After a much longer layoff than anticipated, I am back. School and work have been eating up just about all of my time for the past couple of weeks, but I am now at a point where the workload in my class has slowed to a crawl and I have a few days off of work, so hopefully, I can get some more reviews posted. This was one of the last teas I finished in October. Even though Jin Jun Mei is often hit or miss for me, I found this one to be very pleasant.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a brief rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 194 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased by 16 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, and 7 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted aromas of honey, baked bread, sweet potato, cocoa, and straw. After the rinse, I noted new aromas of roasted peanut and malt underscored by hints of spice. The first infusion brought out aromas of rose, geranium, and violet that were underscored by hints of brown sugar. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of sweet potato, baked bread, cocoa, straw, roasted peanut, and brown sugar that were backed by hints of honey, orange zest, pine, and roasted almond. Subsequent infusions brought out stronger floral character on the nose as well as an orange zest aroma. Hints of violet, geranium, and rose appeared in the mouth alongside belatedly emerging malt notes. New impressions of minerals, cream, butter, and green beans also appeared alongside subtle cinnamon, nutmeg, grass, and pear notes and stronger pine and orange zest flavors. By the end of the session, I could still pick up on notes of minerals, malt, cream, butter, and roasted peanut that were balanced by pine, pear, orange zest, and sweet potato impressions as well as ghostly floral touches.
This was a very nice Jin Jun Mei with more depth and complexity than anticipated. I would have liked to see slightly stronger floral character, but for the most part, this was a very good tea. I would have no difficulty recommending it to fans of sweeter black teas.
Flavors: Almond, Baked Bread, Brown Sugar, Butter, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Cream, Geranium, Grass, Green Beans, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Nutmeg, Orange Zest, Peanut, Pear, Pine, Rose, Straw, Sweet Potatoes, Violet