Today's tea from Origins Tea is a bit of Taiwanese goodness: Jin Xuan - Ali Shan, a Jin Xuan oolong hailing from Alishan, one of my favorite mountains (yes, yes, I say that with all the mountains...I just really like Taiwanese teas and my favorite mountain usually depends on my mood, so today it is Ali Shan!) The aroma is everything I hope for from a Jin Xuan, strong notes of Asiatic lilies (the spicy kind, that smell like a lily rolled in cloves for the day) chestnuts, rice milk, sugar cane, and an underlying herbaceous and buttery quality that reminds me of well...herb butter.
This tea took a while to unfurl, usually, I am not a fan of rinsing oolongs, because I want that sweet nectar, but even my standard 30 second first steep barely unfurled the leaves, so maybe just this one a rinse would have been ok. Even though the leaves took a while to really wake up, the aroma is fantastic, with notes of rice milk, chestnuts, lilies, hyacinths, and a touch of distant crushed sage. The liquid is light and buttery with rice milk and lilies, sweet and gentle.
Since this tea was so slow to wake, the first steep is very light in taste, not so much in mouthfeel though. It starts with a buttery smoothness which only intensifies in later steeps. The taste is ghostly sweet, distant lilies, faint hyacinths, gentle honeysuckles, and a touch of creamy chestnuts at the finish. The tea is being a real tease, hinting at what happens when it really gets steeped.
It carried on in this fashion for several steeps, with the sweetness on the back half slowly creeping ever closer to the beginning of the taste, until steep six where all buttery vegetal notes had vanished. I was left with chestnuts, lilies, honeysuckle, hyacinth, and sugar cane juice until the tea called it quits steep ten. I really enjoyed this tea, it was a classic, viscous, Jin Xuan that did not pull its punches once it started going, even though it had a slow start. I wasn't really aware of how badly I had been craving a Jin Xuan until after I drank it!
This tea was sent for review purposes by the company.