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Recent Tasting Notes
The aroma has elements of cedar, peat, and dry grass. The taste is very slightly of honey and flowers, somewhat like chamomile but is mostly masked by the signature aged taste of puer, woody, a bit peppery and smokey, there’s a slight aftertaste of five spice. and lingering peppery quality. There’s also a bit of green bean in there somewhere. It’s slightly astringent. I’d call it more of an intense puer than a mellow one.
Flavors: Flowers, Green Beans, Honey, Peat, Pepper, Spices, Wood
I’ve been drinking green and herbal teas for weeks. I feel like I need a break and a good ol’ cozy Chinese black tea. Plus, it’s been chilly, overcast, and rainy here over the past couple days and it will be like that tomorrow. I don’t mind cold but where is the sun? :(
So I broke out Yezi’s Jin Jun Mei. Hands-down, one of my favorite Chinese blacks. The leaves are tiny, slightly twisty, hairy, and a mix of brown and tan (cute little things). I brewed them in Verdant’s test tube steeper, a perfect instrument to become acquainted with a tea’s nose and to smell this one’s wet leaf aroma, which so much like fudge brownies. The liquor is golden, fuzzy, silky, full-bodied, and flavorful; and is full of malt, chocolate, and honey goodness. Overall feel is a hug.
Backlog. Received in a swap with KiwiDelight!
It’s been a little while since I had this one, so I’ve only got my notes to go by.
This was my first Jin Jun Mei. It was light, woodsy, and a little drying on the tongue. Floral and grape-y like a Darjeeling. There was a malty feeling left in my mouth after swallowing. Hints of olive oil…and a little sweetness. A very pleasant, quiet and mellow tea! Enjoyable but not something I’ll likely be reaching for in the future. (: Still good.
Flavors: Chocolate, Floral, Grapes, Malt, Orchid, Sweet, Wood
120ml Yixing pot
Steeping times: 5s rinse, 45s, 55s, 70s, 85s, 100s, 115s*, 175s, 205s*, 265s
First steep: Perfumey taste, light greenish yellow liquid. The leaves opened up a lot already!
Second steep: Lighter perfume taste. The leaves have now fully overtaken the yixing pot.
Third steep: Still perfume, with a bit of a bitter aftertaste that I’ve noticed with oolongs.
Fourth steep: The perfume flavor is beginning to lighten up a bit and the bitterness has magically vanished.
Fifth steep: Sooo much flavor still left in this! I’m definitely gonna push it past the recommended 6 steepings :)
Sixth steep*: Wooow and just like that almost no flavor. My fault though, I should have known to add more time than 15 seconds for the 6th steep
Seventh Steep: Ahh, yes and extra minute did the trick. The flavor is back! Noticing more sweetness this time around :)
Eight steep: Wow, very noticeably sweet this time! Except I added extra water to bring down the sweetness and ruined the cup :(
Ninth steep*: I can’t believe they seriously suggest only 5-6 steeps. What a crime! This steep has come back down almost the 6th steep level so I’m gonna bump up the next steeping time for one final hurrah.
Tenth Steep: The perfume flavor is mostly gone now and has been replaced by a sweet taste :)
*increase steeping time next time around for better flavor
Here is photo of that last steep: http://instagram.com/p/pEoGQvguIu/
Well, all good things must come to an end. This was probably the best oolong I’ve tasted. You can tell that it’s very high quality. For the record, I’m sure I could have gotten another few steepings out of this! This was just a 5g sample, but I think I may buy a few ounce someday :)
Flavors: Bitter, Perfume, Sweet
This is my second steep for these leaves. I lowered the time from 4 to 3 minutes and then added another 30 seconds since it’s the second steep. The brew smells very green and floral and still has a touch of peach fragrance. The tea has a mild to medium vegetal taste with a lot of floral flavor still. The peach is still there, but it has devolved into more of a vague sweet fruitiness that I wouldn’t have identified as peach if I hadn’t tried the first brew. The floral in this cup lingers on the back of the tongue for quite some time after a sip. There is also a faint bitterness at the end that is not entirely unpleasant. Overall, still a very tasty tea! :)
This is my third and final free sample from Yezi Tea, and it is also my first ever straight oolong. The dry leaves had a surprisingly strong peach smell, which made me very excited to try this tea. Since the packet did not include brewing directions, I looked around on various websites and found a lot of conflicting instructions. XD
I ended up brewing it for 4 minutes, which I think may have been just a little too long. Next time I would go for about 3 or so. The brew has a very strong floral smell with just a touch of fruitiness. The tea itself also tastes very floral (a little bit too floral for me, but I attribute this to the overbrewing) and there is also a very noticeable peach flavor, which I love. The tea itself tastes like a strong green tea to me, but it was a little bit bitter since I let it brew too long. I added a very small amount of sugar to help bring out that yummy peach flavor.
Overall, I really enjoyed this tea, and I feel I will love it when I steep it again for a shorter duration (I will most likely try 3 minutes). I will most likely give it a rating after trying it a few more times. I really appreciate the opportunity to try some awesome teas for free. Thanks, Yezi Tea! :D
Flavors: Floral, Peach, Vegetal
Origin: He Huan Shan, Taiwan.
Thank u to Yezi Tea for this sample with purchase!!!
Dry Leaf: Tiny, tightly rolled green pellets with a mineral scent.
Method: 3.38 oz ceramic gong fu pot, 200F, 1 tsp tea
Wet Leaf: 2 fairly large leaves on a stem, very spinach green colored. Light floral with candy Sweet Tart scent.
Liquor: Light champagne – spring green color. Very light scent—not too floral, more of a light Sweet Tarts scent like the wet leaves.
Flavor: Thick mouthfeel. Not overly floral or creamy, very subtle. There are flowers, butter, spring peas and a nice balance. Not bitter or astringent at all but it is recommended to drink this tea after meals and I drank it 3 hours after a meal and did get a mild stomach upset (very very mild though) so one should heed this advice bc it’s pretty green.
Flavors: Butter, Candy, Flowers, Garden Peas
I must say, I am very impressed with this tea. This is my third steeping and I can’t believe the jasmine flavor is still there! It has definitely become milder with each time, but I think I may actually like this brew the best. I can taste more of the green tea and it’s becoming a little less mellow, which is a good thing in my book. Starting to get more vegetal and hay notes too. Delicious with just a small amount of sugar! Big thanks to Yezi Tea for giving me the chance to try this tea for free. :)
Trying the second steeping of this one now. It tastes surprisingly similar to the first, although the green tea taste is somewhat stronger (a welcome change in my opinion). I unfortunately overdid it a tiny bit on the sugar, so I think the jasmine flavor is coming through more than it otherwise would have. I steeped this in the same manner as the first time but added another 30 seconds to the time. Tasty! :D
This is the second tea that I got as a free sample from Yezi Tea (yay free samples!). The smell of the dry leaf is amazing, floral and sweet. Let me just say, I am rather confused as to what exactly is meant when the word “teaspoon” is used in tea jargon. Does it mean a teaspoon measuring spoon or a teaspoon as in a flatware teaspoon…? If anyone could help me out on this with a comment, I would appreciate it. So when I brewed this tea, I basically said “screw it” and used the whole five gram sample. Since this is a fairly dense tea, I would say it would have been a slightly heaping flatware teaspoon.
That being said, I thought the strength of the brew was perfect. The jasmine aroma and flavor is quite strong, but I could still taste the delicate green tea flavor underneath. I’m not sure what type of green tea it is or whether jasmine pearls count as their own type. Either way, I really enjoyed its flavor – slightly sweet and light with no bitterness and very little astringency. I took it with a very small amount of sugar.
Thanks, Yezi Tea, for the free loot!
Flavors: Jasmine, Sweet
My last cup of this, aww… My sample from Yezi was big enough for two cups since this is such a fluffball tea. Since I think I neglected to say last time, the dry leaf is amazingly creamy smelling with notes of honey and sweet hay. I can’t wait to to try a creamy flavored bai mudan (I’m looking at you, Cantaloupe & Cream!). This time I elected to add a little more than half a teaspoon of honey because I felt it would go beautifully. And it did! Om nom nom. Creamy and hay-like with just a touch of honey taste on the back of the tongue. So far, white tea kind of reminds me of a milder version of honeybush.
It’s amazing how the flavor of this tea gains depth with each steeping. This is my third time around and I have enjoyed it each time. This brew has a strong and very deep straw flavor with just a touch of sweetness. There is still a hint of floral in the aftertaste. Thanks again to Yezi Tea for the free sample of this tasty tea!
Trying a second steeping of this tea now. I elected to increase the time by 30 seconds just to see how it came out. This time, the fresh hay flavor that I experienced in my first try has deepened to a more straw-like flavor, more roasty and rich tasting. The mild sweetness is still there. Overall, I enjoyed this one just as much as the first, and it’s interesting to see how the taste changes between steepings.
This is my first ever white tea. I’ve always been drawn to the descriptors used to talk about it – delicate, flowery, sweet (to be honest, I feel the same way about Pinot Grigio and yet I haven’t found one I’ve liked). So when I found that Yezi Tea was offering three free samples of my choice, I knew that this would be one of them.
The first thing I noticed about this tea is how large and lightweight the leaves are – I got about three times as much tea by volume for the same weight as my other two teas (an oolong and jasmine pearls). The small sample packet did not include brewing instructions, so I poked around on various tea sellers’ sites and found a good brewing recommendation.
When I first tasted the brew, I knew I liked it but was unsure how to go about describing the taste. There was a touch of floral and a subtle sweetness (which I accented by adding the teensiest amount of sugar), but the main flavor eluded me. I decided to poke around and see what other Steepsters had to say about Bai Mu Dan in general, and then I found exactly the descriptor I was looking for: hay. The smells and tastes chiefly of fresh hay (not the nasty rotting-in-a-pile-in-the-corner kind!). This is not necessarily a flavor profile I have encountered before, and I find it very warming and comforting, which surprises me considering this is such a light tea.
Overall, I don’t feel qualified to give this tea a numerical rating, considering I have nothing to compare it to, but I do enjoy it immensely and I can’t wait to try other varieties and sellers to see the difference. And now I REALLY can’t wait to try that Butiki Cantaloupe & Cream blend that I’ve been eyeing!
Flavors: Floral, Hay, Sweet
steeping times: 5s rinse, 30s, 45s, 40s, 50s
Meh. I tried everything I could to pull some flavor out of this tea, but it was far too light for my tastes. I even tried using less water AND increasing the steeping time simultaneously. Still nothing. Kinda vegetal with a hint of floral aftertaste, but other than that not much taste to this cup of tea.
Flavors: Flowers, Vegetables
Good (early) morning Steepster. I’ve been a little overwhelmed with work so haven’t been around much. I’ve been drinking tea but not writing much about it. This was a sample I got when I discovered Yezi’s sample promotion (3 free samples if you pay $2.95 shipping!). I went in search of their Jin Jun Mei, and I got it, this one and their Jin Pin.
I don’t get the smoke Yezi mentions for this tea, but I do get a little tobacco bite at the back end of the sip. This won’t be a morning tea for me, but is perfect for the afternoon. What comes through the most for me is sweet harmony. Like the Everly Brothers (and RIP Phil): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTYe9eDqxe8
Thank you Sil for the opportunity to try this tea. It is one I was really interested in after Jin Pin inspired me to explore Yezi’s site and try new blacks. Compared to Jin Pin, this is a much more smooth and mild tea. There is only a hint of malt but there is a fair bit of nice bready notes and honey. The sip ends with a touch of astringency but not enough to detract from the drinking experience. I am liking it a lot and I am happy I have more but in the future, I think I would prefer to order more of Jin Pin than get smaller amounts of both.
Yunnan Jin Kong Que (Golden Peacock)
Origin: Yunnan Province
Dry Leaf: Scents of sweet tobacco, dried plum, dried apple. Leaves are tiny twisted brown and gold threads within the compressed cake.
Method: 4 oz porcelain Gong Fu pot
2 tsp tea – 4oz H20
200F 30” rinse/45”/45”
Wet Leaf: The small twists have unfurled a bit and are dark brown with scents of prune, wood, and sweet tobacco.
Liquor: beautiful deep plum, scents of the wood and prune
Flavor: Wood, smooth, sweet prune, no bitter, rich, subtle vanilla in the finish.
Definitely taste after a meal because it is heavy on the stomach.
Thank you to Yezi Tea for this sample with purchase!!
Flavors: Apple, Plums, Tobacco, Vanilla, Wood
Got this sample with a Yezi purchase,,thanks!!!!
From Jian’ou Co.; Fujian Province, China.
Dry leaf has the distinctive chopped-looking grey-green leaves with scents of cream.
Wet leaf turns greener than other white peony I have had. I guess this is the high grade quality!!! It has scents of wheat & oat.
Liquor is a light golden pearl, scents of cream and honey.
Flavor is light subtle cream, honey, fresh & clean. Really excellent Bai Mu Dan!!!!!
Flavors: Cream, Honey
Finished the last of my Golden Peacock (aka 2010 Jin Kong Que)… In honor of World Goth Day, my SO and I are sporting some of our goth gear (my military hat with the Skinny Puppy logo and his favorite Tripp NYC pants) while having tea by candlelight and playing Tomb Raider.
Pu-erh shu and yancha, to me, seem like the most goth teas out of all the tea types. They are dark, mysterious, beautiful. And they are mostly misunderstood and under appreciated by many tea drinkers.
I absolutely love this tea. It has such a creamy mouth-feel and is so incredibly smooth. The notes remind me so much of winter honey from Kona. I think I got about ten infusions or so out of it. I definitely need to order more.
I originally had the review for this tea under Yezi’s Jin Jun Mei, which is obviously incorrect. I am putting it in its proper place, as well as making an update.
Round 1: This tea has a lovely malty flavor. I wish I could pick out some additional aromas or flavors, but alas, I cannot.
I steeped this at 205 degrees for 5 minutes. I also did a 2nd steeping for 6 min. I wish this tea was a little sweeter, but it was good. The second steeping had less maltiness and tasted more like plain tea.
Next time, I may add a teensy bit of sugar, just to see how that goes.
Round 2: I brewed 1 tsp in 3 oz of 202 degree water using very short steepings. The first was 30 then another 30, then 40.
I could barely smell or taste the maltiness from the first round. Instead, the tea smelled more grassy, and I was also picking up the scent of popcorn.
The flavor was good, but I actually preferred the stronger malty flavors from the first round.
Origin: Yunnan Province, China
Dry Leaf- scents of pears and dried apples, tiny bit of wood
203F 2 tsp – 4 oz h2o
30” – rinse
30” liquor smells woody, sweet, vegetarian prune brownie. Taste is creamy, silky, smooth, sweet and woody notes.
45” as leaves loosen more, liquor is a darker burnt sienna color. Notes of wood but not harsh, smooth. Sweet prune bread, just prune,,no sugar.
. 30” leaves loose now,,the woodiness is turning into notes of espresso.
45” delicious and the feeling is cleansing and rejuvinating!!! Far Out!!
1 minute – I can drink no more tea but this last steeping is a light espresso note with subtle sweetness. There are some essences of dried fruit as well.
Thank u to Yezi Tea for this sample with purchase!!
Flavors: Cream, Stewed Fruits, Wood