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JK Tea Shop

Recent Tasting Notes

73

After having a gongfu session of this on today, I have to give it a big meh. For my tastes, it doesn’t hit all the buttons that I want in an unflavored black tea.

However, if you like Yunnan blacks, and robust teas, you may like this one. It’s a Yunnan that edges toward an Assam in overall robustness (though with a distinctly Yunnan flavor)

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83

Finishing off my sample of this tea. I enjoy this tea pretty well, but a white tea has to be exceptional for me to really crave it, and this one doesn’t really fit that category. It’s a pretty standard Fuding silver needle, and I do enjoy those a bit more than some others. But this one doesn’t really have the sweet marshmallowyness that they can sometimes get, so it doesn’t really find a place in my cupboard.

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83

Second gongfu session of the day. I ordered a sample of this tea because I really enjoy Verdant’s reserve Fuding white tea, and thought I would check this one out.

I would say that although this one doesn’t really approach the quality of Verdant’s, it’s a decent tea. Not quite sweet, but with allusions to the marshmallow notes I was hoping for. A bit of hay, a tiny floral note. I’m fairly picky about white teas (in that I’m not huge on white teas so one has to be really impressive or unique to win me over), so I’m glad I have just a sample of this one, but it won’t be too hard to finish it.

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74

Ok, after having my gongfu session with this tea today, I can say that I am kind of disappointed in it considering it is supposed to be very high grade.

So first off, the flavor is not very complex or interesting. I look for butteriness, florals, perhaps a hint of fruit, and fresh leafy flavor. The first couple of steeps (post rinse) were kind of bland and almost savory, which is just wrong in an oolong like this IMO. As it progressed I steeped a bit longer and got some florals to peek out, but the savoriness got stronger as well. Then the florals left and there was only spinach soup. When I steeped this western style I thought I had oversteeped it and masked the delicate flavors, but now I see there just weren’t really any delicate flavors to begin with.

Also, I pulled a few leaves out and they were not whole, but rather with raggedy edges and missing ends. No attached leaf-bud pairs, and no intact, non-shredded leaves. Yeah, not the quality I was expecting. Disappointing, but there are plenty of other TGYs in the sea.

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73

Even though I’m not the biggest on yunnan blacks, I ordered a sample of this tea from JK because I do like some (particularly Fengqing, like the black pearls) and I once read someone who drinks a lot of gongfu black tea said it was their favorite black tea. Since I was able to get a sample, I thought I’d give it a try. First trial western steeped, and I’ll do a gongfu session with it at some point.

Well it smells like a yunnan. A bit potatoey, a bit hay-ish. Not quite honeyed, not quite cocoa. The first sips are kind of bitter, but as I drink more the main body of the sip becomes sweeter. The bitterness creeps back in the aftertaste, but it is light. I may try this with less leaf, or less time. The flavor is more like an unrolled black pearl that the steeped tea initially smelled like. This cup is a bit “robust” for me, but otherwise I am relatively pleased with this tea.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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82

This is the only tea that I ordered from JK Tea Shop in larger than a sample size, namely because they didn’t have a sample size option. But I just had to try it, so 50g it is! A black tea made with Jinxuan cultivar? It sounded awesome.

The dry leaf is dark with some golden flecks. It’s not long and wiry, but not quite balled-up either. It smells awesome, like molasses and toasted grains (like molasses-based horse feed if you’ve smelled it… I say that and people think that sounds weird but that stuff actually smells amazing). Anyway, it’s definitely a smell that I enjoy, and one that many of my favorite black teas have.

I decided to do a western steep first, and my default black tea parameters since I’ve never had this type of tea before. The steeped tea smells sweet, a bit honeyed, with some dried apricot notes. It is not unlike some Taiwanese black teas that I have had before, though with a grain undertone. Like some kind of mix between a Taiwanese and Fujian black.

The flavor is sweet and a bit fruity. Definitely reminds me of a Taiwanese black, which I suppose isn’t that surprising considering it’s a jin xuan cultivar, even if it is being grown on the mainland. As it cools there is a hint of bitterness that is creeping out; I’ll have to mess around with the steeping parameters of this. Overall this is pretty nice but not overly special. There is not much to it that would make me choose it over a Taiwanese black.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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88

This tea has become a smash hit in the office, since I brought it there a few days back. Sweet, fruity tea with little to no astringency, and a light body. Couldn’t stand up to milk. A great tea for the price.

Also – I hadn’t noticed, but I’ve been over a year at steepster! Thank you all for being so wonderful. I am so glad that I found this site :)

Cavocorax

Ooh! Congrats!

Sil

Yay for being here for an anniversary!

NofarS

Thank you all, wonderful people!

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74

Another JK Tea sample! I ordered this one because although I am totally satisfied with my TGY options from Teavivre and Verdant, I was curious. JK Tea Shop sells by a grade system from 1A–6A, 6A being the most expensive and high end. My sample has two vacuum-sealed packets, one of which I am using for western-style brewing now and the other I will use for gongfu.

Unsurprisingly, the dry leaf looks and smells lovely. Tight little balls of dark green shot with streaks of light green, smelling fresh, green, and floral. Steeped up, the florals recall lilacs, thick and heady. A slight vegetal note, and a hint of butter underneath.

I do wonder if my leaf to water ratio was too high this time. I feel like the cup is “too packed” with flavor—bordering on too vegetal—to allow the more delicate flavors to come out. For sure it is floral and very nice, but it’s not as buttery and sweet as Teavivre’s. Will be interested to see how this one comes out in gongfu. I also wish I could try their 6A autumn picking… perhaps another time!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Anna

Lilacs! I think this is the first time I come across that in a tasting note.

Dinosara

I get lilacs a lot from very green, very floral tieguanyins. One of my favorite notes in them!

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So! Finally healthy enough that I feel like trying some of my new teas. I ordered from JK Tea Shop around Black Friday because I have wanted to try them for a while, but the package came right before I left to travel for the holidays (much like my ATR order) so I haven’t tried anything from it. I’ve wanted to try JK Tea Shop for a while since they are a direct from China seller, and they offer some unique Chinese teas that you don’t find elsewhere. Fortunately they also sell 15g samples on most of their teas (something a lot of sellers in China do not do!). I ordered a number of black tea samples and a few others.

I am in love with the Tan Yang I brought back from China almost two years ago now (Yong Sheng), but I haven’t found another that I love as much to restock once I run out. There are some other good ones (Teavivre’s, Harney’s golden tips), but none that really replace my Maliandao purchase. I am brewing this one like I have brewed the others in the past as a first run.

The dry leaf is promising. Very golden, and smelling like sweet, rich, molasses-y grains. Steeped, the scent is similar… grainy, a bit sweet, and a bit of raisin or prune notes to it. The flavor is good but not strong enough; however, I think that’s a steeping parameters issue primarily. I will definitely use more tea next time. This one is pretty much different from all the other Tan Yangs I’ve tried so far, perhaps most similar to Harney’s, and somewhat reminiscent of Teavivre’s Bailin Gongfu. Fairly malty, leaving a light sweetness in the aftertaste, though lighter than some others (again this may be a steeping issue, however). Molasses notes, primarily, not quite caramel as in the Yong Sheng. More raisin than apricot. A bit of nuttiness (missing in others besides the Yong Sheng).

This is quite good. As for pricing, this is nearly identical to Teavivre’s (both being nearly half the price of Harney’s); unfortunately I don’t have any of Teavivre’s Tan Yang to try back to back with this one, although I will have to dig out my Yong Sheng soon. This one may be a slightly better match.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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85

Great stuff.
has a warmed milk taste, along with expected toasted malty nutty grain qualities.

best brewed in a cup where it wont clog the teapot and you can eat the grains* with a spoon.

Good non-caffeinated drink for a change.

Tasty and seems to foster a pleasant healthy feeling in the body.

technically its not really a grain.

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78

EDIT: having tried it a few more times, using thermometer to ensure close to 70 celcius I can say that is starting to grow on me. It has a thick, nourishing quality like green food powder supplements.
will try a fresh higher grade matcha next time.

This is my first experience with Matcha.
I was hoping for bright super fresh ‘ultimate green tea’ experience.
however it turned out to taste and feel rather flat. certainly much less fresh and cleansing than just about any quality green tea leaf that I have come across.
perhaps this is due to the fact that I am drinking it approx one year after production, and being powdered, it ages fast.
the color was olive green.

I will probably pass this one as a gift to someone who can get better use from it.

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96

glass pot, 6 grams, approx 150 ml mineral water
90+ degrees 3-5+ sec infusions.
very distinct ginger flower aroma. flavor and aroma are one and the same.
sweet. no dryness or astringency. vaporous quality. highly aromatic and pleasant.

One of my favorites teas by far.

Preparation
Boiling

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96

This tea is pretty amazing. I have been brewing it and tasting it since last night and it has been smooth and delicate the whole time. The flavor has been lasting and it hasn’t been getting bitter or astringent.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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94

My two Gaiwan sets arrived today, and to celebrate I brewed this sample that I got from JK Tea Shop.
The dry leaves are very long, twisted and dark. The brew is lightly golden with a gentle sweet and flower scent. The tea is silky, slightly oily, and coats the tongue and the roof of the mouth with its pleasantness. I steeped it four times, and the second and third steep were the best – the first being rather rough. There’s no astringency or bitterness to this tea, but rather a mild sweetness that is not overwhelming or cloying, but merely a welcome background to the perfumed/orchidy flavour of this tea that lasts long after the tea is gone.
A very good tea to relax with on a friday afternoon, watching the sun set and listening to my cat snoring gently to herself.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec
Asaf Mazar

Thanks for the confirmation on this one. Adding it to shopping cart as I type.

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92

I have been brewing this over two days for possibly up to 10 infusions and it’s still great. Even after these many steepings, it doesn’t have any bitterness or rough edges. I haven’t, however, given it the attention it deserves. Yesterday I started brewing it after eating very spicy food, and today I was eating a lemon lavender cookie with it…But, I’m going to be optimistic and give it a high rating.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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63

This tea is quite sensitive to steep time and water temperature. My first infusion (3 seconds) I enjoyed very much, but on the second infusion I let the leaves steep for 30 seconds, and suddenly the broth was very bitter and all of the delicate sweetness and floral notes had been overpowered. Is it bad, then, that I am still impressed by this tea if for nothing more than the price was right?

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec
Zeks

Yep, I also found Yu Lan pretty unimpressive. Both 2011 and 2012 were just so-so… the others are great though

CharlotteZero

Yeah, I still love JK Tea Shop overall. Too bad shipping is so expensive or I would be ordering again today.

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88

Tried this tea gongfu style for the first time. The wet leaves didn’t smell nice at all, but the tea itself was pretty delicious. The amber liquor was was delicate, slightly astringent, with a smooth body and and a very lightly fruity flavour.

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82

I can’t call this remarkable, but this is certainly a very good black. Just that my favourites are better.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

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88

I bought this as a possible replacement for my golden monkey Ceylon from Fortnum and Mason. This is my first order from JK tea house and it arrived very very very well packed. I doubt that a nuclear bomb could have damaged it :)
The leaves are long, thin and tightly twisted. Their raw smell is slightly sweet. The tea itself (brewed western style w/ boiling water for 2-3 minutes) is very smooth, slightly sweet with no bitter notes and only a slight astringency that rounds it off nicely. A very good tea for the price, even if it is no replacement for my Golden Monkey Tail Ceylon

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 15 sec

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