Monday, August 3, 2015

Teasenz, Jin Jun Mei

Teasenz Description:
Malty and honey-sweet, with the subtle fruity aroma of oranges. This wild-picked bud tea provides a uniquely rich and savory cup reminiscent of fresh-baked, whole-grain toast with a touch of sweet honeyed butter on top. The malty profiles of barley and wheat are in the foreground, followed by an aftertaste that reveals the fine bud quality of the tea through a fruity scent of oranges.

Sample provided by Teasenz

My Review:
August already? This summer has gotten away from me. Seems my tea drinking has as well. I spent much of the first half the year feeling very poorly and now I am trying to catch up on a hundred different things at once and getting nowhere. Aaack!

I grabbed this one this afternoon because, well, Jin Jun Mei. This is my second Teasenz tea. The sample bag is resealable - as all should packaged. The label is clean and simple. It does not give a description or harvest information but then that is the kind of thing you normally check out when you order. At this point, you want to know how to prepare the tea, and that is what is on the label.

Opening the bag is a treat. The tea leaf smells so good. It is malt and grains, honey and straw, and notes of cocoa. I know. Mmmmm. Right?

Then I remove some leaf and immediately remember why I love Fujian black tea. Simply put, it's gorgeous. The dark lightly twisted leaf mixed with an abundance of tan colored buds. Seriously, I love the look of Jin Jun Mei.

One thing I like better than looking at the leaf is sipping the tea made by steeping it. I should mention that I added a little more leaf to the pot than what is pictured in the dry leaf. I saw that it calls for 2-5 grams. The picture is about 2. I steeped 3-3.5 grams for a 12 oz mug.  The water was heated to 195 F and the steep time was 5 minutes.

Pouring the tea, I continued my feelings of 'died and gone to Heaven'. The liquor is a dark ruby, almost black cherry in color. It is bright and clear.

The wet leaf is nearly intoxicating. The honey and sweet potato notes fill the air, along with a fruitiness that rivals any wine I have every smelled. Oh, my lands. So good.

There is just enough bite contribution to add substance without bitterness or pucker.  The honey and sweet potato are present in the taste but not as heavy as the aroma suggests. There is malt and hay notes as well. As you breathe while sipping the fruit wine note emerges. Teasenz calls it orange. Probably, but to me it says wine. Accompanying all this action and mixed in with the bite is cocoa and molasses.

Oh, Jin Jun Mei how I love you.

It is almost supper time and I don't even care. This demands trying a second mug from the leaves.

The second mug is every bit as dark as the first. While really hot (not how I normally drink my tea), I catch a peppery note taking the place of the bite from the first cup. After cooling a few minutes the cup returns to a copy of the first mug. Translation: delicious.

I seldom sweeten straight teas any more, but for the sake of experimentation I added a packet of Splenda. Just as I expected, it adds nothing. In fact, I find it a distraction as it makes the cup entirely too sweet. Fujian tea just has a natural sweetness of its own that doesn't need tampered with, in my estimation.

Despite my messing with it, this is a wonderful tea. I honestly cannot find a single area for complaint. Well done. Just from what I have seen so far, I highly recommend giving Teasenz (especially Jin Jun Mei) a try.

You can find Teasenz, Jin Jun Mei here.

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