It’s been a while since I actually had this tea; I’m a little behind on my notes. So, I just have some random observations collected from various scraps of paper that had notes on them – the end result of my tea sessions coinciding with my two-year old’s tea parties… Anyway, here’s what little sense I could make of them:
My experience changed a bit as I worked through my 50g pouch. My first impressions noted its sweet smokiness, mainly because I wasn’t expecting it. Just based on the color and my impression of Jin Jun Mei, I was expecting a whallop of malt sweetness. Instead, the main flavors where thick roasted nut notes and some sweet smokiness.
As I got to know the tea, though, I wasn’t noting the smokiness nearly at all – that got overshadowed by the prominent nut notes. Beyond this, I was really picking up sweet, fruity flavors, with a little pleasant funkiness (I called this “grape leaf”).
So, it was an engaging tea that made me want to explore it more. Overall, it definitely fits in the “roasted nut” flavor profile of black teas. However, there is some noticeable sweetness and fruitiness that keeps the flavor profile complex and balanced.
Dry leaf – mesquite smoke (barbecue), fragrant floral, pollen, molasses, hints of grape leaf and red currant. In preheated vessel – peanut, buttery toffee
Smell – mesquite wood smoke, roasted pecan, dark caramel, pungent floral?/wet wood?
Taste – heavily roasted pecan and hazelnut, grape leaf*, mesquite, brown sugar and malt sweetness; fruity and syrupy finish and aftertaste – grape leaf, mesquite smoke, red currant, molasses and malt.
*Grape leaf – fruity, leafy, musty flavor – some fruit sweetness counteracted by a leafy greenness and slight bitterness. Musty without being earthy.