Gem Juice Outlaw Tea Tasting (Mei Leaf)
Last friday, it was time for another tea tasting. This time, I decided to sit down and enjoy several cups of Mei Leaf’s Gem Juice Outlaw. When I drank this Ripe Puerh for the first time, I was immediately hooked by its weird (but enjoyable) flavours. For me, this tea is a tea of extremes. A weird combination that seems to work perfectly. Another thing is the amazing design of the wrapper! This doesn’t have anything to do with the taste but is a nice bonus nonetheless.
This is a picture of the whole cake before I started taking leaves from it.
A close-up of the cake after I had already taken leaves from it to have two tea sessions.
Gem Juice Outlaw
The tea itself is made from purple tea leaves. What? Purple tea leaves? Another type of tea? Not really. Purple tea is called purple tea not because of the different steps in the production process but because the leaves have a purplish colour. This particular tea is made from the Zi Juan cultivar, which is a purple variety of Camellia sinensis. It comes from Bulang Mountain in Yunnan Province, China. The picking of this tea was a delicate process; it was a very fine picking. A bud and two very young leaves were picked for this tea. The tea leaves were pressed into a cake and this cake has aged since 2013
The red dot marks the location of Bulang Mountain in Yunnan province. As you can see, it is very close to Laos and Myanmar.
On Mei leaf’s website, the taste of the tea is described as “chestnut puree moving to blackcurrant, redcurrant and fennel seeds.” (link) I’m really curious to see if these are also the flavours I will get during my tasting. Due to the fact that this is a shou Puerh tea, I got to use my Jianshui teapot again. Always happy to use it because it’s so much fun to brew tea in it.
- Water 99°C
- 5,25g of tea for a 150ml Jianshui teapot
- 2 rinses
- 9 steeps (10 sec + 3 sec for each steep)
Before the rinse, I got some earthy chestnut notes followed by a slight burnt aroma.
I got more or less the same aromas but I also got a very light citrus smell after the second rinse.
In general, I can say that all steeps had one thing in common: there was a combination between warm notes on the one hand, and a sharp taste on the other hand. What it is exactly difficult to describe and that is why it is such an interesting tea to drink.
1st steep: during this steep, there were no exceptional and intense flavours. There was a slight earthy and blackcurrant taste. It was earthy from the start and then gradually changed into more blackcurrant notes. There was no bitter and / or astringent aftertaste. Drinking this tea gave a very pleasant feeling in the mouth.
2nd steep: still a bit earthy but a bit less than the first steep. Some blackcurrant notes in the middle and these died out slowly towards the end. In the end, it gets bitter and that is why this steep is a bit too intense for me. On the website, it says this tea is not bitter but I experienced some bitter notes.
3rd steep: This one is really difficult to describe. I got some warm notes in combination with very sharp notes. This steep is not as intense as the previous one and tastes a lot better. In addition, the aftertaste is a lot less bitter.
4th steep: some slight burnt notes in combination with blackcurrant. The aftertaste is even less bitter than steep 3. Really enjoyable to drink.
5th steep: this steep is not as intense as the previous ones. No burnt and earthy notes and also no bitter aftertaste. This is a really enjoyable steep to drink.
6th steep: very light flavours during this steep. Some slight earthy notes in combination with a very light citrus flavour. The citrus flavour is only barely noticeable.
7th steep: This steep is more or less the same as the previous one. Light earthy flavour in combination with some citrus notes. These notes are very light and barely noticeable.
8th steep: very light earthy tones in combination with some sharp lime, citrus notes. This is a really nice steep to drink. Pleasant feeling and taste. `
9th steep: no earthy flavour. Only some very light citrus notes. This creates a clear and fresh taste.
As I have said before, this tea is a tea of extremes. It’s the combination of two opposites: warm notes and sharp, fresh notes. I did not fully experience this combination during the earlier steeps but once I noticed it, the game was on. For me, this is one of the main reasons this tea is really enjoyable to drink. It’s difficult to describe but once you have tasted this tea, you know exactly what I mean.
Interested in buying this tea? Visit Mei leaf’s online shop: https://meileaf.com/tea/gem-juice-outlaw/
Serving tip: it’s really difficult to pick one particular occasion to drink this tea because of its opposites. You could drink it when you are under a blanket next to a fire while it’s snowing outside or you could drink this tea next to a pool on a hot day in April / May. This tea will work well in both of these situations, which shows its unique combination of completely different flavours.
My overall score of this tea is 8,5/10. If I finish my cake, I will definitely buy another one because this tea is quite something. The earlier steeps are not that special but once you experience the combination of warm and fresh flavours, you cannot stop drinking it.