99
drank Tan Yang Jing Zhi by TeaSpring
1278 tasting notes

Let it be known that Tan Yang black is just about the closest thing to perfection I’ve ever met in Tea-Land. It’s interesting and complex and it has both smokyness and a strong cocoa and raisin note to it. Anything you like in a chinese black, the Tan Yang has it.

It’s no secret that I have a torrid love affair with TeaSprings Tan Yang Te Ji. For the longest time, however, that was sold out but they still had the Tan Yang Jing Zhi in stock. A higher leaf grade and a MUCH more expensive tea. Expensive enough that it’s certainly not one that I would just go ahead and buy large amounts of. Money don’t grow on trees where I come from.

So when the Te Ji finally came back in stock I went ahead and bought a larger supply and a small amount of the Jing Zhi for experimentation and comparison purpose. If the Te Ji is such a piece of perfection, how awesome could not the more refined version be?

25g. Half of it I sent off to Auggy as she is also a lover of the Tan Yang (I don’t mind taking the blame for that) and I wanted her to have the opportunity to experiment and compare as well. It’s always nice with a second opinion. The other half was carefully packed down again and has been lying around for a while. I wanted plenty of time to try it in and I was also afraid of messing the brewing up, what with having so little of it and it being priced the way it was.

But today is the day. I’m doing a side by side comparison, so I’ve just made two cups of tea in my little farm animals favourite pot. One Te Ji (in the sheep cup) and one Jing Zhi (in the kitty cup). I’ve been careful to brew them exactly the same way. Same amount of leaf, same temperature, same time. Even same shape cup (but that’s more because the size fits the pot perfectly). I made the Jing Zhi last so I can resteep the leaves and the get the most out of them.

Rather than making two identical posts, I’m posting the whole thing in this one, since it’s a comparison of two very similar teas and I’m primarily wanting to see how the Jing Zhi is in comparison to the far more well-known Te Ji.

In the following, all notes pertaining to Te Ji will be in italics.

There seems to be more aroma. It’s more or less the same notes, sweet, slightly wooden, slightly smoky and rather raisin-y. Weirdly I’m not finding much cocoa in either of them this morning. That’s odd because the first time I had Te Ji it had very strong cocoa notes to it and I would have expected the Jing Zhi to be the same. Maybe the first time around was a better year for cocoa-notes. Or something.
Stronger, fuller aroma in Jing Zhi, but the same notes.

There is still a lot of cocoa in the flavour, especially on the swallow, but mostly it’s a sweetly oaky sort of flavour. A bit spicy, and not very smoky, but the smoke generally don’t really come to its right until the second steep
This seems stronger. A little more astringent, a little closer to a pang of bitterness. It doesn’t seem to have the same immediate charm, and I’m reminded of how the Te Ji wasn’t really that special the first time, but grew on me with remarkable speed. There is definitely smoke present here, as well as an oaky note. It’s not as sweet though. Te Ji appears to have an ever so slightly honeyed note. It’s very very little and only there if you really search for it, but I can’t find that in Jing Zhi at all, how ever much I search. The more fruity notes of raisins are more well developed here though than in Te Ji.
The Jing Zhi seems a little rougher, a little sharper around the edges. I prefer the Te Ji here.

All in all, the Jing Zhi is very awesomely good. Like the Te Ji it’s just a whisker away from perfection. In some ways, yes, I think it is a little bit better than Te Ji, but it’s no way near so much better that I’m willing to pay that amount of money for it. The Te Ji wins on price by several horse lengths. If and when I become a multi-billionaire, I might switch to Jing Zhi just for the snobbery of it, but in the meantime Te Ji is totally still pressing all the same buttons.

Auggy

Can’t wait to try this one! I did bring this and the Te Ji with me to Hawaii, but since the apartment ended up not even having something approximating an appropriate tea-like mug, I wasn’t brave enough to brew it (didn’t want to mess up my chance at Tan Yang perfection, you know).

Angrboda

Yes, I was feeling the same way about it. It took ages for me to try it because I was SO scared I’d mess it up. The experience of TWO mugs of tan yang sitting right under your nose, though… Gosh! It was difficult to write the post. Kept getting distracted. :D

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Comments

Auggy

Can’t wait to try this one! I did bring this and the Te Ji with me to Hawaii, but since the apartment ended up not even having something approximating an appropriate tea-like mug, I wasn’t brave enough to brew it (didn’t want to mess up my chance at Tan Yang perfection, you know).

Angrboda

Yes, I was feeling the same way about it. It took ages for me to try it because I was SO scared I’d mess it up. The experience of TWO mugs of tan yang sitting right under your nose, though… Gosh! It was difficult to write the post. Kept getting distracted. :D

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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.

The Formalities

Contact Angrboda by email: [email protected]
Contact Ang on IM on Google chat

Find Ang on…
Steam: Iarnvidia (Or Angrboda. She changed her display name and now is not certain which one to search for. She uses the same picture though, so she is easily recognised)
Goodreads: Angrboda
Livejournal: See website.
Dreamwidth: Ask her

Bio last updated February 2014

Location

Denmark

Website

http://angrboda.livejournal.com

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