I will probably call it a day after posting this review. I have a few things I need to get done before the end of the day. So, good news everyone! I have a job interview tomorrow. It’s for an administrative assistant position within the library system for a local community college. I guess dropping that I’m getting ready to start work on my M.S. in Library Science next semester got their attention. The pay isn’t great, but the benefits are good. They’ll even pay my tuition if I land this job, so wish me luck. I could use it. Moving on to this tea, I wasn’t expecting much when I first cracked open its pouch in the fall of last year. I had tried the previous year’s Wild Jin Jun Mei, and it was literally one of the worst teas I had ever consumed. I think it still holds the record for lowest score I have ever assigned to any tea here on Steepster. For those interested, I gave it a 9. This tea could not have been more different from that one. Somehow this one was great.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea buds in 4 fluid ounces of 194 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was followed 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 produced aromas of baked bread, malt, cedar, smoke, dark chocolate, and sweet potato. After the rinse, aromas of roasted almond and roasted peanut appeared. The first infusion added aromas of pine, orchid, and camphor. In the mouth, the tea liquor offered notes of malt, baked bread, roasted almond, sweet potato, and dark chocolate that were balanced by delicate hints of roasted peanut, orchid, red apple, pear, sugarcane, smoke, caramel, and honey. The bulk of the subsequent infusions introduced aromas of plum, red grape, red apple, pear, butter, sugarcane, orange zest, and honey. Somewhat stronger and more immediate impressions of red apple, roasted peanut, sugarcane, and pear appeared in the mouth alongside notes of minerals, earth, ginger, plum, orange zest, red grape, butter, and lychee. Hints of black cherry, pine, cedar, camphor, and black pepper were present too. As the tea faded, the liquor began to emphasize notes of minerals, malt, baked bread, butter, orange zest, and roasted almond that were chased by lingering hints of cream, ginger, plum, pear, sugarcane, orchid, red grape, and caramel.
Though it faded fast, an issue that seems consistent among Yunnan Sourcing’s Jin Jun Mei, this was a very pleasant, balanced tea that was fun to drink. It could not have been more different from the spring 2017 version. I found that tea bizarrely sharp and unbalanced, but this tea was delicate, subtle, lively, playful, and just superbly put together overall. I guess I don’t have to fear and dread Yunnan Sourcing’s Wild Jin Jun Mei every year now.
Flavors: Almond, Black Pepper, Bread, Butter, Camphor, Caramel, Cedar, Cherry, Dark Chocolate, Earth, Ginger, Grapes, Lychee, Malt, Mineral, Orange Zest, Orchid, Peanut, Pear, Pine, Plum, Red Apple, Smoke, Sugarcane, Sweet Potatoes