Winter Alishan Jinxuan, bouquet style Taiwan oolong
the oolong with an accent of milk
In the early 80’s when the tea was first available to the market, tea tasters described Jinxuan oolong as having an accent of milk. The simple remark has sparked waves of imitation products, all involving adding flavouring. This continues until today. Jinxuan maybe one of the more popular cultivars in Taiwan, but it takes mastery to harvest and process it properly for that natural and slight “milk” accents, and all the other finer tea qualities. Tea Hong’s Alishan Jinxuan is just that. Non-blended first flush superbly produced to the same balance as Prof Wu Zhenduo* had originally intended it to be. As the same cleansing, soft taste profile that made it famous in the beginning. Nothing added, purely as we have always like our tea to be.
Net weight: 50 g (1.8 oz) in Handy alu-bag
Soft, sweet, creamy bouquet with a light hint of osmanthus flower and anise seed. Velvety texture. Cleansing sensation. Equally soft, sweet body with a floral and yes, milky accent. Very slightly sweet aftertaste.
Since this is a very soft tea, it is almost impossible to make a bad cup out of it. The consideration is whether to maximise its taste potential. Usually longer infusion time gives a more complete taste profile. Some people go as far as 10 minutes. Our advice is a much higher leaf to water ratio, together with slightly more than usual steeping time, whether you are going gongfu or big pot style. 100°C water is good to render the aroma, but take enough care not to get scalded.
In Taiwan, some people advocate infusing this tea in cold water. If you want to try cold infusion, we suggest using teas that are baked or roasted more than this one, unless you have a very strong stomach. For example, if you want tea from the same region, Cold Dew Alishan, Alishan Guanyin, Cold Peak etc are all deeper baked. They are more suitable for cold infusion.
The current offer is a superb winter batch for the tea variety’s top taste and aromatic profile. It has matured to subdue some of the TCM cold nature.
Prof Wu Zhenduo (1918 ~ 2000) is known in Taiwan tea trade as the “Father of Taiwan Tea”. He is well known in the rebuilding of TRES — Tea Research and Extension Station — an important support in driving Taiwan’s tea market. He personally developed this Jinxuan cultivar.
|Dimensions||18 × 9 × 5 cm|
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Right when I opened the bag, I knew this was going to be an amazing experience. The aroma of the dry leaf is pungent and sweet, with just a pinch of woodsy undertones to add balance to what is undoubtedly a creamy, velvety tea.
The next thing I noticed was just how big these leaves are – these are not tiny pebbles, they are more like boulders. The leaves are HUGE! As they brew up they unfurl into thick and wholesome leaves that stretch out several inches. I am very impressed by the uniformity of the plucking and processing as well. The leaves are rolled tight, but not so tight as to make them brittle.
In every aspect of the flavor profile, this tea is dripping with milky-sweet flavors that carry a kind of oily-spicy quality to it that reminds me of fennel or anise, as mentioned in the description. This adds a gentle vibrancy that cuts through the rich and decadent, milk-forward flavor profile, and creates a sense of balance that keeps this tea intriguing every time it’s brewed up.
This tea is easy to brew and very forgiving, it resists turning sharp or bitter, and has lots of stamina so whether you brew it gong-fu or Western-style, you will easily get some of the best “milk oolong” you could ever hope for.