87
drank Zhu Hai Jin Ming by TeaSpring
911 tasting notes

More TeaSpring tea! I’ve had this twice now and the first time, all signs pointed to deliciousness but it just didn’t wow me. It was a nice mix of Keemun and Fujian-ish notes – a Keemun-y rye flavor with faint toasted-smoke but also with a nice Golden Monkey-like roundness and hint of creaminess – which logically should have made me ooh and ah and mmm, but didn’t. And that made me sad.

This morning, I said to heck with TeaSprings 2g/5oz suggestion. I wanted a big cup. So I did 4.6g/12oz. Same steep time (though technically it takes me twice as long to get the water out of the Zojirushi, so maybe it had about 10 seconds longer today but really… same steep time). Today? Yum’s and mmm’s could be heard.

It’s like the mix of flavors has changed. It’s still mostly Keemun notes of rye and malt with some toasted/smoke (which is a bit heavier now) but now instead of a Golden Monkey-like smooth creaminess at the end, it’s a bit more of a Yunnan stoutness and peppery prickle (though some of that prickle feeling could be from the stronger smoke notes). Still a full and faintly sweet aftertaste, but with a little more oomph and texture to it. And that oomph really tickles my tastebuds.

I’m much happier with this in my big mug. I can’t say I will necessarily pick this up with my next TeaSpring order though, but that’s more an indication of the massive wonderfulness I’ve encountered in other TeaSpring teas than an indictment of this one. Even when this tea wows, it still doesn’t make it to the top of my “TeaSpring Teas of Wonder” list. I think this means TeaSpring is spoiling me.

ETA: Second steep is more smoky and Keemuny. And there’s almost a minty/mentholated whooshy endnote now. Very yum!

Angrboda

Sounds like it would be excellen for those of the Yunnan persuasion then.

Auggy

Hehe, yes, I imagine so. Though I think Kemmun-type folks would like it as well since that’s one aspect that seems to stay through the steeps and different brewing.

Thomas Smith

This totally goes in hand with the tests I’m doing right now on the effects of volume. It’s turned out to be really hard to pin down just what it is about brewing in larger batches that changes qualities in a tea even if temperature, time, and concentration are kept in proportion. Most of my tests are with Keemun, Darjeeling, Mao Jian, Mao Zhen (a green tea), Dian Hong, and a slew of Tieguanyins, Sri Lankas, and Bai Hao Oolongs… I’ll prolly be adding this guy and some Fujian reds to the list now because of your post. Thanks for the inspiration!

Auggy

Those tests sound interesting – are you planning to post them somewhere? If so, I’d be interested in reading them. Because you are right, there is something that changes the flavors (or can change them) when brewing at different volumes (though the same ratio of leaf:water). I’ve found that some Japanese greens seem to have a “sweet spot” as far as volume, and A&D’s Jackee Muntz did as well – larger cups ended up strongly caramel while smaller cups did not. All very intriguing!

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Angrboda

Sounds like it would be excellen for those of the Yunnan persuasion then.

Auggy

Hehe, yes, I imagine so. Though I think Kemmun-type folks would like it as well since that’s one aspect that seems to stay through the steeps and different brewing.

Thomas Smith

This totally goes in hand with the tests I’m doing right now on the effects of volume. It’s turned out to be really hard to pin down just what it is about brewing in larger batches that changes qualities in a tea even if temperature, time, and concentration are kept in proportion. Most of my tests are with Keemun, Darjeeling, Mao Jian, Mao Zhen (a green tea), Dian Hong, and a slew of Tieguanyins, Sri Lankas, and Bai Hao Oolongs… I’ll prolly be adding this guy and some Fujian reds to the list now because of your post. Thanks for the inspiration!

Auggy

Those tests sound interesting – are you planning to post them somewhere? If so, I’d be interested in reading them. Because you are right, there is something that changes the flavors (or can change them) when brewing at different volumes (though the same ratio of leaf:water). I’ve found that some Japanese greens seem to have a “sweet spot” as far as volume, and A&D’s Jackee Muntz did as well – larger cups ended up strongly caramel while smaller cups did not. All very intriguing!

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I’m trying to be a better tea logger and actually post semi-regularly again! I’ve let my tea tasting senses become too complacent – it’s time for some focused and attentive tea drinking!

Sometimes my notices for PMs and such have been questionable. Email me at your own risk at aug3zimm at gmail dot com.


1 – 10 – Bleck. Didn’t finish the cup.
11 – 25 – Drinkable. But don’t punish me by making me have it again.
26 – 40 – Meh. Most likely will see if the husband likes it iced.
41 – 60 – Okayish. Maybe one day I’ll kill off what I have in my pantry.
61 – 75 – Decent. I might pick some up if I needed tea.
76 – 85 – Nice. I’d probably buy but wouldn’t hunt it down.
86 – 100 – Yum! I will hunt down the vendor to get this tea!

Not that anyone but me particularly cares, but there it is.

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