Yesterday, after the Earl, I did a Keemun from Harney & Sons. Today, I’m trying the fabled Jackee for the first time. He’s even more intimidating than Samovar’s Yunnan Golden Buds in terms of fame here. He’s like the really handsome and popular guy I was too intimidated to even talk to in school. I just knew no matter what I said he’d consider me a mild annoyance, like a gnat buzzing around his head, and that was if I was lucky. If I really made a fool of myself he’d consider me a foolish gnat, which would be even worse. And this with the full knowledge that he’s already taken anyway, so what’s the point. ;-)
The smokiness of the dry leaf was surprising to me, even though I’d seen mentions of Jackee’s smokiness. I wasn’t really expecting quite that much, since I think of him as a Keemun given his name and yesterday’s 100% Keemun didn’t have nearly this much smokiness; I only noticed anything near smoky in the aftertaste and that was pale by comparison. So I’m thinking Jackee must have some lapsang mixed in? I really should read all the notes methodically to see if anyone has actually figured out what is in here. I just read enough before trying this to know to try a lower steeping temp to make the caramel come out. I am guessing to some extent at my steeping temperature, because I boiled the water in a regular stove top kettle and I don’t trust my thermometers. (The BF took off in the car WITH THE BREVILLE STILL IN IT before I could get it out. Curses!)
The aroma of the steeped tea is also smoky, in a mild, non-tarry way, and here I get some sweetness as well. Yum.
Now for the taste. I get why everyone loves this. It’s got a mix of all the flavors and character that set off my pleasure centers: smoke, sweet, smooth and round. I have a feeling I need to play with it a bit more to get the parameters just right. I can see the caramel hints but I think I can make them come forward more with practice.
I will say though that I’m just as baffled as to what to expect from a Keemun now as I was yesterday since this is quite different from the Harney’s. I still feel the need to broaden my Keemun horizons before assessing how the Harney’s fares as an exemplar.
Jackee, though, is obviously in a class by himself.