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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Comments

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’ve updated this bio as it’s been a couple of years since I “started getting into” tea. It’s now more accurate to say that I was obsessed with tea for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it, and 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’ve recently started writing fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I much prefer to drink tea without additives such as milk and sugar. If a tea needs additives to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’m going to rate it high. The exception is chai, which I make on the stove top using a recipe I found here on Steepster. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs into the harder stuff, but once I learned how to make a decent cup of tea they became far less appealing to 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. I’m revising them slightly to make them less granular as I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas against other similar versions. So I rate Earl Greys, for example, against other Earl Greys, rather than against all teas. If something rates very high with me, though, it probably means it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is; will keep this stocked until the cows come home

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

80-89 Excellent; likely to become a favorite, will likely buy more

70-79 Very good; would enjoy again, might buy again if in the mood for this particular one or a better, similar version not available

60-69 Good; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but probably wouldn’t buy again unless craving this particular flavor

50-59 Okay or run of the mill

Below 50 So-so, iffy, would definitely pass
or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

Location

Bay Area, California

Website

http://www.jjroth.net

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