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jing tea shop
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In appearance and character, this tea, for me, seems remarkably similar to Hao Ya. Among the cut, slender strips of black tea a few golden tips wink out. The scents of cocoa and malt are hard to miss. There’s a slightly-fermented smell as “subtle as the smell of malt on a brewmaster’s fingers,” my notes read. I swear. Sometimes I think tea alters my brain just enough for me to write things that sound ridiculous.
The soup, which might be the deepest and cleanest red I’ve ever seen, is crystal clear. I might as well be looking through the red eye of a pair of 3D glasses. The cocoa and maltiness that were apparent in the dry leaves have mostly vanished into tea heaven. The cup does bring a clean, cocoa flavor to the back of the throat immediately, but it isn’t strong or overpowering. The dominant taste here, for lack of a better descriptor, is tea. This tea is pretty good in the way pancakes are pretty good – it is plain, approachable, simple. If I ever needed a glass of comfort tea, I’d reach for this.
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I want to update my previous note, as this tea has surpassed every other tea in my estimation. It just gets better and better. And I did want to say that, personally, I don’t get any astringency. I am usually quite sensitive to it and dislike it almost as much as smokiness. This is not a cheap tea, but I just made another order, I crave it and I was worried about the low quantity in my cannister.
At the moment I have three favorite teas from jing tea shop, and Ying de Hong Cha is one of them. (I’m not going to count Yunnan Gold, since it hasn’t been available for some time). I ordered it again, because I didn’t want to get too low. It reminds me of the Dan Cong red tea, with milder notes of a fruity flavor and honey. As it is considerably cheaper than the Dan Cong, it is an excellent everyday tea for me.
In the past, I have had short-lived favorites and what I love at one time, I don’t much care for later on. But my jing teas have stayed completely consistent for me, or, if anything, I love them even more after months of drinking them. I still try to use up other teas, but these are the ones I want.
I frequently love,
Experience buying from Jing Tea Shop http://steepster.com/places/2780-jing-tea-shop-on-line—
Age of leaf: I received this tea in early June 2011 and first brewed it that summer (the tea is listed as 2011 early spring harvest).
Appearance and aroma of dry leaf: Fairly standard appearance for a Chinese red tea: lots of small, uniformly-colored dark leaves. However, the aroma smells strongly of what must be lychee fruit (I have had a canned version of lychee fruit once with an Asian friend, but I don’t remember much about it, other than it was mildly sweet, had the texture similar to a pear, and had a mild flavor I had never tasted before). This smell of the dry leaf is stronger than I remember the fruit tasting, but I like it.
Brewing guidelines: Traditional ceramic six-cup teapot, with large metallic tea-ball; stevia added.
……….1st: Near boiling; 2’………Great flavor
……….2nd: Nearer boiling; 3’…..Good Flavor
……….3rd: Boiling; 4’……………..Decent flavor
……….4th: Spot-on boiling; 5’…Not much flavor
Color and aroma of tea liquor: nice caramel color; and a light aroma akin to the taste.
Flavor of tea liquor: strong flavor, similar to other Chinese red teas I have had, with the lychee fruit flavor not overpowering, but rather complimenting the standard red tea flavor.
Appearance and aroma of wet leaf: Standard medium-grade chopped leaf; pleasantly aromatic.
Blends well with: I added a tsp of SpecialTeas Java OP to today’s mix and it didn’t seem to interfere with the overall taste.
Value: A great price for $5.20/100g.
Overall: Before today, I had this tea twice, and although I didn’t remember much about it, I remember liking that it was a little different than any other Chinese red tea I have had before. I decided to brew it up today for my wife and I, as I was hoping this tea would be the one Chinese red tea we could both enjoy together. I wasn’t sure what she would think of it, because she doesn’t seem to be too fond of Chinese red teas: she tried one Lapsang, at least one Keemun (I have two), and she may have even tried a Yunnan—none of which she liked. : ( And, of course, as I myself bought them, I enjoy drinking them all! Now it happens that, although she likes just about any flavored black tea she has tried (most, if not all, of which, I believe, are artificially flavored; I prefer teas that are not), I prefer Chinese red teas (I just checked the description on Jing Tea Shop’s website, and it simply describes this tea as ‘flavored’. So I don’t know if it’s artificially flavored or not. I was assuming it wasn’t. Bummer. I may want to eventually email them to find out). So, after brewing it up, with my fingers crossed, I give her her cup, and she sips, and sips again, I try to act nonchalant while watching her reaction, as she makes one of those faces we make when we think we like something but we’re not sure, she begins to slowly nod her head in affirmation, and says, “I like it.” Phew! Funny, but since I know she doesn’t like Chinese black teas I didn’t tell her up front what it was, so, I waited until she had tried enough of it to confirm her initial impression before telling her that it was a Chinese red tea (this happens on occasion when I want her to try a new tea). Luckily, I too was also impressed with the flavor (not too overpowering on the lychee fruit flavor). So now we can enjoy a Chinese red tea together! Ahh, the work we go through to get our close ones to enjoy tea with us. In the long run, it’s worth it, though, wouldn’t you agree? : – )
This is a very tricky tea. It’s color suggests a very light roasting, yet early infusions tend to an almost scorched bitter taste if not prepared with a very light hand (short/dilute infusions). But handled well, it gives light, sweet liquor with a deep spiciness that does bring cinnamon to mind, deliciously and delicately. Tonight I overdid it, packing my small porcelain korean pot so tightly the lid is almost lifted off by the unfurled leaves, and at this concentration, I’m still doing hardly more than flash rinses 6 or 7 infusions into it. I think it has enough for 15 or 20 infusions so tightly packed.
As a follow up to my previous tasting note on this, I prepared it western style today. It’s much as I expected, the flavour is still good and it’s a bit more concentrated and bold. But I still prefer the short steep method, even though I feel that this tea isn’t a fantastic resteeper.
Not one of my favourites from the Jing Tea Shop black tea samples, but I’ve enjoyed the chance to try it and expand my knowledge of black teas. Which was my intention for buying the sample pack anyway. :)
200ml glass teapot, 2 tsp, 2 steeps
With a name like Yixing Hong Cha I expected to do this gongfu style. Unfortunately I don’t have a yixing teapot dedicated to black teas, so I will use a gaiwan.
Drinking from the first steep, I taste something sweet like honey, nutty, raisin notes, and the liquor texture feels grainy and tastes like it too.
Second steep tastes much bolder, stronger, more complex; better in every sense. Picking up on some new floral and cocoa notes.
Third and fourth steeps have much of the same flavours but are becoming weaker. The scent from the liquor reminds me of chocolates filled with fruit jelly for some reason. That grainy liquor texture from earlier is now light and refreshing now.
Fifth steep, a nice roasted flavour is coming out, the raisin and grainy flavours are still here but the rest is fading.
Sixth steep, I think I can begin to taste the original water flavour. Last sip ended on a earthy, grainy, cocoa note.
This is my fifth and final tea from the sample pack. I’ve never tried Yixing black tea before, but I quite like it. During my quick steeps there was an explosion of flavour at #2 followed by a rapid decline. Maybe I just need to increase the temperature, but when I brew it next time it will be western style. Anyway, so far I feel this has a great flavour to price ratio, but it is not my favourite from Jing Tea Shop. Based on flavour alone I like the Dan Cong Red Tea best, and Ying De Hong Cha for best flavour and resteeping. That being said, all of these black tea samples from this company were excellent.
100ml gaiwan, 2 tsp, 6 steeps (30s + 10s resteep)
Follow up from my last tasting note.
I used more leaf today (2 tsp instead of 1 and 1/2) and got more of the sweet, apple flavour mentioned in the website description. Very nice.
Starting to feel that most of these samples should be brewed with 2 tsp of leaf.
This is a follow up to my last tasting note. Today I’m doing multiple short steeps in a gaiwan. These Dan Cong Red Tea leaves are quite long, so I expect them to be great for resteeping.
Tasting the initial steep, there is a strong zesty flavour, along with spice, “tea” flavour. The drinking sensation is kind of like biting into juicy melon, very clean and mouth watering.
The second to fourth steeps were very nice, with a bit of astringency, and stronger tea flavour that reminds me of tamarind candies.
Fifth through the eighth steeps were consistent, with not much of the flavour fading with each resteep.
At the ninth steep I began to taste the original water flavour, but it otherwise retains enough flavour to be enjoyable. I continued resteeping and stopping at the twelfth, it had a hint of flavour but it was becoming too weak.
Now that I’ve tried both methods, I prefer the shorter steeps. It’s a very consistent flavour up until about number eight. My only dislike with this tea, is that it’s very astringent. It makes my mouth feel quite dry, so after this tasting note I’ll be having plenty of water. ;)
This is still my favourite black tea from the Jing Tea Shop samples, but I’m not sure if I would purchase a big bag of it. It’s the sort of tea I’d want to drink on rare occasions as a treat. At the very least I am happy to have tried it once, since I never really see this sort of tea online often. And as a bonus, this is a terrific resteeper just like Teavivre’s Yunnan Dian Hong Golden Tip, which I also got up to 12 steeps with.
100ml gaiwan, 5g (2tsp? I weighed this out on a scale), 12 steeps (30s +15s)
The dry leaf aroma is typical of Keemun, so I expect this to be an enjoyable session. Since this sort of tea always seems to have choppy leaves, I will just prepare it western style.
Sipping from the first steep, I’m hit by mild floral notes, then the tea base and a pungent maltyness (in a good way!). Not very smoky or bitter at all, and the aftertaste is a milder pungent maltyness from before.
My second steep had the same flavour as the first cup. Looking on the website, it mentions a sweetness and apple like characteristic. I can kinda see that, but the pungent maltyness captures my attention.
Not my favourite from the black tea samples, but I do enjoy a good cup of Keemun. This particular one is enjoyable and not disappointing at all. Keemun always has a very distinctive flavour, the sort of thing that you either love or hate. If you’re interested in Keemun but have never tried it before, I’d recommend getting a sample size.
200ml glass teapot (filled mostly), 1 1/2 tsps, 2 steeps
I have not had much of this since I originally bought the sample set, so I made a cup to start off my afternoon. The first cup made me remember why I enjoy this tea so much. It’s a very unique flavour I only experience with dan cong type teas, and made even more special because it’s a black tea. I highly recommend this tea if you enjoy the honey orchid flavour dan cong tea, or want a very different black tea experience.
If I have enough time, I’ll probably try this with a few short steeps later today.
200ml glass teapot (mostly filled up), 2 tsp? (long leaves are hard to scoop in!), 2 steeps
Tried this again with several short steeps, and one long steep. Last time I logged this, the water I used for the short steeps was too high.
Starting with the short steeps, I can taste a sweet honey caramel flavour right away, with a bit of something zesty. The flavours were fairly consistent with the first 5 steeps, but the tea body is mild.
It started winding down at the 6th steep, and I started to taste the original water flavour on the 8th steep. I had a bit of hot water left so I made a 9th steep, which wasn’t very flavourful but not bad at all, just weak. The change in water temperature, really helped turn this from a “meh” experience, to a good one.
Then I used the rest of my tea leaves for a long steep. Which is always a bit hard with this tea, I always have a hard time using a teaspoon to measure it out. So I had to use a scale.
I think it’s kinda funny how different the two methods turned out to be. Here the tea liquor is much darker, with much of the flavour from the other method but with stronger black tea base. I realize a longer steep makes stronger tea, but here it made a big difference for me.
Overall, I like Bai Lin black tea but it’s usually a bit too sweet for me. Even with my bias, I love the flavours these leaves have to offer. This particular one has a lot of golden buds, which lends itself to a beautiful short steeping experience. Looking forward to trying my other Jing Tea Shop samples.
100ml gaiwan, 2 tsp?, 9 steeps (30s +10s resteep)
200ml glass teapot (filled most of the way), 2tsp?, 1 steep (but prob more after I upload this)
I was down to the last 5 grams of this sample pack and I hadn’t brewed this with short steeps yet, so I did that. This one turned out to be a super resteeper, so I’ll try and keep the tasting notes simple.
Steeps 1-4: I was a bit surprised at how consistent these initial steeps were. The leaves give up a lot of flavour even within the first 30 seconds. It builds up to some very bold flavours at the 4th steep. The flavour was familiar black tea, with bold peppery caramel, and a touch of floral notes.
Steeps 5-8: As pretty typical of this steeping method, starting at the 5 steep I start to lose a bit of flavour. But if it didn’t taste so good I would stop. Anyway, it wasn’t until the 8th steep that I started to even notice the original flavour of my water, but the tea liquor is still a darker orange colour.
Steeps 9-14: I felt that so long as the tea liquor colour was dark enough, and the flavour enticing that I would keep resteeping. With each steep, I began to notice the original water flavour more and more. However the tea flavour was prevalent up until the 12th steep, with the 13th and 14th having a nice hint of flavour. The last cup was still a light orange, and still more flavourful than some other black teas I’ve resteeped just 4 times. ;)
Currently my cupboard is crowded with tea, but still I am very tempted to buy more Ying De Hong Cha. I bought this in a black tea sample pack to further my experience with these sort of teas. When I buy samples, I usually like to try a lot of teas and then only select a few to buy in larger quantities. This particular tea has definitely charmed me and I will buy more when my tea cupboard shrinks a bit.
100ml gaiwan, 2 generous tsps, 14 steeps! (rinse, 30s, +15s resteeps)
NOTE: I am writing this review after having brewed it up many times since I first tried it.
Experience buying from Jing Tea Shop http://steepster.com/places/2780-jing-tea-shop-on-line—
Age of leaf: I received this tea in early June 2011 and brewed it as soon as I got it and many times thereafter (the tea is listed as 2011 early spring harvest).
Appearance and aroma of dry leaf: lots of straight, dark green gently curved leaves and buds (which seems to be characteristic of HSMF green tea); vegetal, smoky.
Brewing guidelines: I used my standard green tea parameters: loose in glass Bodum pot; four 8-ounce cups of water used; Stevia added to compliment flavor.
…………….1st: 170, 1’
…………….2nd: 175, 1.5’
…………….3rd: 180, 2’
…………….4th: 190, 2.5’
Aroma: slightly smoky.
Color of liquor: light yellow.
Wet leaf: lots of bud sets, and a number of buds, whole leaves, and virtually no stems: beautiful.
Blends well with: other smoky green teas, like green Yunnans.
Flavor: fresh, vegetal, smoky.
Value: This tea is a bargain for under $3 an ounce.
Overall: Of the four HSMF teas I have tried, I think this one is my favorite. Although this one did not have very flavorful third and forth steepings, overall I like the aroma, the look of the leaves (dry, wet, and while steeping), and the smoky green tea flavor—-all which seem to be characteristic of HSMF. Although for various reasons I currently drink this tea on occasion, I could easily drink this tea on a regular basis.
Lately I have been really digging the short steeps for black tea. I’m also inexperienced with Bai Lin black tea, so for comparison I made two batches to test short and long steeps.
For the first tea session I made 8 short steeps at 95 Celsius. I’m not sure if it was too hot or if the steeps should been a bit longer, but I was not too impressed with my results. Because of the variables, I can’t really nitpick the tea for any faults. Moving on…
I wasn’t sure if the water temperature was appropriate, so I set it down to 85 Celsius and let this steep for 3 minutes. The aroma from from the teapot made me think of fuzzy black tea and lychee. Within the first couple of sips I got a good idea about what these leaves are all about. Quiet, soft, fuzzy, black tea flavour, with a bit of spice, maltiness, sweetness, and lychee/melon notes. The last sip and the aftertaste is a charming.
Now I feel that my initial short steeps were not too weak but perhaps at the wrong temperature. To me this tea is nice, but the flavours do whisper to you. Not the sort of tea I would seek out, but an enjoyable experience nonetheless. I will reserve rating this tea until I’ve experimented a bit more. Usually my opinion changes slightly when I reach the end of the tea pouch (which is typically favourably).
Out of the black tea samples I bought from Jing Tea Shop, I still like Dan Cong Red Tea the most.
Short steeps: 100ml gaiwan, 2 tsps, 8 steeps
Long steep: 160ml of water from 200ml glass teapot, 2tsps, 1 steep
Fantastic black tea – for someone who doesn’t usually enjoy black tea!!!
see previous tasting note for more
I used extra leaf today, so about 2 teaspoons I believe. (It’s hard to measure these long wiry leaves). So my full parameters are: 2 tsps of tea, 120 ml of water, 90 °C, 2 minutes, prepared in my small glass teapot (full volume is 200ml but I never fill it up like that).
The brew retained that familiar flavour from my first experience, but it also transformed into a more charming, rich, thick body.
I only purchased this as a 15g sample, but the leaves are making a very good impression on me. It doesn’t make me feel obsessive to buy more, but I am definitely growing more fond of it with each sip. Today’s parameters worked well, so I’ll probably stick with it for the remainder of this sample pack.
edit: Stopped at 6 steeps again. 1 to 3 had a nice thick body, 4 to 6 had good flavour and a dark liquor.