Golden Needles from the Jasmine Pearl

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dry leaves
OK, my first tasting notes.  My partner Emily and I recently took the Introduction to Wine class from the Wine and Spirit Archive (which I can't recommend highly enough), and learned a lot in a very short period of time.  One of the things I learned is how much more I have to learn, and that is doubly true when it comes to tea.  However, I'm going to do my best not to let that stop me from trying.

The first tea I'm tasting from yesterday's visit to the Jasmine Pearl is their Golden Needles, a tippy black from Yunnan.  This is a delicious tea with an unexpected flavor and texture.  It's very full-bodied and buttery; it actually feels almost thick in my mouth.  The tea has a sort of sweet and salty flavor and aroma, a little like hoisin sauce, or salted dried plum.  There's a dark, fermented, earthiness to the sweetness, too, which really appeals to me personally.
second steeping
The tea has enough tannic astringency to balance the sweetness and thick body, but not enough that it really becomes a noticeable quality in and of itself.  And there's a surprising little gust of freshness -- almost a grassy quality -- right at the end, which is kind of the perfect plunge into a cold lake after a good long bask in the sauna.  Probably not an every morning drinker, but I really like this tea!

Golden Needles from David on Vimeo.

(Second steeping of golden needles tea from the Jasmine Pearl, Portland, OR.)

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Here are my notes from tasting the Keemun Black I got on my visit to the Jasmine Pearl... Read More

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