This is the second Lapsang Souchong I am writing about and I think that the first tea could not be more dissimilar to this one. This golden tip Lapsang Souchong had no smokiness at all. Instead, it was sweet, some notes of chocolate and honey together with hints of mineral characteristics.
This special tea reminded me of Jin Jun Mei which is a black tea from Wuyi Mountain, composed of buds only. According to the seller’s description, this tea is made out of '1 bud and 1 leaf' ratio.
Jun Mei is also known as the highest grade of Lapsang Souchong and further classified into two grades: golf (Jin) and Yin (Silver). As this tea was harvested in Spring (a required criterion for Jun Mei) from a cultivator at around 1200 m and it contains buds, I wonder whether it is more suitable to be categorised as Yin Jun Mei. However, I’ll stick with the seller’s humble description.
My conclusion is this tea is not a premium Jin Jun Mei. Yet, it is certainly a higher-grade Lapsang Souchong. In my view, it is suitable to drink at any time of the day. My only complaint is that there is very little left of it.
Origin: Wuyi Mountain, Fujian Province
Harvest time: Spring 2019
Leave colour: Dark brown leaves with around 30% golden buds
Liquor colour: Dark amber
Tea aroma: Floral with slightly malty scent
Tea taste: Smooth and sweet with honey and chocolate notes and hints of minerality
Steeping/brewing: You can use around 90°C water temperature and brew for up to one minute in gongfu style or up to three minutes in Western-style. You can brew the leaves many times (until the taste is lost). To each infusion add additional time. Experiment for a result that suits your taste.
Shelf life: Up to 5 years or more if stored appropriately (to improve shelf-life store the sealed tea leaves in a dry, ventilated place with low temperatures and away from odour)