Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Eco-Cha Artisan Tea: Jin Xuan Oolong Tea, A Tea Review

Good news everyone, my stomach seems to be on the mend so I am able to drink Oolong again! Still too sensitive for Black teas and it is hit or miss with Green, but Oolong tea and I are friends again. Auspicious for New Years Eve, also auspicious is that my mini Perler (ok, Hama, their English cousins) arrived. They are so tiny, about the size of a Seed Bead for those who are in the know. I am not looking forward to sorting them all, but using them in projects is very exciting. For now though, on to the tea!

Jin Xuan Oolong Tea by Eco-Cha Artisan Tea is an award winning Taiwanese Oolong tea (and one of my personal favorite Taiwanese Oolongs, fun fact) harvested in the Winter of 2013. Jin Xuan translates to Golden Daylily and is also known as Milk Oolong. The aroma of the leaves is very sweet and floral, the orchid notes are heady and intense. The sweet floral aroma fades to a vegetal, green bean note with an after aroma of fresh bread. The aroma is mouthwatering and pleasant, I found myself just inhaling the aroma long after my kettle was ready with its water.

Once I finally finished sniffing the loose leave and brewed the teas, the aroma of leaves is wonderfully floral and heady and very smooth. There is still the underlying vegetal notes as well. The liquid is smooth and floral with herbaceous notes of sage and slightly woody like bamboo.

The first steep is mild and sweet with subtle flavor notes. There are notes of sage and orchids with a sugarcane midtaste. The finish is creamy and mild and the floral notes linger. I feel as though this steep is just a hint of what is to come and is easing you into a more intense flavor. It is very enjoyable with its subtlety, especially after a break from tea.

The second steep's leaves have a much headier aroma and very sweet, like fresh sugarcane juice and orchids. The liquid's aroma is creamy and vegetal and quite tantalizing. The taste is creamy and sweet with much stronger vegetal tones and a sweet aftertaste. The mouthfeel starts buttery and fades to a dry mouthfeel, it is a very enjoyable transition. On to the third steeping!

The third and final steeping has a very heady aroma, not quite as strong as the second steeping but still quite intense. The liquid's aroma is very sweet and less vegetal, the sweetness is more like honey. The taste is vegetal, mixing green beans and chestnuts with a slightly herbal midtaste. The aftertaste is sweet like sugarcane and the mouthfeel is dry and invigorating.

This tea does not disappoint! It is a wonderful example of how an Oolong grows with each steeping and takes you on a journey. I recommend steeping this tea when you want to relax and just focus on the tea experience or after a light meal. Also I had to show off the packaging, the tea itself is in a nice vacuum sealed container (which is always entertaining to open) but the box has lots of relevant info.

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