Jia Ji Tuo (甲级沱茶 Special Grade Bird's Nest ) is a high quality blend with that characteristic heavy Menghai area qi! Good mouth-feel and huigan this is a great choice for aging. Affordable, but packs a punch!
Net Weight: 500 grams per bag (5 tuos at 100 grams each)
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My brewing parameters were 12.2g; 135ml Steam Kiln Porcelain pot; 100˚C
Heated dry leaf aroma: Beautiful sweet amber raw pu'erh smell, dark humid verdant forest, a small hint of sour lemon flesh (not the overwhelming perfume of the zest oils, but rather the pleasant tartness of the interior fruit)
Wet leaf aroma: Hot humid green garden after a sunshower, aroma of blanched dark chinese greens.
1st Infusion: Complex tobacco bitterness, dried green bamboo skin minerality, stir fried chinese mustard greens, enjoyable verdant bitters - not quite like angostura bitters as those are more floral and this flavour is on the greener side of bitterness, much like rapini.
Liquor: Thick, viscous, oily; dark yellow-green
2nd: Approachable, smooth, creamy bitterness. Like a smooth but bitter Amaro (Italian digestif), but not quite sweet yet. Quite unique - like the flavour of bitterness but the sensation of smoothness.
3rd: Potent and complex herbal bitterness, smoothness abates for now; back of palate alcohol/liqueur perfume like sensation after having a shot.
4th: Antique woods coming through, a flavour of herbal honey-sweetness peeks through the bitterness
5th: Good Cha Qi, feeling awakened (first tea of the day). Getting this jungle-ey flavour like an old sun-baked tropical old-growth forest where the heat is causing the aroma of all the plants to double - like that, but in flavour form. Also getting the flavour of dried bamboo leaves (like the kind you'd use for Zongzi). Bitterness breaks its intensity on this infusion.
6th: Sweetness begins, bitterness fades almost completely, lots of hui gan.
Brewed through to the 10th infusion, maintaining the verdant sweetness from 6 onwards.
Very enjoyable and potent tuo.
In short: good tea for drinking now, low price, will probably age gracefully. Plus, a tuo is easy to fit in your briefcase or suitcase if you're on the go. And you won't need a chisel to pry some leaves free.
I bought 5 tuos, so I'll try to let at least some tuos age, but I'm not sure I'll be able to wait 4 or 5 years...
The cha qi is really strong, and gets my organs moving. Got me sweating a bit during a session
This tea can be pushed really hard and still give off a nice flavor and aroma. Caracteristics from a factory tea. Aging will give this tea a nice round flavor. Might be ordering some more for a storage experiment.
Great daily drinker, packs a punch and is really cheap.