This was another June sipdown. I’ll eventually get through all of them. I know I had initially intended to drink and review this tea back in May, but I took a little extra time with a few other teas and then took an extended break from reviewing, so I did not get around to drinking this tea until June, and now I’m finally getting around to reviewing it. Like most of the other Jin Jun Mei carried by Yunnan Sourcing, this one was rock solid if not truly exceptional.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 194 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased by 15 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, and 5 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea buds emitted aromas of baked bread, malt, sweet potato, pine, cinnamon, and cedar. After the rinse, I detected new aromas of dark chocolate, sugarcane, honey, and roasted peanut. The first infusion introduced aromas of vanilla and cream along with a subtle banana scent. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of baked bread, malt, cream, cinnamon, honey, pine, sweet potato, and dark chocolate that were balanced by hints of smoke, sugarcane, lemon zest, brown toast, and earth. The subsequent infusions introduced aromas of minerals, moss, earth, grass, toast, and orange zest, though I also caught some very subtle green olive scents as well. Stronger and more immediate impressions of earth, brown toast, sugarcane, and lemon zest appeared in the mouth alongside belatedly emerging notes of roasted peanut, vanilla, and cedar and fleeting hints of banana. I also noted impressions of minerals, grass, ginger, moss, and orange zest that were accompanied by hints of leather and green olive. As the tea faded, the liquor emphasized notes of minerals, malt, cream, brown toast, baked bread, and earth that were backed by hints of sugarcane, vanilla, grass, pine, lemon zest, roasted peanut, and dark chocolate.

This was a very nice and very drinkable Jin Jun Mei, but it peaked quickly and faded even more quickly. I really had to push myself to get the number of infusions out of it that I did. As a fan of relatively lengthy gongfu sessions, I found that disappointing, but I also appreciated this tea’s approachability and the fact that it offered some aromas and flavors that I do not normally get out of Jin Jun Mei. Overall, this one was a mixed bag, but I found much more to appreciate than to fault.

Flavors: Baked Bread, banana, Brown Toast, Cedar, Cinnamon, Cream, Dark Chocolate, Earth, Ginger, Grass, Honey, Leather, Lemon Zest, Malt, Mineral, Moss, Olives, Orange Zest, Peanut, Pine, Smoke, Sugarcane, Sweet Potatoes, Vanilla

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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