I've been drinking whole leaf for a few years now though I still consider myself something of a luddite on the finer details.
adagio's yunnan jig has been a favorite for a long time smooth peppery a touch of "honey-ness" and cheap enough I don't have to cringe every time I order a pound.
My most recent order of the good old jig was different, smells different in the bag(darker, earthier), taste different(the "pepper" flavor is much stronger and I find myself steeping for shorter periods), It caught me off guard, it's still a fine tea I'm enjoying daily but the difference to what I usually receive made me wonder.
Without rambling on any farther my question is this. Am I mistaken and maybe suffering from a changing palette or might there reason this bag is so different.
Fully oxidized tea leaves for a robust cup.
Teas can vary in taste because of weather conditions during the growing season. I would guess this is what you are experiencing. Either that, or your new bag is much fresher and the flavors are more intense.
Thanks for the reply that would make sense, I've been buying adagio's Jig for a couple years off and on and it's typically a consistent tea I can identify by aroma alone.