I’m glad I bought some samples before this one sold out. The leaf alone is beautiful-the dry leaves being green and black, with white furry tipped leaves too. They smelled lightly fruity and creamy.
I decided to dump the 5 gram sample in my glass press as noted below. The cup color reminded me more of an oolong, and the aroma was fruity, milky, and creamy. As my cup cooled, I inhaled the wet leaves. WOW! They smelled very lightly smokey, but there is more of a deep toasty note-like roasted marshmallows….perhaps…but not that intense. Also noted was a fruity, cantaloupe note somewhere in the mix. The colors of the wet leaves intesified, with brighter green, white, and black leaves (with black stems). The cup can only be described as smooth, creamy, and delicious! It also had a milky texture to it, and a sweet, lightly fruity quality.
My second cup was steeped for one minute, at around 190 degrees. The wet leaf aroma was similarly noted, but seemed more toasty and fruity. The cup was slightly darker, and was slightly more fruity and creamy-so smooth. :))
I tried a third cup with boiling water for 3 minutes. A dissipating, toasty aroma still greeted my nose from my glass press. The cup was darker still, but lacking in aroma and flavor. I did notice light green tea flavors with little else. All three cups were smooth and without bitterness.
Today I drank another sample vowing two steeps. I used half the sample and steeped at 180 for three minutes. The wet leaves were very lightly smokey, but with a deeper toasty aroma I noted the night before. The fruity, melon note was secondary, but deeper as well. As I was looking at the bright colors of the wet leaves, it reminded me how when I look at a beautiful woman, she is beautiful! Her hair shimmering in the sunlight. When the same beautiful woman is wet-say in a pool, or on the beach, her beauty (hair and body) only intensifies, as the water reacts to the sunlight, reflecting her beauty even more! So does the light intensify the beauty of the wet tea leaves. :))
The cup is a deeper oolong color, with deeper creamy sweetness in the cup. Flavors follow in toe-so fruity creamy, milky smooth, and delectable. My last cup (190-200 for 3 minutes), was the best of the five. I added the rest of the dry leaves to the wet ones. The only thing I can add is that the sweetnees coming from the cup was so sugary sweet, and the fruit notes were strongest as well.
Golden Jade is a great tea. Not a WOWZAA, in your face, aromatic, palate pounding delight. This tea is still quite delicious! Like the beautiful lady coming out of the water on a bright, sunlit day—she may be a WOWZAA; but, once you get to know her, her real beauty lies in her many layers-diversity, sweetness and subtlety.
Cupped: Thursday & Friday, May 10-11, 2012.
Reviewed: Friday, May 11, 2012.