Imperial Jinggu Yue Gang Bai White Tea from Yunnan Sourcing

ImperialJingguTea Information:

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy:  Yunnan Sourcing

Tea Description:

This is a special tea made from Jinggu Yang Ta Village Large Leaf varietal tea (Camellia Taliensis). The tea is picked in the late autumn, wilted slightly and then dried with warm wind tunneled through the tea until it is dry.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Jinggu Imperial Yue Guang Bai White Tea from Yunnan Sourcing is one of those teas shrouded in mystery. Moonlight white teas are not well understood in the west. Sometimes mistaken for puerh in the way that it is processed, often air dried the same way as maocha. The name frequently describing Yue Guang Bai, Moonlight White tea alludes to the air dry process. The common lore goes that this tea is only air dried at night, under a full moon. Knowing all this, my only question is: “Am I drinking werewolf tea?”

Regardless of what mythical creature this tea really is trying to be, I am really enjoying it thoroughly. The leaves look like a mix of Bai Mu Dan and Bai Hao Yin Zhen. There are smooth, fuzzy silver noodles of buds, as well as larger, flat leaves with a black backside and a silvery down covering a light golden top leaf. The smell of this dry leaf is like roaming through a wild prairie field; I smell stronger notes of hay, as well as light wildflower hints. I typically use 5 grams when I go gongfu, but 5 grams of this leaf filled up almost all of my 150ml glass gaiwan. This is some big fluffy leaf!

You can extract different flavor profiles from the leaf just by changing the temperature. I started with cool water, about 65C, the result was a sweet and floral brew. The light colored liquor had notes of melon, lilies and wildflowers. Which was nice, but I wanted to punch up the flavor a bit, so I began steeping at 90C, which produced wildly different results. What I got was a much darker brew, a rich amber. Tasting the brew I discovered a strong bread malt note as well as hay. The floral was still there, but much more subdued. It was much different than the cool water method I had used. It was like I was drinking a different tea!

I can highly recommend this white tea for anyone who loves white already, or someone who wants to start treading water of the white tea train. It’s a solid tea worth trying!

Spring Old Tree Yue Guan Bai (White Moon Light) Jinggu Tea from JK Tea Shop

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy:  JK Tea Shop

Tea Description:

White moon light tea from Jinggu, is a kind a tea which does not fall into the six tea categories, due to its making techniques. Or to be more precisely, more people would like to define it as white tea; However, it also has its difference compared to white tea.

Invented by a Taiwan guy in Yunnan in 2003, this tea is made from big white hair big leaves tea trees from Jinggu. Only Jinggu has this type of tea trees, which is charaterized with silver tea hair. Its making process are summarized below: picking the fresh leaves; withering the tea leaves under the moon light to its complete dryness(unlike Pu Er tea, which must be withered under sun light); after the withering process is ok, then it is the finished product of white moon light tea. Since its witherness is conducted for a long time, it causes some interior oxidation by its interior enzymes. So that is why its tea liquid and aroma is so similiar to black tea. You will be surprised to see the tea liquid color turns to more and more red after several infusion.

Taster’s Review:

Dear Readers, I have a confession to make.

You see, I have a lot of tea in my possession.  Even before starting this blog, I had quite a stash of tea.  And at the time that we (Jennifer and I) started this blog, we received many wonderful samples from companies that wished to be featured on our blog.

Of course, we were very grateful for these opportunities, however, there was a downside.  That downside being that when we were offered these samples, I of course tried them (very enthusiastically!), but it left little time for the teas that I already had on hand, and those teas ended up getting buried underneath the new samples.

Recently, I embarked on a quest to try to gain some clarity and try to reorganize my stash.  I’ve been quite successful in this quest, I might add.  However, I’ve come across several teas that I had purchased at one time or another, and had forgotten about after receiving the aforementioned samples.

This happens to be one of those teas.  I purchased it in 2010, right about the same time that we started this blog, and it managed to get stashed away and forgotten.  And how sorry I am to have forgotten such a darling tea!

Yes, I know that time is not a tea’s best friend, however, this tea did remain in its sealed package until now, and after tasting it and comparing my thoughts about it with the above description from JK Tea Shop, I feel that the tea has managed to keep its flavors intact.  So, I think I shall proceed with this review!

I brewed this according to the suggestions on JK Tea Shop’s website using my gaiwan with 190° water and very short steeps (the first steep was just 10 seconds!)  The combination of my first two infusions (following a quick rinse) looked more like a very weak black tea than it did a white tea.  It also had flavors very reminiscent to a weak black tea.

The sip started out with me thinking that this tea was in fact too old, because there was so little flavor … tasting a bit like hot water rather than tea.  But after the tea swirled around on my palate for a moment, the flavors began to develop.  It had a deep earthiness and hints of spice in the background.  After a few sips, a floral note emerged, along with a pleasing sweetness.  The tea finishes soft with an aftertaste that has a sweet and sour quality to it that rests in the back of the throat.  Subsequent infusions had more color to them (looking even more like a black tea) and had a taste that reminded me very much of a golden yunnan.

With a tea that tastes this interesting after aging a couple of years, I can’t help but wonder how it might taste when it is fresh.  I think I shall be watching JK Tea Shop’s website for this spring’s harvest!