This was another June sipdown. I’ll eventually get through all of them. I know I had initially intended to drink and review this tea back in May, but I took a little extra time with a few other teas and then took an extended break from reviewing, so I did not get around to drinking this tea until June, and now I’m finally getting around to reviewing it. Like most of the other Jin Jun Mei carried by Yunnan Sourcing, this one was rock solid if not truly exceptional.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 194 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased by 15 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 9 seconds, 12 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, and 5 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea buds emitted aromas of baked bread, malt, sweet potato, pine, cinnamon, and cedar. After the rinse, I detected new aromas of dark chocolate, sugarcane, honey, and roasted peanut. The first infusion introduced aromas of vanilla and cream along with a subtle banana scent. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of baked bread, malt, cream, cinnamon, honey, pine, sweet potato, and dark chocolate that were balanced by hints of smoke, sugarcane, lemon zest, brown toast, and earth. The subsequent infusions introduced aromas of minerals, moss, earth, grass, toast, and orange zest, though I also caught some very subtle green olive scents as well. Stronger and more immediate impressions of earth, brown toast, sugarcane, and lemon zest appeared in the mouth alongside belatedly emerging notes of roasted peanut, vanilla, and cedar and fleeting hints of banana. I also noted impressions of minerals, grass, ginger, moss, and orange zest that were accompanied by hints of leather and green olive. As the tea faded, the liquor emphasized notes of minerals, malt, cream, brown toast, baked bread, and earth that were backed by hints of sugarcane, vanilla, grass, pine, lemon zest, roasted peanut, and dark chocolate.
This was a very nice and very drinkable Jin Jun Mei, but it peaked quickly and faded even more quickly. I really had to push myself to get the number of infusions out of it that I did. As a fan of relatively lengthy gongfu sessions, I found that disappointing, but I also appreciated this tea’s approachability and the fact that it offered some aromas and flavors that I do not normally get out of Jin Jun Mei. Overall, this one was a mixed bag, but I found much more to appreciate than to fault.
Flavors: Baked Bread, banana, Brown Toast, Cedar, Cinnamon, Cream, Dark Chocolate, Earth, Ginger, Grass, Honey, Leather, Lemon Zest, Malt, Mineral, Moss, Olives, Orange Zest, Peanut, Pine, Smoke, Sugarcane, Sweet Potatoes, Vanilla