am always interested in trying new ones. After being impressed by the autumn 2016 version of this tea earlier in the year, I purchased a sample pack of this offering and finally found the motivation to work my way through it after starting to burn myself out on Chinese black teas. After I finished it, I only had two regrets: that I waited so long to try it and that I had not purchased more.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 7 grams of loose tea leaves in 5 ounces of 208 F water for 10 seconds. This infusion was followed by 13 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, and 5 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves produced aromas of lilac, parsley, grass, cream, and tangerine zest. After the rinse, I noted new aromas of butter, coriander, honeysuckle, and orange blossom. The first infusion brought out aromas of rose, violet, peas, and baked bread. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of lilac, orange blossom, tangerine zest, cream, and baked bread that were underscored by hints of butter and then chased by impressions of apple, pear, and honeysuckle. The subsequent infusions introduced aromas of pear, apple, sesame, and apricot. Impressions of peas, parsley, coriander, violet, and rose belatedly appeared along with stronger and more immediate butter notes. New impressions of minerals, honeydew, lychee, apricot, and sesame also appeared. By the time I ended my review session, the tea liquor offered dominant notes of minerals, grass, cream, coriander, and apple that were chased by hints of pear, apricot, butter, and tangerine zest.

This was an absolutely fantastic jade Tieguanyin. It leaned heavily on its very pleasant and well-articulated fruit and flower notes, and unlike many other jade Tieguanyins, it never turned overly creamy, vegetal, or sour. It also displayed plenty of body and an appealing creamy, smooth texture in the mouth. Overall, this was just a fantastic jade Tieguanyin. If it had displayed just a little more balance and a little more longevity, I would have given it a perfect score.

Flavors: Apple, Apricot, Baked Bread, Butter, Citrus Zest, Coriander, Cream, Floral, Grass, Honeysuckle, Lychee, Mineral, Orange Blossom, Parsley, Pear, Peas, Rose, Violet

Boiling 7 g 5 OZ / 147 ML

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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.



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