The original 2015 Green Miracle was one of the first ripes I ever bought, drank and reviewed. I still have maybe half a cake left. While not bad, it has never really impressed me. The strength and longevity are below average and the very mineral, somewhat chocolaty flavor profile is rather bland and forgettable. While things have improved across the board with age, nothing about the tea has ever really changed in any significant way. Now we finally have a follow-up and I was curious to see if this tea would be more of the same or similar in name only.
I finished my sample in two sessions using my Ben Shan Duan Ni Yixing clay teapot both times. Already the aroma of the wet leaves alone sets this tea apart from most ripes. I’d describe it as “greener”, more leafy. In my second session in particular I felt like it reminded me of berries, maybe a berry jam.
The uniqueness is equally apparent in the first sip. The tea is much higher noted than your typical shu. Quite sweet. In my notes for the first session I talk of umami/soy sauce, my second berries with some underlying chocolate bitterness. Interestingly, my notes for the first session continue to describe the tea as savory, later on becoming more mineral and roasted, maybe a bit chocolaty. My notes for the second session continue talking about milk chocolate and mineral sweetness.
Neither paints a picture of a very dynamic tea, it becoming quite bland and quite a typical ripe affair in the last third of the session. I also only got eight brews out of Green Miracle both times, with the last eighth set-it-and-forget-it brew barely qualifying as worthwhile. My notes for the seventh infusion of the first session do speak of licorice/anise, though, which is somewhat interesting at least. My notes don’t really talk about mouthfeel and body that much. I’d say the tea’s probably okay in that department, but not particularly noteworthy.
I feel like I might’ve just painted a picture of a somewhat bland tea, but overall I feel Green Miracle 2020 manages to differentiate itself as a somewhat unique ripe among its myriad peers and it’s likely a tea that most shu fans would enjoy. It did intrigue me with its initial steeps, but quickly devolved into mediocrity. Those seeking deep, dark flavors and thick, oily body might want to seek elsewhere, but for other ripe lovers I would definitely recommend a sample.
The original Green Miracle DNA is certainly there in the 2020 iteration. I don’t know if these are actually the same tea just different harvest, but I can certainly see some resemblance, even if only in very broad terms. I would classify this tea as quite good, just not quite to my taste in terms of its profile. I’m generally not a fan of mineral notes and that is the case here as well. While I do enjoy dark chocolate notes in ripes, the milk chocolate here is again somewhat of a miss.
The wet leaves are an atypically light shade of brown for a modern ripe, hopefully hinting at more room for this tea to develop over the years than your typical shu. Despite this, I didn’t find Green Miracle to be too “green” for my stomach, which has often been the case with Yunnan Sourcing’s other lighter fermentation ripes when young.
Flavors: Berries, Chocolate, Licorice, Mineral, Roasted, Soy Sauce, Sweet, Woody