2016 Jingmai LOVE

Tea type
Pu'erh Tea
Pu Erh Tea
Apricot, Astringent, Flowers, Herbs, Smooth, Vegetal, Biting, Bitter, Black Pepper, Citrusy, Cucumber, Dry Grass, Floral, Honeysuckle, Meat, Mineral, Osmanthus, Smoke, Tangy, Umami, Citrus Zest, Metallic, Pastries, Pleasantly Sour, Sweet, Cream, Honey, Vegetable Broth, Green, Hay, Sweet, Warm Grass, Fruity, Nectar, Citrus, Drying, Thick, Grass, Vinegar
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Bulk, Loose Leaf
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Edit tea info Last updated by Togo
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 13 oz / 374 ml

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14 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I have read the notes and well I have to say, it isn’t much pleasing read. Hopefully my experience will be different, and maybe even better. Thank you derk for sample! I decided to brew 5 grams...” Read full tasting note
  • “For once, my palate seems to fall in line with Togo’s. No sense in typing up my impressions since I find his review markedly similar to my experience. https://steepster.com/Togo/posts/391724 Of...” Read full tasting note
  • “Jingmai LOVE is an ok sheng, but doesn’t seem to stand out in any particular way. Maybe the most memorable is its qi, but not necessarily in a good way either. The dry leaves have a weak floral...” Read full tasting note
  • “Btw, the humidity where I am is out of whack because of the onset of cold weather and the heat that is now on at all times. I bought humidity packs for the tea but have yet to figure out an optimal...” Read full tasting note

From Crimson Lotus Tea

Our 2016 “Jingmai LOVE” is a new blend we’ve created this year. This tea captures the essence of Jingmai in an affordable tea. It is intensely aromatic with deep notes of honey. If you love Jingmai, you’ll love “Jingmai LOVE”!

About Crimson Lotus Tea View company

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14 Tasting Notes

1862 tasting notes

I have read the notes and well I have to say, it isn’t much pleasing read. Hopefully my experience will be different, and maybe even better. Thank you derk for sample!

I decided to brew 5 grams (mostly very loose leaf) in my 125 ml gaiwan. I did 10 seconds rinse which I have dumped. The wet aroma isn’t much pleasing. It smells quite sour and maybe with stonefruits. A bit of meadow flowers.

1st steep, 8 seconds.
Pretty much mild, a bit on sweet-honey side.

2nd steep, 15 seconds.
Oh, much rougher. And pretty much boring. Very drying and astringent too. Not my cup of tea.

3rd steep, 20 seconds
Hm. It’s not bad, but there isn’t much noticeable, but Togo ’s note says about herbals and vegetal. At least a bit smooth.

4th steep, 25 seconds
Oh well. Another same cup.

5th steep, 30 seconds
I guess I will try a few really long steeps to see any difference. There is nothing different in those steeps. It’s not even interesting in wet leaf aroma. Maybe hints of apricots.

6th steep, 2 minutes
It didn’t help.

Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Flowers, Herbs, Smooth, Vegetal

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 125 ML

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1559 tasting notes

For once, my palate seems to fall in line with Togo’s. No sense in typing up my impressions since I find his review markedly similar to my experience.


Of all the sheng I’ve tried so far from the extinct sampler pack I purchased, Jingmai LOVE strikes me as one of the most agreeable (along with Hidden Song) despite the strange combination of aromas and tastes. Lots of characteristics to play around in if you want but nothing is so complex you would walk away overwhelmed by any one facet. In other words, a nice, safe sheng for explorers.

For me, the dry meadow florality is one of those things that doesn’t agree with me. And the energy I associate with sheng of that floral nature is difficult for me to handle. It feels anxious.

Flavors: Apricot, Biting, Bitter, Black Pepper, Citrusy, Cucumber, Dry Grass, Floral, Honeysuckle, Meat, Mineral, Osmanthus, Smoke, Tangy, Umami, Vegetal

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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956 tasting notes

Jingmai LOVE is an ok sheng, but doesn’t seem to stand out in any particular way. Maybe the most memorable is its qi, but not necessarily in a good way either.

The dry leaves have a weak floral smell mixed with some sawdust. On the other hand, the wet leaf aroma is fairly strong. It is fresh and reminiscent of barn cooked meat and a dry meadow.

The rinse has a soft and coating mouthfeel and quite a dynamic taste. It is herbal with vegetal sourness and savoury notes. I also notice some tangerine peel and in the aftertaste phyllo pastry and some sweetness emerging.

First few steeps retain a nice coating mouthfeel, but later on, the texture becomes quite uninteresting. The taste is initially very similar to unripe apricots with some umami and dry grass notes. Over time more floral sweetness is present and around infusion 6, moderate bitterness appears too. After a metallic finish, I get a biting and numbing aftertaste that’s quite nondescript in terms of flavours. The only new one I picked up on is black pepper. There are a lot of returning flavour over time, but the aftertaste is not one that would keep my attention.

The cha qi is somewhat frontloaded. After few steeps I feel warm and sleepy, with a light dizziness. Later on, the only effect is the caffeine rush, which is quite strong from this tea.

Flavors: Biting, Bitter, Black Pepper, Citrus Zest, Dry Grass, Floral, Metallic, Pastries, Pleasantly Sour, Sweet, Umami

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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121 tasting notes

Btw, the humidity where I am is out of whack because of the onset of cold weather and the heat that is now on at all times. I bought humidity packs for the tea but have yet to figure out an optimal solution, and have also not yet cleaned/turned on the humidifier for humans in the house. I have been smelling rice on so many CLT productions. I wonder if it’s partly because I use a gaiwan more often now, and I smell the leaves directly and more easily. I also wonder if it’s because I have to figure out how to stabilize humidity at home.

Anyway, I really like this tea. I could tell it was going to be good from the very first sip, so I relaxed and did not pay close attention to the scents and such. There is almost no bitterness well into steep 12, and a very clean, consistent energy throughout. There isn’t much qi to speak of, but at this price point, that’s fair. I was afraid after steep 6 it was going to turn smokey like the expensive Dayi I hated, but it stayed pleasant. It is not nearly as astringent as the one I tried yesterday, 2017 Jinggu Bang, and that makes sense, because this is 1 year older. All in all, I felt reassured by this tea. The scent is subtle and would not be out of place at a high end spa.

Boiling 5 g 3 OZ / 75 ML

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61 tasting notes

A part of a tasting set put together by LiquidProust. My notes I took while I was drinking this:
6/15/18: Jingmai LOVE, 5.2g/100mL. Dry leaf looks incredible—whole leaves and maocha stemmy. The dry leaf smells like cream and sheng. The rinse was totally drinkable: light, refreshing, sweet, aromatic like cucumber skin and lightly floral.
Steep 1 was slightly bitter but goes away IMMEDIATELY, leaving me with the THOUGHT of sweetness and grass. Its like a sencha minus as much umami, making it a more common drinker for me. I think I want a beeng of this already >_>. There is some cream and herbs in step two, with a bitter start.
Steep 3 reveals some bitterness that wanes quickly. There is ALMOST a huigan to this tea but not quite, might need more time to develop one? I demand huigan though :(.
Steep 4, the lid is straight up honey and cream, but the taste is bitter and clears quick thankfully. The aftertaste was like swallowing vodka to me, cleared my sinuses like liquor.
Steep 5 was better at a faster brew, still like sencha minus the umami but floral, like the Yunomi orchid dragon.
Steep 6 is nose cleaning alcohol still, but not as bad as I’m making it sound.
Steep 7 is trending sweet, drying my mouth a little it but not too bad so I can tolerate it.
8 was vegetal but not like gross stewed leaves. There’s a sour note that I can’t identify like it wants to taste like a sour fruit but isn’t quite there. NOW I’m getting a long lasting aftertaste of…an anxi oolong, which combined with the sourness reminds me of tieguanyin? Which is awesome to get out of a sheng! Eventually this tea dies around steep 13-14, but with a taste of sweet cream, not like watery honey like other youngsheng when it dies. I’m going to pick up a beeng of this once I can. Favorite thus far!
Update: I did actually pick up a beeng the following day…

Flavors: Cream, Cucumber, Floral, Herbs, Honey, Pleasantly Sour

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7 tasting notes

I can’t help but to think that this is what a flower dipped in honey would taste like. I don’t know why, but that’s what I think every time I take a sip. Thick, creamy, floral, slightly vegetal, and super honeyed nectar; like the folks over at Crimson Lotus robbed a honeybee hive that was hording tea leaves. It’s extremely sweet, but with the perfect amount of astringency to make it so I don’t feel like I’m drinking from a hummingbird feeder. I think I’m in love with Jingmai… and puerh.

Flavors: Astringent, Floral, Honey, Vegetable Broth

Boiling 5 g 100 OZ / 2957 ML

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123 tasting notes

I received a free 20g sample of this with a teaware order a couple months back. It has sat in my pumidor since then and now was finally time to give it a go. My sample was practically just a single large chunk from the cake with a handful of loose leaves at the bottom of the wrapper. Doing my best to try to maintain leaf integrity, I separated 9.5 grams from the sample for my trusty 140ml gaiwan. It was difficult to make out much aroma from the dry leaf, but in the preheated gaiwan I did pick up a scent that came across as somewhat darker to me than in some other young raws. After a brief 10s rinse the scent was very reminiscent of the white2tea 2017 “f*ck what u heard” that I reviewed last time. Once the leaves cooled down, the aroma did change. It was perhaps more sweeter, I don’t know if I’d use the word floral.

I’ve been in the habit of drinking some of the rinses lately, and despite filling the gaiwan almost full I did drink this one as well. It was very light as is to be expected. Green, buttery, with something else in there later on that I can’t put my finger on. Perhaps it’s some sort of floral sweetness of some kind, but I can’t really say. There was some body/mouthfeel to the tea already and it made my heart start beating noticeably harder in my chest as well as made me feel significantly hot. It also made blood start pumping into a certain key region in my lower body, which was interesting and an entirely new experience related to tea.

At this point I gave the tea my customary ten minute rest before I proceeded to the first proper infusion. In this time the large chunks soaked enough water and loosened enough for me to make the leaves come apart by just poking at the clumps a little with my finger. I proceeded to do a total of ten infusion, for 7s, 7s, 10s, 15s, 20s, 30s, 45s, 75s, 2 min. and 3 min. The first steep had a light flavor of cream/vanilla infused with green. The body wasn’t that heavy, but the mouthfeel was nice and noticeable. After my initial observations about the taste, I actually forgot about the taste entirely as the mouthfeel was such that it just really grabbed all your attention. Even though, apart from the even stronger pro-erectile effects than before, the direct effects of cha qi were subtle, you got the sense that there’s energy in this tea. This was the last I noticed during my session though.

The second infusion still had some body to it, but the nice mouthfeel from before was gone. The taste was your typical green young sheng flavor, but slightly more mature/developed/elegant with perhaps some underlying sweetness of some sort to balance it a little. You could still notice hints of the creamy vanilla from the prior infusion. There wasn’t really any noticeable astringency to the tea yet, but it did leave the surfaces of your mouth a tad sandpapery. The third steep had a very “clear” taste to it. There wasn’t that much of the green or astringent character, but they were out there somewhere. The tea is hard to describe beyond that. It didn’t simply taste like water, nor did it have a particularly mineral character to it either. The body was light and the tea did leave the roof of your mouth a bit more sandpapery than before, but not your tongue.

The body became even lighter in the fourth steeping, barely surpassing water, although it was still not poor. There was more astringency now, and at times you could get an almost metallic finish. There wasn’t much greenness to the taste and instead the tea had more of an astringent taste to it. The fifth steep produced a darker green flavor than I’m used to experiencing in young raws, with this time not very much astringency at all. There was an interesting balance to the rather simple green flavor, with the balance coming from something darker lying underneath that might’ve also been almost savory in nature. The steep was surprisingly filling, leaving me feeling sated after finishing my cup even though the flavor itself was nothing to write home about. The tea left a green aroma lingering in your mouth and nose even though there wasn’t really a lingering aftertaste to accompany it. There was also slightly more body, even if it remained light.

While I don’t think that the sixth steep was a weak infusion, there weren’t really any flavors there to grab onto. There was some typical green astringency that you expect, of course, as well as a sort of weird vibe I got in the finish that reminded me of manure, but all in all there wasn’t really much flavor there. The seventh steep did rectify this somewhat by presenting a green taste that differed from the green taste I get in a lot of young shengs. It reminded me of a sort of semi-passable lower grade green tea. While there wasn’t much astringency, it did leave your mouth a bit sandpapery.

Somewhat surprisingly, while the eighth steep was relatively light in terms of viscosity, it did have an okay mouthfeel. The taste was now that of your typical young sheng, green and slightly astringent. After lengthening the steeping time for the ninth infusion, I found that the tea was starting to taste unenjoyable to me. I expected the tenth infusion to only get worse, but it was actually better than its predecessor. It wasn’t something I enjoyed, but it wasn’t too unpleasant to drink. While I suspect this tea could have probably gone on, I decided to stop here because I did not want it to get nasty.

After really liking Crimson Lotus’s Lucky Cloud which is allegedly also Jingmai material, I was interested to try out my first raw pu’er from the region. All in all, to a still relative pu’er newb this came across to me as a midrange sheng, which is also how it’s priced. If there’s one word I would use to describe it, I think it would be “balanced.” I don’t drink very many blended raws, so I don’t know how much this being a blend has to do with it, but this tea, while still very young and in my opinion not something I would drink now, rounds off some of the rougher edges you tend to see in my experience in material that comes from a single family, etc. I don’t think those things mean very much now, but ten years down the line it would be interesting to see how they affect the overall profile and balance.

While this tea did seem to have some cha qi – even if very front-loaded – decent texture that will hopefully improve with age, and seemingly okay longevity, nothing about it struck me as particularly special. As this is a tea that I would not drink now, if I were to invest money and time into a cake, I would want something I have a good feeling about. While this will likely be a very good tea in ten years’ time or more, if I’m going to make that sort of commitment, I don’t just want a tea that I think will be good, I want a tea I think will potentially be amazing, even if it doesn’t turn out that way. I want either something really high quality or something really special and unique. I feel this tea is neither of those. If you are looking specifically for Jingmai material to age on a budget, then try a sample of this to see if it’s what you’re looking for. Otherwise, if you’re going to be sitting on a cake for 10+ years, I’d save up and invest in higher grade material like the Midas Touch. If this tea were drinkable now, it’d be a different story, but in my eyes it’s neither interesting, rewarding or enjoyable enough in its current state. Your mileage may vary of course. If you’re looking for the best bang for your buck, then I think there are better value propositions out there. If you’re looking specifically for Jingmai and you really love Jingmai, then there are less. It is not my intention to try to sell this tea short as it has quite a few promising attributes and probably has potential to be a very tasty tea, it’s just not there yet.

I received a free sample of Bitterleaf Teas’ 2017 In Bloom with a recent order and will likely be ordering a sample of the 2017 Midas Touch to try out as well, so expect to see reviews of more Jingmai teas in the not too distant future. Those are of course different vintage than Jingmai LOVE, but I’m interested to see how they compare nonetheless.

Flavors: Astringent, Cream, Green

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 9 g 5 OZ / 140 ML

chuckles bonertea

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6 tasting notes

It’s been a couple of months since I drank this, and I almost forgot how much I like it. It’s the perfect amount of sweetness with a pronounced grassiness that I really like. Smooth creamy texture early on, with a bit of astringency in later steeps. Nice amount of qi too that I feel from the neck up. I accidentally brewed this grandpa style in a travel mug once and it became bitter to the point of undrinkable. Lesson learned. Today I brewed about 5-6 g of this in 250ml several times throughout the day in my Grosche gravity steeper.

Flavors: Hay, Honey, Sweet, Warm Grass

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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106 tasting notes

Gorgeous leaf and liquor, a deep gold mixed with sunshine and a lovely visible thickness to it. Not much scent off the dried leaves, but I spent some time just admiring the pretty colors, especially as the compression was quite loose, so it was easy to pick the leaves apart in my sample without turning it into dust.

Extremely fresh and floral smelling, this baby sheng was prepared at 205F as it has a strong bitter bite to it (some moderate astringency, mainly in the roof of the mouth and top of the tongue) if you brew it for even just a second too long. Strong throat coating quality, even as it opens up.

A very clean and green tasting tea to me (particularly with the notable green tea umami quality at the beginning), it starts off mainly vegetal—light, with a bitter floral at the back that opens up into a sweet nectar-bordering-fruit background taste by the middle steeps that lingers in the mouth and throat, particularly as it cools in the cup.

Still quite raw feeling and tasting, I think it needs more time to settle, but it was quite enjoyable still, with a throat coating dryness that made me want to keep drinking more (although I got a pretty strong body heavy/disorient tea drunk from this one that led me to dropping my gaiwan lid a couple times so I probably should have slowed it down a bit). This tea was also quite generous and held up to overnighting in my gaiwan with a refresher rinse quite well, surprisingly, as I steeped it out fully over the course of three days.

Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Mineral, Nectar, Sweet, Vegetal

205 °F / 96 °C 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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536 tasting notes

5.5g, 100ml gaiwan, 212F
Overall, I felt this tea was too new, too raw for me. I think it needs a little more age to knock off off some of the bitter elements I tasted.
5s – citrus, sharp, thick, finest edge of bitter/sour
5/10/10s- citrus, thick, oily, hint of dryness, green. Energy to head already.
10/20/25- didn’t like drinking this very much so I stopped. Could be I increased time too fast, could be it needs more time to mellow. I have more sample, so I’ll try again later.

Flavors: Citrus, Drying, Green, Thick

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