Thanks to Teavivre for this sample!
I’m really liking this one. The dry leaves are so consistent in color, size, and shape, it really leaves a great first impression. They actually remind me a lot of a gunpowder green tea, just lighter in color and a bit larger on average. The leaves smell very clean and fragrant, of dried fruits, flowers, and grasses.
I also get a great deal of complexity from this one. It starts off pretty common, with flavors of florals, grass, and a tiny bit of a milky taste. Yet it develops a great number of nuances including parsley, kelp, grass, cream, and vegetal flavors. The flavor is lingering and “blossoms” over the tongue and through the mouth with each sip. The milk tastes become stronger throughout steeps and with later flavors of vanilla bean, artichoke, asparagus, and green beans, this tea really becomes quite savory. The mouthfeel began like the smooth, creamy, and thick goodness I was expecting, but really faded into the eighth steep, becoming more drying and “woolly.” However, the balance and interesting flavors remained through to the final steep, unlike the other Jin Xuan I have had previously, even becoming earthy with notes of tapioca in the twelfth steep.
The liquor’s aroma has a very subtle aroma, and is difficult to detect in the first steeps. The appearance is a light, but vibrant yellow-green. The wet leaves were also in great shape. It was quite a hodge podge of shapes and sizes, but their were few, if any, loose stems and the coloration was a healthy deep forest green. They were, however, quite thin and fragile, tearing easily. The aroma was of pungent greens, spinach, green beans, and maybe a little kelp. This tea really had that cross between a tieguanyin and a gyokuro that I had noticed in the last Jin Xuan I had.
Overall, a very nice tea that I’ll be drinking slowly.