Review of Jinggu Camellia Taliensis Black Tea

9 of 104 of 55 of 593 of 100

I thought this was an exceptional tea, but one not particularly suited to my tastes. I still liked it a lot though. It tastes the most like a white tea of any black tea I've tried.

The dry leaf is explosively fragrant, suggesting malt, caraway, overripe fruit, and flowers. There is a lot going on in the aroma, it's both the strongest and most complex of the dry leaf of any tea I've tried in some time. The leaf also looks beautiful: it is wiry and irregularly curled, visibly downy, and has a good amount of variation of color from dark brown through beige to orange and gold.

The brewed cup is surprisingly sweet, tasting like honey has been added. The aroma of the cup is pleasant but less intense and complex than I would expect from the dry leaf. It reminds me strongly of ripe plum, and there are notes of cinnamon and dried ginger. There is little bitterness or sourness, yet the mouthfeel is thick, which together makes this tea seem a bit syrupy. The finish has a pleasing floral aroma that lingers for a long time, along with some notes of autumn leaves. Overall the finish strongly reminds me of white teas.

Overall my impression was that this was an exceptional tea, one of the highest quality teas I have had in a long time. I was so good that, even though these ultra-smooth, syrupy teas aren't usually much to my liking, I still really loved drinking this one.

The second steep is surprisingly different from the first: it is more astringent and slightly more bitter, and has more of the aromatic notes characteristic of white teas, particularly the suggestion of autumn leaves. I'm not sure which infusion I liked better: I preferred the aroma of the first cup, but the bolder flavor and astringency of the second.

I was unable to get more than two good steeps out of this tea, making a tea of the strength that I like. I suspect you could do it but it would take a huge amount of leaf, and the leaf of this takes up a huge amount of space.

Price is unbeatable for a tea of this quality. I feel like I keep saying this over and over again with Yunnan Sourcing, but it's true. It's very hard to get a tea of this quality at this price.

I recommend this one especially to people who enjoy white teas and want a black tea with some of the aromatic notes and other qualities of these teas.

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