Country of Origin: China
Leaf Appearance: compressed, varied greens with visible buds
Steep time: 15 seconds
Water Temperature: 212 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
I have a bit of a tea pet problem so I placed a few orders with Bitterleaf Teas near the start of the year. A sample of this tea, among a few others, was included with my orders. I'm sure you all can imagine my squeal of delight when I spotted the label in my box. Hummingbird was another selection of theirs from Jingmai that I really enjoyed so I had high hopes for In Bloom. This region of Lancang county is known for its floral teas so I couldn't think of a more appropriate name. I was definitely intrigued by the description of this tea as huncai/混采, or mixed picking. It is made from both younger and older trees in the same garden.
The first thing that I noticed before even taking my first sip was the abundance of trichomes in my sharing pitcher. There were so many, even after filtering, that the first few infusions almost appeared cloudy because of it. Trichomes are the tiny hairs on tea buds that protect them from UV rays and insects. They add sweetness to the taste and also make the texture of a tea softer. The taste of this tea was floral and incredibly sweet with a thick, oily mouthfeel. Sweet hay and a flinty minerality faded into lingering notes of orchid.
Later infusions were so floral that it became almost drying to the mouth but by that time the tea was mostly done. There was some bitterness but it was balanced by plenty of huigan. This is a relatively young tea but it was still very drinkable. It's about the middle of the road as far as price goes at $0.30/g but a 25g sample won't set you back too much. This would be a good starter tea for someone looking to exploring Jingmai a bit more. It stood up well to fully boiling water and offered plenty of sweetness.
In Bloom 2017 Jingmai Raw Puer received with a paid order from Bitterleaf Teas.
For the curious, these are the tea pets that I ordered. :)