My tasting notes: Jing Mai Ancient Black Hong Cha
I am not instinctively drawn towards black teas but after tasting this one, my tea world has been turned upside down. If I had to pick one word to describe it, it would be “nectar”, the same sweet substance that attracts bees to flowers. Unfortunately, it’s hard to tell what nectar must smell or taste like to a bee, but I imagine it to be delicious and irresistible. Just like this tea to me. It is made from the same 500-year-old trees as Jing Mai’s pu erhs and first sun-dried like a pu erh. I recommend not skipping the step of rinsing the leaves before brewing.
Ancient Black Yunnan, Smacha, Bellevue
Tea Name: Jing Mai Ancient Black Hong Cha
Origin: Jing Mai Mountains, Yunnan, China
Ingredients: black tea
Water Temperature: 205 F / 96 C
Steep Time: 1 minute
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Leaves/Water Ratio: 4 grams, 5 oz / 150 ml filtered water (Brita)
dry leaves: long leaves (1.5-2 inches/4-5 cm), rolled lengthwise, black, dark grey with rusty and yellow hues
wet leaves: rust brown, grey
liquor: orange with rusty hues
dry leaves: sweet, stone fruits, vanilla, chocolate, spices
wet leaves: nutty, dates
liquor: sweet, stone fruits, ripe apricots
liquor: sweet, no bitterness or astringency, sweet and fruity aftertaste, notes of honey
MOUTHFEEL: round, medium bodied, smooth, sweet, floral aftertaste lingers
FOOD PAIRING: milk chocolate with high cocoa percentage or persimmon- or pumpkin-based dishes. Can you tell I'm in the mood for fall ingredients?
OVERALL IMPRESSION: very well balanced, sweet and delicious
Disclaimer: sample provided for review by Smacha. This is my honest opinion. I am not affiliated with Smacha nor with the manufacturer of this product. This tea is sold for a charitable cause here.