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, Baked Bread, banana, Black Pepper, 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

6 g 4 OZ / 118 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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