In my last post I shared with you some information about Shui Jun Gui.
The dry leaves…
Were long and slightly twisted and deep, dark brown/black in color. Their shape kind of reminded me a type of pasta called strozzapreti. The shape of that pasta is elongated and has a light twist to it, but I’m sure that the Shui Jin Gui leaves would not be good served with a light cream sauce! My first whiff of the dry leaves was an intense, deep dark chocolate aroma. If I had closed my eyes, I could have been unwrapping, smelling and eating the most decadent dark chocolate bar ever in existence!
I used a small Yixing teapot as my brewing vessel. The water temperature was 100 degrees Celsius, with 6 grams of the tea, 100 ml. of water, and the first infusion was for 2 minutes. The wet leaves had a heady, engaging and complicated aroma – hard to describe – a mixture of a chocolate, dried wood, leather, with subtle notes of dried fruits, carob and even some salted nuts? The brewed infusion was a lovely orange/brown color, with nice clarity and with a very slight green/yellow ring around the edge of the cup.
In my cup…
The first infusion was richly flavored and had a deep chocolate character with hints of malt, some toastiness with spice, dried fruits and plums at the backend. The mouthfeel was soft, thick and syrupy, coupled with a cooling sensation and an intense juiciness. YUMMY!! The second infusion was very similar to the first, but with the addition of caramel notes, together with a hint of raisin and vanilla coupled with the aroma of old leather – bound books? The third infusion was much woodsier, with deeper caramel notes and intermixed with hints of delicate flowers. Subsequent infusions brought out vanilla bean and stone fruit impressions,together with distinct notes of plum and apricot. I also began to note emerging mineral, butter, and tobacco notes, but still could detect the traces of dark chocolate and wood. Complex to say the least!
All in all, this tea must be experienced to be fully appreciated. It was a delightful cup with luscious dark chocolate, sweet caramel notes, slight maltiness accompanied by an earthy flavor. It had dessert like qualities, with a thick, soft and smooth mouthfeel. Complexity abounds as other flavors bounced around my palate. This tea’s flavor was soft and sweet on the sides of my mouth with a taste that never went bitter, with a naturally sweet finish that lingered in my mouth and nose long after my last sip. This was a fun and interesting tea. I am not certain my description does it justice; the aroma and flavor components were mellow, well-integrated, and constantly shifting. Every time I dug into it, I got impressions of something new. I would recommend this tea to fans of traditional Wuyi oolongs. A strong 4!
All teas will be rated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 for dislike and 5 as love:
- Dislike (I didn’t like the tea and would not repurchase)
- Passable (I didn’t dislike the tea, but I didn’t think it was very good)
- Average (I didn’t find it good or bad and would drink it again)
- Good (I liked it but it and may repurchase)
- Love (I enjoyed it lot and would repurchase
Next… Micchyo Tsujimaru