Sunday, January 7, 2018

Teas Unique: 2015 Janghueng Joongjak Aged Cheong Tae Jeon Coin Tea, A Tea Review

Name 2015 Jangheung Joongjak (Third Pluck) 100% Wild Grown Aged Cheong Tae Jeon Coin Tea

Company Teas Unique Use this link to get a 25% discount on your order
Type of Tea: Coin Tea, also called Cheong Tae Jeon, Ddeokcha, Ddokcha, Tteokcha, Rice Cake Tea. Its shape lends it to different names. Mostly from what I can tell it is a fermented green tea similar to both a Korean green tea and a Sheng Puerh. It ages and from what I can tell, quite well, since that was the original point of these neat little coins. This is a tea with history behind it, much like other teas made for aging, it was a solution to storage by people a long time ago.

Description of Dry Leaf: The coin is a delightful mottled brown and green with very tightly compressed leaves, I would need a jackhammer to separate them!

Aroma of Leaf: To really make this tea shine, it needs a good roasting, usually using a pan but I decided it was the perfect time to break out the mini tea roaster I have! Within a few minutes my tea desk was filled with a peculiar aroma of ginseng, chocolate, orchids, and nuts. It was certainly odd but not in an unpleasant way, but certainly not notes I ever expected to encounter all at once.

Aroma of Tea: Very medicinal, the steam of the tea is loaded with toasted notes and ginseng and licorice. It is very aromatic and not entirely like tea. It also vaguely reminds me of the humid and earthy aroma of a conservatory hothouse, complete with subtle orchids.

Preparation Style: This tea required an adventure to make! First the roasting, then boiling a liter of water, then boil it for 7-10 minutes (I did 9) for the first steep. Later steeps get 600ml water and long boil.

Taste: So, this wasn't exactly what I was expecting, granted I wasn't entirely sure what I was expecting! The first steep was fairly light (the coin was mostly in one piece still, even after a vigorous boiling) with notes of sea water, ginseng, chocolate, and a finish of orchids. It is very sweet and medicinal with just a hint of umami in the front of the taste. The next steep brought on stronger medicinal sweetness with a thicker mouthfeel and a very long lingering orchid finish. I admit I did not go for a third refill because I was sloshing and this tea had me feeling all floaty and I did not wish to drift off into lala land.

Oddball Notes: Since this was such a large amount of tea to session ratio I decided to rope Ben into this with the promise of rare tea and weirdness, two things that pique his interest. This was not something I expected him to like since he usually loathes fermented, roasted, and green teas, but it was something he liked! He liked the chocolate and medicinal notes but could live without the umami and orchid...he is so picky. As for myself, I liked it! It is not something I want everyday, but is something that would be fun to pull out on a day when I am not sitting at the tea desk but busy in the kitchen and want a large amount of tea that is more forgiving than most! Plus this tea has been on my to try list for years, and I am very glad to have tried it!

How I Acquired The Tea: Sent for review by Teas Unique

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