90

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.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Rabs

Lol! Could it be that your bf is a wee bit jealous of the Breville and he acted out of a subconscious desire to separate you two? ;)

Loved this note!

__Morgana__

LOL! Could be, but I think it is more likely that neither of us has any short term memory left for lack of uninterrupted sleep since becoming parents 6 years ago. ;-)

Auggy

No lapsang – Jackee’s 100% Keemun. A&D was witty when naming series 2. jacKEEMUNtz. thomASSAMpson. Hehe. But yeah, some Keemuns are smokier than others. I’m not sure what makes the difference with the smoky, though. Just one of the great mysteries of life tea?

__Morgana__

Thanks for solving that for me, Auggy. I was pretty amazed at the difference between the two Keemuns I’ve tried. I have some more samples from other companies and it will be really interesting to see where they fit in the smoky continuum.

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Rabs

Lol! Could it be that your bf is a wee bit jealous of the Breville and he acted out of a subconscious desire to separate you two? ;)

Loved this note!

__Morgana__

LOL! Could be, but I think it is more likely that neither of us has any short term memory left for lack of uninterrupted sleep since becoming parents 6 years ago. ;-)

Auggy

No lapsang – Jackee’s 100% Keemun. A&D was witty when naming series 2. jacKEEMUNtz. thomASSAMpson. Hehe. But yeah, some Keemuns are smokier than others. I’m not sure what makes the difference with the smoky, though. Just one of the great mysteries of life tea?

__Morgana__

Thanks for solving that for me, Auggy. I was pretty amazed at the difference between the two Keemuns I’ve tried. I have some more samples from other companies and it will be really interesting to see where they fit in the smoky continuum.

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Bio

I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tea skills and tastes developed they became far less appealing to me. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with me. That said, I’m not entirely a purist, and I enjoy a good flavored tea, particularly flavored blacks.

I like all kinds of tea depending on time of day, mood, and the amount of time I have to pay attention to preparation.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

90-94 First rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Excellent; will likely buy more

70-79 Very good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Good; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

People have sent me tea on occasion, and I was once persuaded to send some Tazo Om to AmazonV. I’ve also done at least one group buy here on Steepster, the famous Doulton-led Dammann Freres experiment years ago. But mostly, I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it, though I don’t put samples in my cupboard and not everything I have at any given time is showing in my cupboard. I do try to remember to remove things from my cupboard once I no longer have them.

I was an early internet adopter and have been online in various environments since around 1990. Steepster is one of the nicest online environments I’ve ever been privileged to participate in and that is saying something. :-)

Location

Bay Area, California

Website

http://www.jjroth.net

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