Here is another review from my backlog. I finished a sample of this tea during either the third or fourth week of November. Normally, I am not a huge Jin Jun Mei fan, but I ended up greatly enjoying this one. I cannot say that I was really surprised by that, however, as I tend to be a big fan of Old Ways Tea’s offerings.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a brief rinse, I steeped 5 grams of loose tea leaves in 3 ounces of 194 F water for 6 seconds. This infusion was chased by 16 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 8 seconds, 10 seconds, 13 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, 5 minutes, and 7 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves produced aromas of honey, sweet potato, pine, cedar, and straw. After the rinse, I noted new aromas of roasted almond and candied orange that were underscored by a hint of orchid scent. The first infusion brought out aromas of lemon zest, baked bread, and cinnamon. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of baked bread, orchid, honey, straw, cedar, and candied orange that were backed by roasted almond, pine, and lemon zest hints. The subsequent infusions brought out aromas of black pepper, ginger, cocoa, malt, and violet. Stronger honey and candied orange notes appeared in the mouth along with stronger and more immediate impressions of roasted almond and lemon zest. I also detected notes of violet, pear, brown sugar, black pepper, cinnamon, cocoa, malt, marshmallow, minerals, and ginger as well as subtle, belatedly emerging sweet potato hints. I even picked up some hints of peach and tomato on several infusions. By the time I wrapped up my review session, I could still pick out impressions of minerals, brown sugar, malt, violet, candied orange, and lemon zest that were chased by fleeting hints of ginger, honey, pine, baked bread, and orchid.
Compared to most Jin Jun Mei I have tried, this tea produced an incredibly deep, complex, and busy liquor. There was just so much going on with it. While it could get a little bit challenging and even overwhelming at times, it never came remotely close to being unlikable or unsatisfying. In the end, I would not recommend this tea to those just getting into Jin Jun Mei (it might be a little much for such people), but I would have no difficulty recommending it to established fans of Wuyi black teas.
Flavors: Almond, Baked Bread, Black Pepper, Brown Sugar, Candy, Cedar, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Ginger, Honey, Lemon Zest, Malt, Marshmallow, Mineral, Orange, Orchid, Peach, Pear, Pine, Straw, Sweet Potatoes, Violet