Saturday, August 8, 2015

Oollo Tea: Milky Jinxuan Oolong, A Tea Review

I have a confession, a secret I have harbored for years: I hate reference books at the library!! So many times there has been a book I want to use for some point of research that the library had, it would inevitably be perfect, but noooo I don't get to take it home for my research. I would have to sit at a table, in a usually uncomfortable chair, frantically taking notes in hope I don't miss anything...rather than letting me take it home so I can focus and cross reference with the usual large pile of notes. Granted, I understand the need to do this with rare and super expensive books, but some of the things that get stuffed into the reference section without an in circulation copy baffle me at times. If curious, this current state of rage is induced by my desire to read a book on symbolism in Chinese porcelain that is only at the reference section at the downtown library, ughhh, I will probably just buy it next time I buy a book since used I think it is like $17. Insert lots of grumbling...and rage.

So, enough of my book related angst, it is time for tea! Not that books and tea do not go wonderfully together of course, but tea and angst not so much, though it is my go to cure for it...anyway...today is the last of the tea samples from Oollo Tea, their Milky Jinxuan Oolong! Well hello there Nai Xiang (it means milky fragrance) as soon as I open the bag I am greeted with milky sweetness. Notes of creme brulee, condensed milk, and a gentle toastiness blends with underlying notes of osmanthus and lily flowers. The flowers give an extra level of sweetness to the creamy goodness, like flower nectar and sweet cream, I have to admit, the aroma is mouthwatering.

Into my Xi Shi teapot the leaves go, waiting for their bath and eventual unfurling. Once steeped, wow, it is like creamy food! Notes of custard's milky sweetness blend with flowers, it is like sniffing a fresh bowl of custard while sitting next to a bouquet of lilies. Very sweet and creamy. The liquid is a blend of creme brulee and flowers, with a touch of toastiness and gentle caramel notes at the finish.

The first steep starts with a round mouthfeel with a delicate taste. Starting with sweet notes of sugar cane and rich cream, this transitions to delicate osmanthus and lily flowers, and a finish of very mild celery greenness. A very sweet start!

Second steeping time! The aroma is still going strong with that sweet cream and custard notes, definitely condensed milk as well, with a touch of flowers. The mouthfeel is more smooth this time around, starting with notes of condensed milk sweetness that really coats the mouth. This moves on to spicebush and osmanthus flowers and a touch of fresh vegetation, the finish is sweet cream. The aftertaste is a delicate floral note that lingers for a short while.

The aroma of the third steeping has a stronger floral note this time around, osmanthus and lily are joined by spicebush and almost, but not quite, drown out the sweet cream notes. The first sip hit my mouth with a small explosion of cane sugar and milk, not so much cream, but straight up milk, first time I have had a milk oolong taste like legit milk instead of cream, which is fascinating to me! The midtaste is a nice burst of flowers and vegetation, giving a green note to the tea, and the finish rounds out the classic notes with a gentle wet slate, mineral note. The aftertaste is cane sugar and it lingers happily. Oollo Tea's samples impressed me, I foresee myself picking up some samples of the others teas in the future, especially the Aged Bao Zhong, that sounds fascinating to me!

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