drank Jin Jun Mei by Unknown
1290 tasting notes

I’m taking a leaf out of SimplyJenW’s book and making an effort to reduce the number of samples in my possession. Some of them are getting pretty old and some of the others will get old and forgotten if we don’t do something about it. So let’s EMPTY THAT BOX!

Then it took me another couple of minutes of catching up on Steepster and thinking about the ETB project before I realised that there wasn’t actually anything stopping me from doing something about it right now. I’m slow this morning.

Feeling inspired for a JJM, I picked another one out of the lot that Spoonvonstrup sent me, as these are some samples that I would be really sorry to see get old and forgotten. This tea seems very me and I would like to actually explore it while I can remember it. The reason I don’t just do that without having to occassionally force myself, is that I’m just so easily distracted and then it’s just easier to reach for the tins on the shelf. It means a lot less agonizing over which tea to choose while the kettle is boiling for the third time, because it got cold while I pondered this very important question.

Maybe I should set up some rules for EMPTYING THAT BOX! or something. Later.

Anyway, this particular Jin Jun Mei came out of an orange wrapper and a small amount of the contents had been used before I got it. A very small amount it must be because there’s still loads of leaf here.

While it was steeping, it had a very chocolate-y note to it. It wasn’t one I sat here searching for; it was simply making it’s way from the pot to my nose all by itself. This had me curiously sniffing at the wet leaf after emptying the pot, but there was nothing particularly chocolate-y about that. Some cocoa yes, the dark stuff used in baking, but also grain and something kind of a bit spicy and wood-y. In the actual cup itself, it’s like we’ve got the reverse, the wet leaf being the photo negative or something. A whole lot of cocoa and then the grain and spice underneath laying down the foundation of the aroma.

Did I find all this cocoa in the other JJMs? I can’t remember.

So due to the aroma, I rather expect the flavour to be similar. That’s not a lot to ask, is it? I mean, that’s not unreasonable. Gosh, was I in for a surprise. It tastes nothing like chocolate or cocoa or anything sweetie-like. Rather than that it’s kind of harsh and a bit gritty. There’s a good amount of smoke on it and it’s somewhat astringent, so it gets really prickly. Underneath that there is a note which – oh hey, look! Now that I look closer, this note is actually remarkably cocoa-y. Good, I did think it was odd that the aroma of it should be so strong only to not have it show up in the flavour. So first smoke, then a quick but strong smidge of cocoa and here come’s the grainyness that I knew had to be in here. The grain is also the note that continues into the aftertaste along with most of the smoke, definitely leaving me with an LS-y impression.

I feel like this is the JJM out of Spoonvonstrup’s lot that I’ve tried so far that has been the most complex tasting one, and also the one that best showed the relationship between JJM and LS. It’s also definitely the harshest, I think, and although this one is very nice on it’s own, seen in the context of the other JJM’s, I think I preferred the other two I tried so far over this one. Doesn’t mean I would turn this one down another time, though.

Points: 77

Spoonvonstup

How fun! I’m glad I was able to rustle up so many to send your way so you can really get to know the full range of the tea. Getting to know a new tea with a ton of different examples is like taking an intensive language crash course, and it’s m preferred “getting to know you” strategy for kinds I’m unfamiliar with.

Re: bitterness. The heavier astr/bitterness has been pretty common to all but /the/ most expensive JJM’s I’ve tried. Cocoa seems familiar, but I can’t nail it down with certainty. Wish I had kept better (or any) notes on these so I could do a “read along with Angrboda” thing.

Angrboda

That sort of thing would have been easier if we’d had brand names to go by instead of just yellow wrapper, red wrapper, different red wrapper… :) The two red ones I remember as fairly similar, this one was crazy different.

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Spoonvonstup

How fun! I’m glad I was able to rustle up so many to send your way so you can really get to know the full range of the tea. Getting to know a new tea with a ton of different examples is like taking an intensive language crash course, and it’s m preferred “getting to know you” strategy for kinds I’m unfamiliar with.

Re: bitterness. The heavier astr/bitterness has been pretty common to all but /the/ most expensive JJM’s I’ve tried. Cocoa seems familiar, but I can’t nail it down with certainty. Wish I had kept better (or any) notes on these so I could do a “read along with Angrboda” thing.

Angrboda

That sort of thing would have been easier if we’d had brand names to go by instead of just yellow wrapper, red wrapper, different red wrapper… :) The two red ones I remember as fairly similar, this one was crazy different.

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Bio

Ang lives with Husband and two kitties, Charm and Luna, in a house not too far from Århus. Apart from drinking tea, she enjoys baking, especially biscuits, reading and jigsaw puzzles. She has recently acquired an interest in cross-stitch and started a rather large project. It remains to be seen whether she has actually bitten off more than she can chew…

Ang prefers black teas and the darker sorts of oolongs. She has to be in the mood for green and white, and she enjoys, but knows little to nothing about, pu-erh.

Her preferences with black teas are the Chinese ones, particularly from Fujian, but also Keemun and just about anything smoky. She occasionally enjoys Yunnans but they’re not favourites. She has taken some time to research Ceylon teas, complete with reference map, and has recently developed some interest in teas from Africa.

She is sceptical about Indian blacks as she generally finds them too astringent and too easy to get wrong. She doesn’t really care for Darjeelings at all. Very high-grown teas are often not favoured.

She likes flavoured teas as well, particularly fruit flavoured ones, but also had an obsession with finding the Perfect Vanilla Flavoured Black and can happily report that this reclusive beast has been spotted in a local teashop near where she works. Any and all vanilla flavoured teas are still highly attractive to her, though. Also nuts and caramel or toffee. Not so much chocolate. It’s a texture thing.

However, she thinks Earl Grey is generally kind of boring. Cinnamon and ginger are also not really a hit, and she’s not very fond of chais. Evil hibiscus is evil. Even in small amounts, and yes, Ang can usually detect hibiscus, mostly by way of the metallic flavour of blood it has.

Ang is not super impressed with rooibos or honeybush on their own. She doesn’t care for either, really, but when they are flavoured, they go usually go down a treat.

Ang used to have a Standard Panel of teas that she tried to always have on hand. She put a lot of thought into defining it and decided what should go on it. It was a great idea on paper, but in practise has been discovered to not really work as well.

Ang tries her best to make a post on Steepster several times a week. She tends to write her posts in advance in a word doc (The Queue) and posting from there. This, she feels, helps her to maintain regularity and stops her from making five posts in three days and then going three weeks without posting anything at all.

Angrboda is almost always open to swapping. Just ask her. Due to the nature of the queue, however, and the fact that it’s some 24 pages long at the moment, it may take a good while from she receives your parcel and until she actually posts about it.

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Contact Angrboda by email: [email protected]
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Find Ang on…
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Bio last updated February 2014

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