First and foremost, I want to congratulate Nicole of Tea For Me Please for winning Tea Blogger of the Year at the 2018 World Tea Expo!
Anyways, last month, Bitterleaf Teas released their new version of their 2017 ’In Bloom’ (which I reviewed here), called 2018 In Bloom! In Bloom is a sheng puer tea which is harvested from the Jingmai region of Yunnan. The 2017 version of this tea, as I recall, was woodsy and sweet. However, this year, Bitterleaf Teas released 2 versions of this tea — one sheng puer version and one huang pian version (larger leaf material). So how does this year’s In Bloom compare to last years? Lets find out!
Demensions — 4.6g in a 70ml shibo
Beeng Price — $60.00 for 200g
Water Temperature — 190ºf
Number of Steeps — 14
Steeps 1 - 6
Upon my first infusion of In Bloom, the wet leaf sitting in my shibo gave off a strong fruity aroma that seemed to leave a memorable presence. Anyhow — the first impressions of this tea left a medicinal and green grass forefront with an aftertaste of a orchard grove. After a few more infusions, a new sweet warm undertone of ripe plums quickly made itself known. By the way, when I say warm, I mean ‘warm’ in the same way that cinnamon is warm. After another few infusions, In Bloom’s body became more and more floral, as the warming plum-like undertone became stronger and thicker. By the sixth infusion, this tea’s texture was frothy and slightly oily.
Steeps 7 - 14
By the seventh and eighth infusion, In Bloom’s body was stronger with its medicinal floral body, and was as rich and thick as a chicken broth. In Bloom’s grassy tasting notes were completely gone, but lightly resembled hay at this point in the session. By the tenth infusion, this tea was smooth, and left a faint astringent mouthfeel on the sides of the tongue. By the fourteenth infusion, In Bloom began to settle down and began to dilute in taste. However, despite going for fourteen steeps, this tea was ready to be put away.
2018 In Bloom is a new sheng puer released by Bitterleaf Teas and is a sequel to their 2017 version by the same name. In Bloom is a Jingmai region tea, and is blended with both small and big tea tree material. One thing that stood out with In Bloom 2018 is its tasting notes were more floral, sweet, and fruity than it’s 2017 counterpart. One thing I like about In Bloom was how noticeable and upfront its floral tasting notes are. Another aspect about this tea that I like is how much depth it held as far as tasting notes and body goes, becuase for a single origin tea, I felt like it could have been a blend (which is really saying something). However, without making claims that the 2017 version of this tea was bad, 2018 In Bloom was noticeably different and is an immense improvement.
Overall, when I first saw that 2017 In Bloom was getting re-vamped, and just based on how memorable the 2017 version was, I decided to blindly beeng the new version of it. Without a doubt, I can say that I made the right decision and don’t have any regrets with it. In Bloom highlights the Jingmai reign so well that all Jingmai lovers across the board will fall in love with this tea. So if you’re into sweet sheng and want to own one that wont break the bank, while still tasting like it might, In Bloom might just find its way into your cup next time around…