Chewing on a couple dry strands reveals a dusty (sawdust like) crunchy, mellow taste with the slightest hint of bitterness. The cup that follows is similar in taste. This batch had many more golden buds and was much more dusty than my order last March. I’m guessing it was taken from the bottom of the bin while my previous order was probably from the top. I’ve been out of this tea for a couple weeks and the first sip is like sitting down with an old friend. The cup is mellow and smooth with a nice chocolaty flavor that resides on the pallet for some time afterwards. Brewing the cup for 4 min 15 seconds is my preferred length of time. It results in a chocolaty and malty cup with a texture that coats the tongue. I find 4 minutes results in a slight numbing of the tongue (not unlike a sip of coca tea) which steadily fades. That numbness as well as a hint of dried apples is overpowered by a chocolaty, almost coffee like flavor when steeped for 4 min 30 seconds or more. The longer steep also results in a hint of bitterness that isn’t present when steeped for a shorter amount of time. The tea feels strong in both caffeine and theanine. This along with Silk’s White Peony I prefer to keep continuously stocked. These two along with Mi Xian Black and Caramel Assam by Butiki are by far the best teas to dance with these taste receptors. My first order of a few pounds came with a free gaiwan and a few tasting cups. This act of kindness has resulted in me becoming a life-long customer. With a tea like GM (Jin Hou) it makes that easy. By far, one of the best teas from Silk I’ve had the pleasure of tasting and one I could easily drink for life.
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 15 sec