This was another one of my sipdowns from September, this one coming from around the very end of the month. Not only did this tea end up holding the distinction of being the very worst tea I drank last month, it was also one of the very worst teas I have ever consumed. Nothing about this tea clicked for me.
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 followed 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 produced aromas of cedar, pine, straw, hay, cinnamon, and malt. After the rinse, I detected new aromas of fresh yeast rolls, roasted peanut, and honey. The first infusion introduced aromas of roasted walnut, smoke, and leather. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of roasted peanut, straw, malt, hay, cedar, and pine that were complimented by hints of smoke, baked bread, roasted walnut, honey, and sugarcane. The subsequent infusions introduced aromas of minerals, nutmeg, cocoa, caramel, toasted marshmallow, sugarcane, and grass. Slightly stronger notes of honey, sugarcane, and roasted walnut came out in the mouth along with impressions of minerals, leather, earth, yeast roll, cinnamon, nutmeg, graham cracker, cocoa, orange zest, toasted marshmallow, grass, butter, and caramel. I also picked up on hints of lemon zest and plum. As the tea faded, the liquor emphasized notes of minerals, butter, malt, yeast roll, straw, and roasted peanut that were underscored by hints of hay, smoke, orange zest, caramel, sugarcane, honey, and toasted marshmallow.
This was a very odd, awkward, and unsatisfying Jin Jun Mei. There was a lot going on with it, but none of its aroma or flavor components really came together in any sort of pleasant way for any length of time. The mouthfeel of the tea liquor also struck me as being very harsh and chalky. Overall, there was nothing about this tea that was pleasant or enjoyable. Even though I have a small pouch of the Spring 2018 version of this tea, I now doubt that I will be in any rush to get to it.
Flavors: Butter, Caramel, Cedar, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Earth, Graham Cracker, Grass, Hay, Honey, Leather, Lemon Zest, Malt, Marshmallow, Mineral, Nutmeg, Orange Zest, Peanut, Pine, Plums, Smoke, Straw, Sugarcane, Toasted, Walnut, Yeasty