Auggy shared this one with me. A couple of years ago I received an education in Jin Jun Mei as a type from someone here on Steepster. I believe it may have been Spoonvonstrup (who hasn’t been around lately, what’s up with that?) but I can’t remember for certain. At the time I got some JJMs that were produced in Yunnan and some that were produced in Fujian, and I came to the conclusion that while I enjoyed them all, I greatly preferred the Fujian ones.
Biiiiiig surprise to everyone present, I’m sure.
Anyway, I know the type and I know it’s one that I like, so I was happy that Auggy had shared hers with me. I’m not the least bit surprised that it would by a type she would be interested in. In fact, knowing Auggy and knowing me and knowing how closely our tea-tastes often match, I’d have been immensely shocked if she hadn’t bothered at all.
Back when I received the aforementioned JJM education, I did actually also receive a sample of this one. I’m afraid I gave it a somewhat lack-luster rating, but that must have been a different harvest. It could easily be that this one suits me better or that my taste has changed a little. Therefore I’m not particularly concerned about that now.
The aroma of the leaves here was rather odd. There isn’t really very much of it and what is there reminds me mostly about the Oriental Beauty oolong I wrote about earlier. I remembered smokyness and grain and such. What happened?
Oh well, it’s not the smell of the dry leaf that counts. It’s the aroma of the brew and the flavour that counts, so we’ll see how that turns out. I’m still not put off.
Oh yeah, this is a different story! Now it’s all grainy and thick and malty. In regards to the malt, it’s an almost syrup-y sort of smell. It’s actually very sweet when you really get your nose into it. I’m thinking chocolate and caramel here. Dark, dark ones, but still.
As for the flavour, first off it does have that Yunnan-y taste of hay, which… I could live without, frankly, but it’s not super-strong. After that it goes all out on the grain and the malt, and it gives me that association to Danish rye bread that I look for in a really great keemun. The dark dark chocolate-y caramel-y sort of malty note is making up a good deal of the body along with the grain. It’s fairly discreet, but once you’ve noticed it you find that it’s all over. I rather like that.
Now, I’ve looked up what I said about this the first time, and let’s just say that I don’t agree with myself at all. Back then, I had a sort of two-step experience of the flavour, which I’m not getting at all today. It’s very well merged this time. I suppose that’s a pretty good illustration of differences between harvests. Especially with wild-picked stuff like this, I imagine.
Raising the rating accordingly (and significantly). I may actually invest in some more of this myself in the future. We’ll see.
Strangely, though, Husband didn’t care for it at all. He found it tannin-y. But but but it’s Chinese! A Chinese black doesn’t even know what tannin is! Shocking. Also kind of funny because I count this one in the same sort of general family as keemuns and the Laoshan Black and such like which he enjoys, the latter even to the point of being renamed Life-Giving Tea. I just can’t get a grip on what I think he’ll enjoy and what he won’t. I’m coming to the conclusion that his tongue must be in upside down or something. Or broken.
Oh, and by the way, we bought a house.