So recently I decided to treat myself a get a few new Gaiwans from Camellia Sinensis, as well as some other teaware from both Bitterleaf and Teaware House. I’ve bought a lot of Western style teaware this year from DAVIDsTEA but not a lot of traditional stuff for Gong Fu, and I think getting some shiny new pieces could really help me get back into Gong Fu brewing on a more regular basis…
Along with my two Gaiwans, CS also sent along a sample of this tea! Jin Die is completely new to me altogether, so I thought it’d be something nice to explore today. Besides, it’s almost as if CS is going “New Gaiwan? Break it in with this tea”. I can’t argue with that, right? So here are my stream of consciousness notes from the session:
Dry aroma of the leave is very sweet; coming off as notes of caramel/cocoa and lots of fruity undertones. Stonefruit in particular, but orange/fresh citrus too. Really inviting and aromatic! Leaf if visually stunning as well; very golden, and delightfully pretty little curls.
Steep 1/Five Seconds:
- Really sweet right off the bat!
- Top notes of caramel/malt/sweet potato
- Body and finish are fruitier: strong orange notes, hints of stonefruit in a generic way
- Actually almost a candied orange peel kind of flavour?
- Orange zest/candied orange lingers well after the swallow
Steep 2/Seven Seconds:
- Aroma of the dry leaf is INSANE! Very sweet, fragrant with tons of citrus/orange
- Top notes still largely malt dominated
- Also notes of sweet rolls, honey, caramel, sweet potato
- Body is SUPER fruit heavy: a mix of full bodied orange, raisin, dates
- Also Grand Marnier liquor (which I know is orange too, but still…)
Steep 3/Ten Seconds
- I’ve started snacking on plain, unsalted/flavoured pecans in between infusions
- This adds a different sort of sweetness to the top of the sips; pleasantly nutty addition
- And almost a “maple” quality
- LOTS of malt to the top of this infusion, sort of ‘spilling’ out into the body too
- Less of the honey/caramel sweetness of the first two infusions
- Body of the sip is equal parts malt/raisin/stonefruit
- And then TONS of orange that coats the whole surface of my mouth
- And lingers for such a beautifully long time
Steep 4/Fifteen Seconds
- A little bit tannic at the start of the sip
- This small degree of bite/astringency is the first I’ve experienced thus far
- Otherwise the flavour profile remains the same from last infusion
- Though perhaps a hint more raisin-like taste in the finish
Steep 5/Fifteen Seconds
- Less tannic/astringent, and less malt notes as well
- In fact, this is pretty much only the fruitier notes I’ve experienced
- In the same proportions as the last infusion, though
- And then a hint of complimentary nuttiness from the pecans I’m snacking on
Steep 6/Eighteen Seconds
- Steeped leaf smells like orange, honey, sweet potato, bread, and cinnamon
- In that order
- Infusion is less pleasant; very astringent/bitter which is disappointing
- And feels like it’s coming out of nowhere?
- Almost has a finish that tastes like the pithy part of an orange – bitter!
- Also a little peppery in the body and finish
Steep 7/Twenty Seconds
- Even more bitter/pithy tasting than the last infusion!
- Literally took a sip for my cup and did that kind of choking/gagging thing
- The one people in sitcoms do when they eat/drink something gross
- Only nice thing is that the finish is a little sweeter with floral orange notes
- The rest is TRASH
- Dumped it…
Steep 8/Twenty Seconds
- Still a little bitter/peppery but better; didn’t feel the need to dump this one
- Otherwise the same as last
Steep 9/Twenty-Five Seconds
- It’s not bad, but it’s kind of boring now?
- Not really bitter/astringent though but the present flavours are dull/flat
- Orange, malt, cinnamon, black pepper, raisin
- Yeah, calling this one as my last steep even though it’s not totally brewed out yet
Honestly, I’m probably never going to be a twenty steep kind of person. I just hit a point during my session where I either don’t like enough of the infusions back to back that I don’t want to continue brewing or I simply get bored. Today, it’s a little bit of both?
I also skimmed CS’s website description of this one and I found it very interesting they described it as vegetal ’cause at no point during this session did I really associate the flavour profile with those sort of notes. The closest I think you could get would be the peppery quality I experienced late into the session, but for me I was definitely thinking something more inline with like black pepper…
I don’t know where I want to rate this one overall; I greatly enjoyed the start of the session but the end of it wasn’t so great. I think that probably averages out to a just sort of mediocre session? I’m gonna hold off on rating though until I get a chance to revisit this one either Gong Fu again or just Western style. This session was a pretty nice way to kill a few hours of the afternoon though! Just very relaxing overall.
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Black Pepper, Caramel, Cinnamon, Dates, Floral, Honey, Malt, Orange, Orange Blossom, Orange Zest, Pepper, Peppercorn, Raisins, Stonefruits, Sweet Potatoes