Here is a review I have been dragging my feet on for weeks. I am finally on the verge of finishing a 25g pouch of these Laoshan jujube leaves with the intent of polishing off the remainder tonight. I know I have made it no secret that I loved the other spring 2017 Yunnan Sourcing wild jujube tea I tried, but oddly, this higher grade jujube tea did not wow me quite as much. It was still a great offering, but it just lacked a little strength, smoothness, and liveliness compared to its lower grade counterpart.

I prepared these jujube leaves gongfu style. After a 10 second rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose jujube leaves in 4 ounces of 185 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased by 20 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, 9 minutes, 12 minutes, 15 minutes, and 20 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry jujube leaves emitted aromas of roasted barley, roasted walnut, toasted cashew, and spinach. After the rinse, I noted new aromas of turnip greens, toasted rice, smoke, and roasted carrot to go along with a slightly amplified spinach scent. The first infusion introduced aromas of cabbage, collard greens, and mushroom. In the mouth, the fairly thick liquor presented notes of smoke, roasted barley, roasted walnut, toasted cashew, turnip greens, and roasted carrot that were framed by hints of cabbage, mushroom, honey, vanilla, and sugarcane. The subsequent infusions introduced aromas of seaweed, butter, vanilla, onion, roasted peanut, and caramel. Toasted rice notes came out in the mouth along with stronger impressions of honey, cabbage, mushroom, sugarcane, and vanilla. I also picked up on very subtle collard green hints and new impressions of minerals, butter, roasted peanut, onion, baked bread, radish, caramel, and umami. Seaweed notes came out subtly on each swallow. By the end of the session, I could still pick up on notes of minerals, spinach, collard greens, butter, vanilla, umami, sugarcane, and roasted carrot that were chased by delicate hints of honey, roasted barley, roasted walnut, seaweed, and turnip greens.

Like the previous Yunnan Sourcing Laoshan jujube tea that I tried, this was a great offering. This, however, was a softer, subtler, and less consistently sweet jujube tea. There was also something of an occasional sharpness to some of its vegetal characteristics that I do not recall getting from the other offering. Still, these are actually fairly minor quibbles as I think fans of wild jujube would be very pleased with this offering. Check it out if you are at all into tisanes.

Flavors: Bread, Butter, Caramel, Carrot, Honey, Mushrooms, Nutty, Peanut, Roasted Barley, Seaweed, Smoke, Spinach, Sugarcane, Toasted Rice, Umami, Vanilla, Vegetal, Walnut

185 °F / 85 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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My grading criteria for tea is as follows:

90-100: Exceptional. I love this stuff. If I can get it, I will drink it pretty much every day.

80-89: Very good. I really like this stuff and wouldn’t mind keeping it around for regular consumption.

70-79: Good. I like this stuff, but may or may not reach for it regularly.

60-69: Solid. I rather like this stuff and think it’s a little bit better-than-average. I’ll drink it with no complaints, but am more likely to reach for something I find more enjoyable than revisit it with regularity.

50-59: Average. I find this stuff to be more or less okay, but it is highly doubtful that I will revisit it in the near future if at all.

40-49: A little below average. I don’t really care for this tea and likely won’t have it again.

39 and lower: Varying degrees of yucky.

Don’t be surprised if my average scores are a bit on the high side because I tend to know what I like and what I dislike and will steer clear of teas I am likely to find unappealing.



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