74 Tasting Notes
Purchased this late summer and now that there is 4 inches on the ground it makes perfect sense to imbibe. This is my first foray into Jin Jun Mei. The funny thing is I bought a whole mess of tea without knowing much about them except the price and descriptions from the sellers websites. I knew I liked flavorful oolongs and reds but no finesse in my choices. So it was with this tea, buy first research second. Then comes the big day, will I be disappointed, is this just another tea look-a-like, how can I be so impulsive? Spent an hour googling all things Jin Jun Mei yesterday, and this offering from Yunnan Sourcing seems to be their medium grade offering. I’m surprised I didn’t buy the premium because if it costs more, surely it will taste better (as in a good bottle of wine…….not!).
Dry leaves are all uniform, small golden black threads with an inviting bouquet, saying brew me you will not be dissatisfied. Used a 150 teapot with 3.5 grams tea, quick rinse off the boil and then the first steep for 5 seconds.
OK now I can understand the bigger picture. I suffer from tea anxiety. I want every cup to be better than my last. I go willy-nilly on buying binges and hate to be unfulfilled. Thank goodness I bought the middle road Jin Jun Mei. The flavor was great, caramel, malty stout, and dried cherry sweetness. The liquor is of good body and carries the same fragrance if not more pronounced than the dried leaves. It steeped out to 7 brews and never really lost that much of its flavor or aroma.
Now I know why people seek out that special Jin Jun Mei to call their own. The tea is certainly worthy. In league with Qing Pin from Yezi tea. Alas I have wiggle room to try Yunnan Sourcing’s Premium grade next year in my search for the penultimate JJM.
Nice story about this tea,it goes without saying that the subjugated are indeed very resourceful in keeping traditions alive. I used 3 pagodas (4 grams)in a 200ml glass fair cup. I rinsed with water off the boil, and steeped for about 40 seconds until all the pagodas unfurled and released their liquor. The aromas are muted and soft,reminding of croissants baking. The flavors are equally as muted with the honey and caramel presence of usual black teas. There is a hint of bitterness on the aftertaste but not enough to discourage another three steeps to finish the pagodas offering. I wanted to like this tea more because of its provenance but it falls a little short in performance.
New territory, white tea…….oooh. Brewed according to Yezi’s directions. Soft, gentle leaves which remind me of a birds nest in my cha he. Used 5g in 250 glass pot, steeped for 1 min. The leaves are now fuller but just as soft and fluffy as they were dry. The aroma to be was of a honey biscuit topped with geranium sugar. The flavor soft almost imperceptible, a slight hay flavor leading to a sweetness on the finish. Glad I chose this for later in the day, as my roasted TGY had started to fade and this brought out a contemplative tasting which I’ll need to repeat to get all the answers I think this tea is trying to convey.
Wish I had read SANSNIPPLE’s note before trying this tea. It is indeed a bit unruly with its tackiness and pungency. But I put mine away in the cupboard as well and it did mellow some in the drying.
Brewing was another mess all together. Used my yixing pot, chaulk one up for naivete. Water at 200F and rinsed 5 grams of tea. I was able to get a nice chunk of tea from this small brick so I was not surprised when I rinsed and the color was a nice light brick. Then came the first steep which was as soon as the water filled the pot I poured. Mud, mud, mud. Smelled like mud, looked like mud, tasted like mud. If I only read the review first. But no, I drank the first steep anyway, yuck. Then it dawned on me to check the review, wait for it, ohhhh I should have rinsed it a few times, duh. Did three more rinses and the soup is still a dark brick colour, but no longer tastes of mud, and it does have a faint sweetness added to the traditional pu ehr flavors. I can now discern the flavors of the chrysanthemum versus the tea and I’m feeling a bit better about this unruly brick of pu erh.
Ok, like, what? The Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat of teas. They’re all there brown, green, yellow, and best of all purple. Received this as a sample. Not bad at all, very smooth, no roughness or in your face pu erh boldness. Pale in the cup but the flavor is not so pale. The smokey, earthy,flavors are all there just not so bitter. Aromas of fine leather hit me the most. A good introductory pu erh like Wild Qi;s Wild snow oolong I had before this.
Super long leaves, had a hard time getting them into my sampling gaiwan. Soft gentle oolong tastes and aroma. This is not a fussy, precise oolong where you’re punished for even a 3 second over-steep, no bitterness noted. The leaves once brewed opened up into bright green, long, tangled, almost seaweed like strands. It held up to about 6 steeps in 130ml each steep. I didn’t get the citrus as the description but there is a soft peachiness. I passed on chewing a leaf as I am sampling other teas this morning. The Qi is also not as bright as described, but this was a sample and I definitely would have used more leaf for myself. This should be everybody’s introductory oolong, smooth and dainty.
I especially like websites that describe their teas and my tasting is right in step. The flavor and aroma of honey cannot be missed along with the sweet malt tones and a special bourbon soupcon. As advertised absolutely no bitterness and a effortless smoothness from steep to steep.
I used a 4 oz teapot with 5 gm tea. Short steeps and it lasted forever. My brother-in-law is branching into teas so that he doesn’t have that overpowering caffeine buzz from coffee he takes in the afternoon and this tea will suit him just fine.
Finally a pu-erh I can understand. Prepared gongfu, in my Yixing serving my in-laws, teaching them about Chinese tea ceremony and the the different types of teas. Not the most captive audience, they need to get to Brooklyn with the NYC Marathon going on, so I understand. The standard brewing guidelines 2 quick rinses and short steeps.
The aroma is very floral, hints of jasmine, per mother-in-law, and the malty sweetness you come to enjoy when sniffing wet pu-erhs. The flavor is so well structured and smooth I had that aha moment of realization that I was having for the first time a well made and aged raw pu-erh. Yum, the flavor was smoky, malty with stone fruit undertones. The mouth-feel, enveloping and inviting, I couldn’t wait for the next sip. Steeps went out for about 10, could have been more, but I used a larger Yixing to accommodate the 4 of us.
The conundrum this tea has caused, is now I am going to have to buy more high quality raw pu-erhs to get to any even higher level. Whoa is me. As for the in-laws I think they enjoyed it, they were no longer thinking of their travel details and were focused on the soft gentleness the tea had to offer.