This was my most recent sipdown as I finished my 25g pouch last night. The weather here changed very suddenly a couple days ago, and since I have been once again dealing with sinus issues as a result, I have been spending a tremendous amount of time nursing hot beverages. Not wanting to cause ridiculous insomnia, I have been consuming tisanes in the evening. Though I do not go out of my way to drink it often, I am a huge fan of wild jujube. I am happy to report that I found this one to be an excellent offering.

I prepared this tisane gongfu style. After a brief rinse, I steeped 6 grams of jujube leaf in 4 ounces of 185 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased 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. I actually could have kept going for at least one or two more infusions, but I decided to stop where I did because it was getting late.

Prior to the rinse, the dry jujube leaves emitted aromas of toasted rice, toasted walnut, spinach, turnip greens, and roasted Brussels sprouts. After the rinse, I noted new aromas of collard greens and roasted carrots. The first infusion brought out a subtle roasted barley scent. In the mouth, I noted unexpected mushroom notes along with the expected impressions of turnip greens, spinach, collard greens, and roasted Brussels sprouts. Notes of ginseng, honey, vanilla, sugarcane, and toasted walnut started out as hints of flavor lingering in the background before coming out powerfully on the finish. Subsequent infusions introduced aromas of vanilla, ginseng, sugarcane, mushroom, honey, and seaweed. Notes of toasted rice, roasted carrot, and roasted barley emerged alongside impressions of baked bread, soybean, umami, seaweed, butter, minerals, grass, and radish. By the time I ended my review session, I was still picking up on notes of umami, minerals, butter, roasted barley, spinach, turnip greens, and toasted walnut that were balanced by hints of roasted Brussels sprouts, collard greens, mushroom, sugarcane, vanilla, and ginseng.

An almost unbelievably aromatic and flavorful tisane, I currently wish that I had purchased more of this when I had the money. This made for an excellent evening hot beverage that had the added benefit of temporarily clearing my sinuses while also serving as a sleep aid. If I were to directly compare it to anything, I would compare it to vegetable soup broth. I always crave vegetable soup when I am sick and/or when the weather starts to turn cold, so this really hit the spot for me. Definitely make a point of trying this offering if you are at all into Chinese herbal brews.

Flavors: Bread, Butter, Carrot, Grass, Herbaceous, Honey, Mineral, Mushrooms, Roasted Barley, Seaweed, Soybean, Spinach, Sugarcane, Toasted Rice, Umami, Vanilla, Vegetal, Walnut

185 °F / 85 °C 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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