Good morning Steepsterites.
Today I’m going off on a Top Secret Mission with my mother to do with wedding preparations and such things. I have time to fortify myself with a cup of tea first though, and to this effect I chose the last of the JJM samples that Spoonvonstrup shared with me. This one came out of a large, silver, foil wrapper.
I didn’t do much in the way of dry leaf aroma this morning (It’s only ten past seven, you can’t expect miracles), but I did note that it had a fairly strong note of chocolate to it. I noticed that one because I didn’t need to have my nose anywhere near the leaves at all in order to pick up on it.
It’s still there after steeping, and it’s strong. I swear this smells like a cup of hot milk chocolate which has somehow turned grainy. Because there is a grain-note in it as well. It smells almost Fujian-y! Oh joy!
I posted this in a comment elsewhere this morning, but there totally ought to be Fujian Drinkers’ Society or something. I’d join in a heartbeat. Sometimes it seems to me like Keemun and Yunnans are getting all the attention and poor little Fujian is pushed rather to the sidelines. That’s just not fair. The Fujian Society would promote Fujian blacks and make sure they received the glory they so rightfully deserve.
Anyway, when I’m not busy plotting a new world order, I actually find time to focus on the tea at hand. So aroma, chocolate-y and grain-y and Fujian-y. Good signs, these.
The flavour, however, is somewhat more confusing, because I don’t get that feeling of Fujianness from it. Oh, all the elements are there; the grainy bottom and the chocolate-y overtones, but it’s just not quite there. I wouldn’t say it tasted particularly Yunnan-y either, and if you recall, the other JJMs that I tried which were definitely from Yunnan had a fair bit of Yunnanness in them. This one is sort of shadow-regional, not really one or the other, (Could it be a third region entirely, perhaps?) because while it has all the elements that I would normally say was required for a tea to have Fujianness, it also has a touch of straw and pepper, which I would normally say was tell-tale Yunnanness.
I like this better than the confirmed Yunnan versions of JJM, because of the Fujian-y notes and also because the Yunnan-y notes are so mild. I think my problem with Yunnans is that often the straw note is very strong and insistent, and while I don’t actively dislike it, I just need it to be a little more subdued in order to be pleasant.
I think I’ve decided this one is more Fujian than anything else though. I can’t argue with that grain and chocolate combination, and as it cools a bit it also develops that slightly juicy note which feels like biting a berry.
Interestingly, and very unlike the others I’ve tried of this type, this one doesn’t have any smoke to it at all. Not in the primary flavour profile, not in the aftertaste, not in the aroma. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. All the others did without exception, and given the fact that JJM is supposedly a type of Lapsang Souchong, I was rather expecting smoke here, so I have to snip a few points off for that.