Wednesday, February 22, 2017

What-Cha: Taiwan 'Jin Xuan' Jasmine Oolong Tea, A Tea Review

Sooo, spoilers and previews for Amonkhet have started, and I am far more excited than I have any right to be. Yes, I am excited for the mummies, Bolas, Egypt, and all that good stuff...but the thing that made me literally squeal like a happy parakeet...Liliana, The Manipulator of Death, gets her own Planeswalker deck! Gideon is the other Planeswalker deck, of course, I was hoping for a Liliana and Jace one, so Ben and I can be a pair of dorks, but I am so happy about the Liliana deck. Man, Amonkhet is going to eat up all my recreational budget for a while I think!! The hype is real, the computer background has already been changed, now I just have to wait very impatiently.

Today, on this beautiful spring day, I am looking at Taiwan 'Jin Xuan' Jasmine Oolong Tea from What-Cha. Now, long time readers might remember I have a very mixed relationship with jasmine, I love the flowers, I like teas that have been delicately scented, absolutely loathe flavored jasmine teas, and only moderately tolerate overly heady jasmine pearls. The sweet heady smell of jasmine reminds me of my childhood and the creeping Confederate Jasmine vines that would bloom outside my window, but as much as I love that flower in all its blooming intensity, in my tea I want it to be mellow. Usually, I find the pearls are way too strong, but scenting an Oolong could very well be the perfect balance of jasmine and tea flavors. The aroma of the leaves is wonderful, the jasmine is the dominant note, but it is the sweet note of the flowers just opening, not the headiness of a fully opened flower. Along with jasmine, there are notes of sugarcane, lilies, and a bit of a sweet cream and chestnut quality at the finish.

Gaiwan times for the leaves, used my flowery celadon one, because it seems fitting for a flowery tea. The aroma of the steeped leaves is very floral, but again it is not overwhelming, blooming flowers vs perfume. Notes of jasmine and lilies blend with rice milk, sweet cream, chestnut, and snap peas, it is very sweet and the tiny crisp note of peas at the finish makes the sweet not cloying. The aroma of the liquid is sweet, creamy notes blend with lilies, hyacinths, and of course jasmine.

The start is wonderfully delicate, starting with a full and smooth mouhfeel, the taste is gentle with subtle sweet cream and butter, crisp lettuce, and a sweet jasmine and lily note that for lack of a better word blooms into a wonderful intensity at the end of the sip. The sweet aftertaste of jasmine lingers for quite a while, I really like how the jasmine taste is more in the nose than on the tongue, very much the sensation of drinking tea next to a blooming jasmine than drinking the jasmine plant itself. It is a very important distinction to me.

This tea goes forever, never really altering its notes, only the intensity of the flowers, going from budding to bloom to finally closing at the end. I got a solid twelve steeps from this tea, and another four at the end where the jasmine had finally faded away. This tea was, in my opinion, the perfect amount of jasmine, I never felt as though I was being bludgeoned in the face with a flower or choking on heady perfume like I do with some, I very much so enjoyed being able to taste the Jin Xuan under the jasmine as well.

This tea was sent for review purposes by the company. (I think, I legitimately cannot remember if this was part of my last order or sent along as a sample!)

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