J Tea International

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Recent Tasting Notes

80

30s(rinse)/10s/8s/6s/8s/8s/8s/8s/10s/12s/10s/8s/8s/8s

Dry leaves look like silver needle (long and with occasional spots of fur), loosely packed into a cake just the way I like. There are still spots of green but its generally the color of shou with some lighter mink-colored furry threads. No smell when dry but rinsed leaves smell of wet wood and slightly of seaweed (not the curated kombu, but the long slightly dried ropey stuff you find on the beaches of the pacific). The first sip goes in another direction entirely— first impression was “cedar sawdust, but in a good way”. Mellow and warm with a citric undertone on the back end.

Broth is an agave-inspired red honey tone with some of that slightly thickened mouthfeel to match.

Brewed in an 80ml porcelain gaiwan.

Flavors: Acidic, Cedar, Citrus, Sawdust, Seaweed

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 3 OZ / 80 ML

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75

30s(rinse)/8s/5s/10s/6s/7s/6s/5s/5s/8s/8s/7s/10s/10s/12s/15s

Dry tea is ragged when broken off the cake with lots of partial shredded whole leaves and twigs, appears to be machine processed. Rinsed leaves smells strongly of barnyard/wet wood with a strong vegetal bent. Broth is a strong glowing amber, no red or umber undertones but purely golden. I’m steeping quickly because of the assertive smell of the rinsed leaves and based on the J Tea description but the first sip is fuller and more mellow than anticipated— the first term that comes to mind is warm. The sip starts with the barnyard flavors around the tip of the tongue and then flows into something sweeter, maybe warm straw or even elements of honeysuckle on the sides of the mouth and back of the tongue. I recommend a swirl around the mouth. It hits differently everywhere it touches. There is definitely some hefty caffeine and a fair amount of astringency if this tea is allowed to brew for any period of time although that may be partially due to my high leaf:water ratio.

I don’t have much experience with Shengs, and even less with aging them but I suspect most sheng drinkers would be happy with this as a daily drinker and I imagine it might turn into something quite special if aged.

Brewed in 80ml porcelain gaiwan.

Flavors: Alfalfa, Barnyard, Vegetal, Wet Wood, Whiskey

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 3 OZ / 80 ML

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80

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80

30s(rinse)/10s/20s/30s/25s/20s/20s/15s/15s/15s/20s/20s/30s/40s

Cake is very compressed and inclined to dust rather than flake. Rinsed leaves smell woodsy—a very clean, spicy, earthy scent which is enthralling and fresh like a walk through fresh planed cedar boards after a rain. Flavor blooms in the front of the mouth against the lips and along the roof of the mouth and tingling along the sides of the tongue very much in-line with the scent. Flavor settles as a warm glow in the throat after the sip is completed. The Broth is a rich umber which settles into a red-amber with a deep glow. I never achieved the dark brew advertised by J Tea but Im pretty happy with the taste, and the tea seems pretty forgiving of over brewing. This would be incredible steeped cold overnight. It doesn’t seem to have the ability to sustain a huge number of infusions.

Brewed in 80 ml porcelain gaiwan

Flavors: Cedar, Spicy, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 80 ML

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70

30s(rinse)/6s/8s/10s/8s/6s/6s/6s/8s/8s/8s

Rinsed leaves have a strong aroma of dried fruit, most prominently apricot. Sip starts off soft and non-definite but finishes with a faint impulse of roasted nuts married with some vegetal qualities. With middle infusions the vegetal flavor comes into greater prominence—straw with a hint of astringency but this tea is still soft. Broth remains honey toned throughout the session, but softens with later infusions. 10s steep was likely too long and allowed for some increased bitterness from the tea in the earlier infusions.

brewed in 80 ml porcelain gaiwan

Flavors: Apricot, Dried Fruit, Roast Nuts, Straw, Vegetal

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 3 OZ / 80 ML

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59

30s(rinse)/8s/8s/4s/4s/5s/5s/3s/3s

Some twigs in the cake, and the cake is packed loosely enough to flake easily. Very little aroma from the dry leaves, but smelled pleasantly of wet rocks and a little of peat after rinsing. Broth starts as a rich honey amber that mellows into a softer warm gold (like apple cider vinegar). Flavor is pleasant but a little sharp, bitter with high minerality which sits on the tip of the tongue and roof of the mouth. This tea would benefit from higher leaf to water ratios and more concentrated steep times which might help it go for more steeps and allow for a subtler progression of flavor. I’m not sure the rinse was necessary. Leaves are mostly whole and of medium size.

Brewed in an 80 ml Porcelain Gaiwan

Flavors: Acidic, Mineral, Peat, Wet Rocks

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 80 ML

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