Okay, I have to start all over again on this one. Sometimes I really, really fucking hate Steepster. I went to post my review of this tea, and somehow this damned site ate everything I wrote and replaced it with the text from my review of What-Cha’s Nepal Jun Chiyabari Hand-Rolled Tippy Oolong Tea. Anyway, this was one of my sipdowns from the end of the first week in February. I found it to be a very nice Yunnan Bai Mudan.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After rinsing, I steeped 6 grams of loose leaf material in 4 ounces of 176 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was followed by 18 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, 10 minutes, and 15 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry leaf material produced aromas of cedar, pine, hay, malt, and marshmallow. After the rinse, I detected new aromas of radish, roasted carrot, peanut, roasted turnip, and spinach. The first infusion brought a hint of dandelion to the nose. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of cedar, pine, hay, malt, peanut, radish, and roasted turnip that were balanced by subtler impressions of roasted carrot, spinach, dandelion, celery, grass, straw, sugarcane, and marshmallow. The subsequent infusions brought out aromas of honey, chrysanthemum, spearmint, straw, orange zest, cucumber, basil, coriander, and pear as well as a stronger dandelion scent. Stronger and more immediately evident impressions of roasted carrot, dandelion, celery, grass, straw, and sugarcane came out in the mouth along with notes of cucumber, minerals, chrysanthemum, orange zest, basil, and coriander. I also picked up subtle notes of honey, spearmint, violet, pear, and mushroom. As the tea faded, the liquor emphasized notes of minerals, cucumber, orange zest, malt, sugarcane, roasted carrot, and coriander that were balanced by hints of violet, straw, mushroom, dandelion, pear, basil, celery, and marshmallow.
This was a very nice Yunnan Bai Mudan that struck an admirable balance between its grassier, more vegetal characteristics and its sweeter, fruitier, and more floral characteristics. At this point, I should note that I tend to associate Jingmai teas with sweet, floral, and/or fruity aromas and flavors, so it also did a good job of representing its terroir to me. My only real knocks were that it was a bit rough at first, and it struck me as being something for which I would have to be in the mood.
Flavors: Carrot, Cedar, Celery, Coriander, Cucumber, Dandelion, Floral, Grass, Hay, Herbaceous, Honey, Malt, Marshmallow, Mineral, Mushrooms, Orange Zest, Peanut, Pear, Pine, Spearmint, Spinach, Straw, Sugarcane, Vegetal, Violet