Review of 2005 Jing Mai Autumnal

8 of 105 of 54 of 589 of 100
ExcellentExcellentGood Value

(Lot # Bing-Autumn10612-01)

This is my favorite shu/shou (ripened) Pu-erh of all time.

I did not enjoy this tea at first but it has since grown on me after drinking about a third of the cake. I found this tea to improve considerably as it has continued to age. Interestingly, I find it tastes more like aged sheng (raw) Pu-erh than it does shou (ripened) Pu-erh. As it's aged, I think it could probably fool me, in its current state.

This cake was unusually difficult to break. The dry leaf has little aroma...the leaves seems to have a bit more stem than most pu-erh. There are even some larger twigs included.

I've tried brewing several different ways and the results are very similar; only the strength differs. Aroma is herbaceous, like the company's description...suggestive of celery with a hint of wood. Less earthy than I'd expect for a tea of this age. I'm not noticing the sweetness in the aroma or aftertaste. The cup is a very clear amber color, and the flavor is clean. Using cooler water I have found results in a mellower, warmer cup, whereas warmer water leads to a cup with more kick and stronger herbaceous tones.

Overall, very oolong-like...the first infusion of this tea is very similar to the second infusion of an oolong with woody characteristics, like an amber oolong or darker Tie Guan Yin.

I think the company has perhaps been overzealous on their claim that this tea is good for 3-4 infusions of 3 minutes. I found it gave out after 2. I had better luck using more leaf and briefer infusions.

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