|"A middle-of-the-road Yunnan tea - which is to say it's vastly superior to most teas out there. Fitting for that "Everyday Yunnan" spot in your cupboard."|
The dried leaf reveals no surprises here. A mixture of black and golden tips, that familiar scent of woodland mushrooms... although something floral and/or metallic is also present on the nose. I have a suspicion the source of that may be the metal tin that my sample arrived in, but can't say for sure.
In the cup, the liquor brews up to a very rich, opaque amber-red. Adagio recommends 5 minutes with 212-degree water. The beauty of a Dian Hong is that you can't exactly mess it up, even if you try. Full boiling water or 170-degree water. 2 minutes or 15 minutes. All will produce a satisfactory cup, although Adagio's recommendations hit close to the mark for perfecting the parameters. A hotter temp and a 3 to 5 minute brew work great with this tea. If you are looking to stretch your value, a shorter brew time on the first infusion will yield a very fine cup, yet it will save enough flavor in the leaves to produce an equally satisfactory second infusion. That sweet, woodland umami aroma is present as expected.
The taste is like a familiar old friend. Comforting and delicious, it gets the job done. I have tasted many superior Yunnan teas, but this seems to strike in the everyday comfort zone. Sure, we would all love to have the high-end teas as our "desert island tea", but (a) constant ingestion of a very-fine thing can lead to weakening the special qualities of it, and (b) price is a concern for us mere mortals. Yunnan Jig is a wonderful option for the everyday Yunnan spot in your cupboard. It's affordable and tasty. It's uber-smooth. Some people get turned off by a lot of comments about a "peppery" taste, which does play a factor, but it is like a *sweet* black pepper flavor, as opposed to a spicy black pepper flavor.
As Adagio wisely states: "Yunnan tea is arguably the most underrated of Chinese varieties. If you have yet to try it, we would recommend it highly. Our 'Yunnan Jig' would make a great introduction." While I concur with the majority of this statement, I would take a step back (or further?) and recommend the Yunnan Gold as a starting point instead. Its flavor is far superior by leaps and bounds.
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