I came across JK teashop through a google search (I was looking for a tea presentation vessel in pure white). Browsing through their website I noticed their seven A’s grade Tie Guan Yin (the highest grade they have) it sounded ridiculous but I added a sample to my order. Anyways, This tea was truly an experience.
>Dry Leaf Appearance/Aroma
Tightly curled dark jade leaves, they feel hard and not very fragile. Aroma is subtle but very noticeable from a short distance, fresh floral scent.
Following JK teashop’s directions using freshly boiled water, 10-20 sec steep time, and a Yixing teapot. Brewed for 7 consecutive infusions.
First cups had a clear pale yellow green, later ones became bright golden green.
My first cup had an amazing floral aroma. Orchid-like and sugary sweet.
The tea itself was very fresh, incredibly floral, subtly sweet, and light bodied. What impressed me most about this tea, was its intense aftertaste. After a few sips, you could feel a lingering floral freshness engulfing your mouth and throat. A sensation very similar to that of having a mint, but instead of minty flavor, you get a very fresh orchid-like breath. Very impressive and unlike anything I’ve had before.
My second cup was almost exactly the same to the first with just a stronger floral aroma.
My third cup became slightly thicker in texture but not by much (barely noticeable if drinking in small sips). Aroma, taste, and aftertaste remained just as intense as the first cup.
In my 4th cup, I noticed a slight loss of aroma, lighter taste and not as floral, but still really good. After the 4th cup I increased brew time from 10-15 sec to 20 sec.
I was wowed in my 5th cup. Aroma was fainter, but the taste became bolder. Sweet fresh floral taste with a thicker texture than previous cups, almost creamy but not quite there. Very tasty.
6th and 7th cup began to have a slight green taste. Aroma was barely noticeable on the 6th and completely gone by the 7th. Taste became fainter but still very good, thicker and subtly sweet. I ended the tasting on the 7th cup not because of loss of flavor, its just too much tea for me in one sitting (aroma was completely gone, but taste-wise this tea still had more to offer).
>Wet Leaf Appearance
Mix of broken and unbroken leaves, some were very well preserved, others were just in pieces. Leaves were about medium sized. Very few stems.
This tea was so close to perfection! The floral aroma, the orchid sweet taste, the aftertaste! They were one of the most intense I’ve had. The only thing that kept this tea from being absolute perfect, was that it lacked that buttery/creamy texture that gives the taste a richer flavor. For example, Verdant’s 2012 Hand Picked TGY has a more well rounded “package” having a nice balance of aroma, taste, texture, and aftertaste. This one excelled in the aroma and aftertaste (as of today the best in those categories, but I still got a long way to go) taste was very good but lacking in texture. Still, this was a very enjoyable experience, definitely a must try if you prefer your Tie Guan Yins on the more aromatic side.
Overall, Great tea, AMAZING aftertaste and aroma, and very affordable (under $10 an ounce, bad thing is, they only sell either a 15g sample or 100g(3.52 oz) pack for about $34).
I will definitely order more of this tea whenever I clear up my TGY cache.
*I still have enough tea left for another session. I will try using longer steep times next to see if I can get the thicker texture on the first cups and update on my findings.