This was one of my sipdowns from right around the start of the year and one of a number of Wuyi oolongs I had been storing and aging since 2017. While most of my experiments with aging Wuyi oolongs at home turned out fairly well, this was one of the less successful ones. The results, however, were really not that bad. I had never tried a Jin Yao Shi prior to trying this tea and had no clue what the cultivar was supposed to bring to the table, but I found it to be a light, fruity tea with some typical earthy, nutty, grainy, and vegetal qualities.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a 10 second rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 fluid ounces of 203 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was followed 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 bread, blackberry, blueberry, black raspberry, and black cherry. After the rinse, I detected aromas of roasted peanut, smoke, and charcoal. The first infusion added roasted almond and cinnamon aromas. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of bread, blackberry, black cherry, black raspberry, charcoal, and roasted peanut that were balanced by subtler notes of smoke, blueberry, grass, plum, and dark chocolate. The majority of the subsequent infusions added aromas of plum, roasted barley, and minerals. Stronger and more readily detectable notes of grass, plum, and dark chocolate appeared in the mouth alongside impressions of minerals, roasted barley, cream, roasted almond, red grape, and toasted rice. Hints of cinnamon, rock sugar, green olive, caramel, and pine could also be detected here and there. As the tea faded, the liquor emphasized notes of minerals, bread, roasted barley, cream, roasted almond, and black cherry that were chased by hints of blueberry, blackberry, toasted rice, red grape, grass, and plum.
This was not a bad tea, but it was clear to me that it was a little past its prime. The tea liquor was thin and fairly flat in the mouth. I also noticed that some of the aroma and flavor components consistently stuck out, so balance and integration were nagging issues for this tea as well. I would have liked to see all of its parts come together a bit more to get a better feel for what this cultivar can do. Overall, this tea was pleasant, easy to drink, and had some very nice aroma and flavor components, but it was noticeably lacking in other respects.
Flavors: Almond, Black Raspberry, Blackberry, Blueberry, Bread, Caramel, Charcoal, Cherry, Cinnamon, Cream, Dark Chocolate, Grapes, Grass, Mineral, Olives, Peanut, Pine, Plum, Roasted Barley, Smoke, Sugar, Toasted Rice