Review of Jinggu "Da Jin Ya" Camellia Taliensis Black Tea

9 of 105 of 55 of 595 of 100

This was a really enjoyable tea that also had a lot of depth and complexity.

The dry leaf is made exclusively of luscious, thick, fuzzy buds that are kinda rolled on themselves; the picture does not really do it justice. Although it seems to be pure buds, they look a bit more mature than on some tippy teas, and they're thick and robust and have a character a bit more like some mature leaves, which I liked.

The dry leaf is only slightly aromatic, you can get some interesting notes but only if you really stick your nose in the bag and breathe in: it is a subtle, pleasant aroma that is kinda vegetal, floral, and slightly malty. However, I was pleased that as soon as I poured water over the leaves, there was an explosion of aroma, and a complex one at that.

The aroma is very different from any teas I have tried previously. The dominant note reminds me of artichoke, and there is a hint of mustard or pickles. Overall it's a sweet smell, but one that also suggests sour and savory flavors. The cup is low in astringency, to the point of being a bit thin-bodied unless you brew it strongly. There are also some grassy and toasty notes that I usually associate with pan-fired green teas and rarely encounter in black teas. The flavor is a good balance of bitter, sour, and savory. There is not much sweetness, although it gives the illusion of sweetness.

This tea resteeps exceptionally well; the second steep is especially bold flavor-wise, with a surprisingly strongly savory quality; I find this quality is one of the first to "wear out" when resteeping tea, but in this tea it sticks around. The resteep is still aromatically complex.

I very much enjoyed drinking this one. It seems to promote a calm alertness. It was also easy to brew and versatile. Go milder, and it is delicate and soft, but brew it stronger and it is satisfying and hearty. It tastes good both ways and was never overwhelming the way some tippy teas can be.

The price on this is fantastic; for a tea made of buds, with this much depth, you pretty much aren't going to get a better price than this. This was one of my favorite teas I've had from Yunnan Sourcing in a while, although it fell short of being one of my all-time favorites.

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