JK Tea Shop
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Recent Tasting Notes
Probably a bit too subtle for me…
Looks like a cross between Da Wu Ye and sweeter Dancongs but neither sweetness not floral bitterness are very bright. The liquid is also a very slight yellow color.
Certainly not something I’d want to have on my shelf in any meaningful quantities. Dancongs are a big hit or a big miss for me it seems. Either I love then, or I couldn’t care.
Even more fragrant than Imperial Grade of Mi Lan. Its fragrance is more flowery than sweet though.
The tea itself is of color of liquid honey and is a rather pleasantly sweet. I imagine it can be steeped for longer time than Imperial as it has no bitterness at all.
Strangely enough – I like lower grade better :) This is of course a great tea, but Imperial grade’s taste is rather unique and quite a lot more interesting.
I can’t set steeping time lower than 15 sec so I mark it here :
this tea requires VERY short steeping time of probably 1-3 seconds for an infusion
Ahhhhh…. The aroma of the dry leaves of this tea is truly heavenly. Thick, overpowering scent of honey that won’t even let you brew it for a minute or so because you just can’t stop enjoying it :)
I am always amazed at how unflavored, unblended dancong tea can smell so good and this one is truly a pinnacle of this quality. Even last year’s Huang Zhi Xiang from the same company pales in comparison.
The taste is really heavy and bitter with sweet hints so very short steepings of a few seconds are advisable (bitterness isn’t overpowering then). I’d say this tea is much like wine – it’s bitterness is mature and isn’t offputting at all if you just remember to pour it out almost immediately. The advice stands even for later infusions – i am currently at 5th and 2 seconds still produce very strong flavor.
A subtle, elegant black. Refined flavor. My favorite thing about this tea is the flash of orchid-like aroma that arises, seemingly out of nowhere, a few seconds after taking a sip.
Even when brewed strong, it does not get too black or weight the palate down with heavy taste.
Excellent price for the quality.
It is really amazing how different can this yunnan be between when bitterness kicks in and before it. Its almost like 20 more seconds of steeping change the tea to a different variety. Cant say I don’t like it when steeped for a longer time, but short steepings is where this one truly shines. Definitely not the one for western brewing.
(This tea was generously provided to be by JK Tea Shop due to postal issues that were out of companies hands. Big thank you to the whole JK Tea Shop Team!)
Dry Leaf: I get a nice smooth roasted or toasted grain like aroma or even a caramel type of aroma.
Wet Leaf: I get a heavy roasted like charcoal type of aroma but there is a slight fruit type of aroma the opens up some sweetness. But, the roasted charcoal aroma is the main player in the aroma.
Liquor: Golden yellow brown type of color.
Taste: I get a smooth roasted flavor like peanut and oats with a charcoal flavor over it. There is a fruit type of flavor that adds the sweetness to this tea and I even get a light kiss of floral in this tea. The broth of this tea has a nice thickness feel in the mouth.
Vessel: 100 ml gaiwan (3 oz) and used 5 grams of leaf.
Overall Opinion: I give this a 89 my way of scoring. This was a enjoyable tea and maybe one to try for the people who are lighter Tie Guan Yin tea drinkers and want to transition over to roasted.
(This tea was generously provided to me by JK Tea Shop due to terrible postal issues that was out of their hands. Big thank you to the whole JK Tea Shop Team.)
Dry Leaf: I get a mellow roasted aroma along with a sweetness that I almost want to associate it to some kind of fruit. This tea has a fresh aroma to it also.
Wet Leaf: I get a fresh orchid like aroma with almost like a fruit aroma that show some sweetness to this tea.
Liquor: I got a yellowish green type of color.
Taste: This tea is smooth with a roasted orchid like flavor with some sweetness again I want to say some kind of fruit. There is some astringency I pick up with this tea. I also notice the way this tea feels in your mouth for me it sits more on front of your mouth and gives that more dry feeling in your mouth.
Vessel/Leaf: I used a 100 ml ( 3 oz.) gaiwan and used 5 grams of tea.
Overall Opinion: I give this tea a solid 88 from the way I score. This is a very serviceable tea. One thing I would like to add about this tea shop is they offer the same tea with different grades which allows you the tea connoisseur to expand your palate with being able to compare taste, texture, the body of the tea and it’s smoothness and how the tea builds it sweetness in your mouth. One tip to everyone grade does matter as a whole in the overall experience you have.
After trying Laoshan Northern Black(Verdant), Yunnan Golden Buds(Verdant) and Bailin Gongfu(Teavivre) I can safely say that this tea is THE best yunnan black for me :) I didn’t really find Bailin that special, Yunnan Golden Buds were OK, but their most interesting note is emphasized hundredfold in Imperial Breakfast(Verdant) which is is waaaaay better that pure Golden Buds and while I enjoyed the background of Northern Black immensely it’s an occasional tea, while Fenqing 58’s sweet notes and general profile make it a perfect everyday tea.
Even though I have a lot from Verdant to try, I just couldn’t resist tasting YGB’s honey undertone once again. As a result, I unpacked smaller of the two bags with it I received recently :)
UPD : This tea really starts to shine on its second steeping and after it has cooled quite a bit. Have in mind.
Currently this tea is seriously underrated so I had to write a review as this is my favorite tea.
This tea does not contain buds like almost any other tea. It is picked one leaf at a time, which makes this tea special in many ways. It’s appearance (very fresh light to dark green) looks fabulous, smell is brilliant and the taste is top notch. The taste is fresh, complex, floral and sweet without any bitterness. It not grassy at all like some teas and it is not blunt either. The taste is very enjoyable and I could drink this anytime of the day.
In my opinion this is superior to Longjing (Dragon Well) tea. This tea is also baked but not as much as Longjing. Additionally Liu An Gua Pian tea leafs are much bigger and round when brewed. For my taste Longjing has some bitterness that I cannot taste in Liu An Gua Pian and also more floral taste which adds to complexity.
Let’s not forgot that this tea is produced very traditionally which makes it rather unique. I like the fact that this is a very honest tea from hard working farmers. I respect their effort to make this special tea.
The only downside might be the price. This is quite expensive tea after all. However if you count the fact that this tea is very pure as it only contains leafs without buds which add weight and has negative effect on the taste, this tea seems well worth the price. It’s always a joy to brew this tea and everyone should try it. I cannot think of any reason why most people would not like this tea. Liu An Gua Pian is the very best of green teas. I plan to order much bigger quantity next time so that I can enjoy this more often.
I came across JK teashop through a google search (I was looking for a tea presentation vessel in pure white). Browsing through their website I noticed their seven A’s grade Tie Guan Yin (the highest grade they have) it sounded ridiculous but I added a sample to my order. Anyways, This tea was truly an experience.
>Dry Leaf Appearance/Aroma
Tightly curled dark jade leaves, they feel hard and not very fragile. Aroma is subtle but very noticeable from a short distance, fresh floral scent.
Following JK teashop’s directions using freshly boiled water, 10-20 sec steep time, and a Yixing teapot. Brewed for 7 consecutive infusions.
First cups had a clear pale yellow green, later ones became bright golden green.
My first cup had an amazing floral aroma. Orchid-like and sugary sweet.
The tea itself was very fresh, incredibly floral, subtly sweet, and light bodied. What impressed me most about this tea, was its intense aftertaste. After a few sips, you could feel a lingering floral freshness engulfing your mouth and throat. A sensation very similar to that of having a mint, but instead of minty flavor, you get a very fresh orchid-like breath. Very impressive and unlike anything I’ve had before.
My second cup was almost exactly the same to the first with just a stronger floral aroma.
My third cup became slightly thicker in texture but not by much (barely noticeable if drinking in small sips). Aroma, taste, and aftertaste remained just as intense as the first cup.
In my 4th cup, I noticed a slight loss of aroma, lighter taste and not as floral, but still really good. After the 4th cup I increased brew time from 10-15 sec to 20 sec.
I was wowed in my 5th cup. Aroma was fainter, but the taste became bolder. Sweet fresh floral taste with a thicker texture than previous cups, almost creamy but not quite there. Very tasty.
6th and 7th cup began to have a slight green taste. Aroma was barely noticeable on the 6th and completely gone by the 7th. Taste became fainter but still very good, thicker and subtly sweet. I ended the tasting on the 7th cup not because of loss of flavor, its just too much tea for me in one sitting (aroma was completely gone, but taste-wise this tea still had more to offer).
>Wet Leaf Appearance
Mix of broken and unbroken leaves, some were very well preserved, others were just in pieces. Leaves were about medium sized. Very few stems.
This tea was so close to perfection! The floral aroma, the orchid sweet taste, the aftertaste! They were one of the most intense I’ve had. The only thing that kept this tea from being absolute perfect, was that it lacked that buttery/creamy texture that gives the taste a richer flavor. For example, Verdant’s 2012 Hand Picked TGY has a more well rounded “package” having a nice balance of aroma, taste, texture, and aftertaste. This one excelled in the aroma and aftertaste (as of today the best in those categories, but I still got a long way to go) taste was very good but lacking in texture. Still, this was a very enjoyable experience, definitely a must try if you prefer your Tie Guan Yins on the more aromatic side.
Overall, Great tea, AMAZING aftertaste and aroma, and very affordable (under $10 an ounce, bad thing is, they only sell either a 15g sample or 100g(3.52 oz) pack for about $34).
I will definitely order more of this tea whenever I clear up my TGY cache.
*I still have enough tea left for another session. I will try using longer steep times next to see if I can get the thicker texture on the first cups and update on my findings.
I have been in love with Da Hong Pao ever since the first time I tried it. It is always on my restock list(along with 58 Fengqing) and is the third most consumed tea in my house :)
Da Hong Pao probably has the sharpest taste of the teas I drink, other ones being rather smooth. The smokines of roasted leaves, imo, is a perfect complement to natural tea taste and it is the balance of smokines vs original tea taste that really differs one type of this tea from another. This one is a “standard” quality I usually buy. It is the second cheapest at JK Tea Shop at the moment but that does not mean the tea is not so good, quite on the contrary.
This first two-three infusions of this tea have almost overpowering roastiness to them(which I quite enjoy) , but not too much so. Then it gradually fades to reveal the taste of the tea itself. I usually infuse this particular type 6-8 times but my favourite cups are the first and the second with their strong smoky taste which is what really makes Da Hong Pao tea stand out from all of the others.
Overall : While not the best DHP I have tried the quality is rather good and it is a perfect “every other day” tea to me :)
This is my most favourite tea from JK Tea shop to date. It is kinda similar to “black tea” bags you can get in every other shop except its taste is 10 times smoother and on a level of itself. This tea has a nice rich aroma and honey-like taste notes that can be felt for the first few steeps. Really marvellous.
P.S. It is really strong, only requiring 35-40 seconds for first steeping and maybe +5-7 seconds for the next ones. Be careful not to oversteep :)
As I’ve mentioned before, I am trying to reorganize my tea stash, and I’ve managed to uncover some teas that I’d forgotten I’d purchased. This is a tea I had purchased in 2010, but it remained sealed until this very night, so, it still tastes remarkably fresh given its age.
It is a very interesting tea, very light in taste, but it has a background that is much denser in flavor than the foreground. It almost starts off like water, but then the flavors develop on the palate. Sweet, earthy and unlike any white tea I’ve tasted before this. It tastes more like a weak black tea than it does a white tea.
Very interesting, and very enjoyable. It tempts me to watch the JK Tea Shop website for the 2012 harvest (although they are still offering the 2011 harvest on their site) to see how it compares.
The last two times I tried this, I ended up with a “punch you in the face” jasmine flavor since I always overestimate how much tea to use with pearl-type teas. This time was a lot better though. This is definitely not a jasmine tea if for someone that only kind of likes jasmine. Very floral. It’s also a bit finicky — it’s really good if you hit that sweet spot of time/temp and then it tastes lovely and light and sweet. Anything at all out of that range brings out the bitterness.