Review of Jingmai Mountain Wild Arbor Black Tea of Spring 2018

10 of 105 of 55 of 5100 of 100

Wow! Exceptional!!!

I've tried a lot of teas from Yunnan Sourcing over the years but have never ordered nor have I reviewed any of them; they were always just served to me by others, often aged Pu-erhs. I finally ordered some of my own and I am super impressed with every one. This is my favorite one of the batch.

This tea was delightful; easy to drink but with the complexity to satisfy me when I sipped it slowly.

The dry leaf is beautiful and explosively aromatic. The aroma is multifaceted and I find it hard to describe: there's a fresh, light quality that reminds me of ceylon teas, but it's more malty and with a hint of smoke. It also has some earthy notes, and hints of cocoa. I find it delightful and I love just sticking my nose in the tin that I put it into. (Side note, three of the five "resealable" bags I got from Yunnan sourcing broke after several uses, forcing me to transfer the teas to tins. I'm not crazy about this, especially if the packaging is not biodegradable, now I have a bunch of wasteful packaging that didn't even serve its intended purpose. If I am going to have to transfer the tea to a new container, I'd rather the packaging then be totally biodegradable. But this complaint is not really about the tea itself.)

The brewed cup has a honey-like sweetness: aroma is soft but complex: malty, floral, and slightly vegetal, notes of hot chocolate. Very smooth up-front, but ends in a moderate astringency, giving it a rich, full body. Little bitterness or sourness. I love the flavor and mouthfeel of this tea. It's pretty close to perfectly suited to my tastes.

Feels strongly caffeinated, but I like how I feel after drinking it. A good tea to drink when I want to focus.

Has a warming quality and I found I didn't like drinking this as much on the hottest days. It really came alive for me as the weather got cooler and the skies cloudier. I also found this tea paired well with sweets; eating it with cookies tended to bring out more of the vegetal notes, and the peppery sensation in the finish, typical of Yunnan teas, both of which I liked.

Resteeps well although not exceptionally. I always got two cups from it. I like a max 3 minute first steep and a very long second steep. Brewed this way, the second cup has more peppery notes in the finish, and is markedly less malty, and perhaps a tiny bit Pu-erh like.

I have been periodically enjoying this tea. It's too caffeinated for me to want to drink it regularly in quantity, so I have to be in the right place to want it, but when I do, it's absolutely delightful and I enjoy every sip.

Price is incredible. You can get 100 grams for only $7.00. This is definitely the best tea I've tried in this price range in a really long time.

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