Monday, September 8, 2014

Yunnan Sourcing: Jinggu Golden Strand Pure Bud Yunnan Black Tea Spring 2014, A Tea Review

Guys, I finally did it, I figured out the perfect Tea Triage for my blog! I have been stressing for a bit over posting order because I have a ton of teas to review from different companies. Since it is just good policy to review teas sent by companies rather than ones bought/gifted first, this is my usual order, but for the first time ever I got a bunch of different teas from a bunch of different companies all at once. And I thought the spring harvest was a busy time for tea bloggers, this is just awesome! My main problem really is just making sure none of the tea companies feel neglected or forgotten, so I set up a Tea Triage (tea-age, treage, this doesn't make for good punnery) that I am happy with. 

So for today we have Yunnan Sourcing's Jinggu Golden Strand Pure Bud Yunnan Black Tea Spring 2014 a gloriously fuzzy golden tea (my biggest weakness, maybe) I just love the appearance of fuzzy teas, the gold ones in particular just fill me with happiness when looking at them. According to Yunnan Sourcing, this particular batch of Hong Cha (red tea) is the fuzziest they have sold, awesome! This particular fuzzy gold tea is from Jinggu, Yunnan, and is made with the highest grade Yunnan large leaf buds. After my usual period of staring at the tea oohing and ahhing at the adorable tea I got around to sniffing it. The aroma is...well, it is awesome, there are notes of dried cherries and apricots, with more subtle notes of sweet potatoes, roasted peanuts, and lastly a tiny hint of cream. It is very much so iconic for a Yunnan black tea, at least for me it is, it has all the notes I expect when sniffing a fuzzy gold tea, but with a cleaner and crisper edge. 

And into the gaiwan the leaves go, it is always a little sad since this means the gold fuzz will go away (and by go away I mean go into my cup for me to sip, mmm fuzzies) but it is also happy because it means I am about to drink tea. The aroma of the now steeped leaves is sweet, pretty intensely sweet, blending notes of stewed apricots and cherries with a touch of molasses, malt, sweet potatoes, roasted peanuts and a finish of wood. The poured off liquid from the first steep is creamy sweet with notes of sweet potatoes and acorn squash (almost verging on pumpkin) and a finish that is almost floral, like very distant flowers. 

The first steep starts out juicy and sweet, it reminds me of biting into a perfectly ripe plum and then it transitions to malt and molasses. After this there is a delicious kick of pumpkin, I had a funny moment when sipping this tea where I actually shouted out Pumpkin! and promptly handed Ben the cup to taste, where he agreed that yes, this tea had pumpkin notes and promptly went back to reading. The finish of the tea is floral, with almost a rose like touch, the mouthfeel starts out creamy and fades to a dry slightly fuzzy feel at the end. 

Second steeping time, and the aroma of this steep's aroma is rich and sweet. There are notes of sweet potatoes, stewed plums, and a touch of raw honey at the finish. The taste is quite rich, it starts off with malt and molasses this time with only a hint of fresh plum. This transitions into pumpkin and a touch of roasted peanuts with a finish of honey. The mouthfeel starts off more dry than last time, but there is still a hint of the smoothness at the beginning. 

For the third steep we have a creamy pumpkin and sweet potato aroma, in fact the aroma reminds me of sweet potato patties I used to eat like crazy as a kid, (are they just a thing in the South, because I never see them anymore) so yay for nostalgia points. The mouthfeel starts out creamy and stays creamy, it is very mellow, actually everything about this steep is mellow. It starts out gently fruity and honey sweet and fades to malt and molasses, at the finish there is a bit of pumpkin and a refreshing cooling effect. So yeah, I enjoyed this tea, but have I ever met a fuzzy tea from Yunnan that I did not enjoy immensely? 

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