To date this is the second company who I honestly think sells old tree.
When I heard of Farmleaf’s old trees and single trees, I was skeptical. I picked him brain a bit on facebook and while I could tell he knew some stuff, I was not confident that he had the goods. I ordered a few samples, and the tea spoke for its self.
I have never and Jingmai tea (except once), so I didnt know what to expect. As I flipped through the different bags deciding which bag to start with I noticed a common cranberry note. Off the dry aroma non of them reached for me. None of them smelled bad, no red flags, but none caught my attention. As we know pu er teas dont age linerally, they go up and down, so I chalked this up to them being a lower point. I came across the Jingmai and it smelled lighter and sweeter than the others, a little more flowery, this one was clealy at a better point.
For me the sign of an older tree is the body. Not so much how heavy is it, but how does it feel. Younger trees are a little more liquidy, older trees tend to have a little more viscosity and feel closer to olive oil. Upon first drinking this tea I notice the liquid was thicker which suggested an older tree. The tannins were also more refined which also lended toward old tree.
Flavor wise this tea is subtle. I brew in a gaiwan slightly smaller (100ml) which amps it up a bit but this tea will deffiently put your pallate to the test. Notes of flowers, vanilla, apricot, light honey, minerallity, riesling (yes the wine), with a bit of toastiness were all present.
The throat feel of this tea was the final sign of a good tea. Rich, a little thick and flowing. The tea lost a few points on the aftertaste, it left me a little dry and the toastiness lingers, but there was no other clear flaws.
All in all this is a good tea. It gives out many even steeps, it has a body indicative of an older tree, with a good throat feel. This first looses a few points on flavor. The flavor isn’t bad but it could be more confident. The aftertaste I think is the only noticeable flaw, its a small detail but good tea should leave you with a good taste in your mouth after, even basic teas do that. The flaws are very small, and by no means take away from the tea as a whole. This is deffiently a good tea and recomended to anyone trying to get a taste for the effects of age on a the tea.
Flavors: Apricot, Berry, Honey, Mineral, Vanilla, White Wine