Eco-Cha Tea Club #22: Gold Medal Award Jin Xuan High Mountain Tea

Tea type
Oolong Tea
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
Cream, Custard, Floral, Grain, Green Apple, Honey, Osmanthus, Roasted, Round
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Loose Leaf
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Leafhopper
Average preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 6 g 4 oz / 120 ml

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  • “My nose has been kind of stuffed up lately and I’ve been trying to finish older teas, so I’ve been rather inactive on Steepster. This tea has been open for a while and, though I’m not head over...” Read full tasting note
    88

From Eco-Cha Artisan Teas

The Gold Medal Award is given to the top 15% of all entries in the competition. This month’s batch tea was entered into this spring’s “New Strain Tea Competition”, which represents Jin Xuan (Tai Cha #12), and has over 1000 entries. This complements the Alishan High Mountain Qing Xin Oolong Tea Competition, which boasts over 2000 entries — the second largest tea competition held by a Farmers’ Association in Taiwan.

The batch of Jin Xuan Tea leaves shown above were carefully selected, roasted and de-stemmed to attain their optimal quality and value. Due to a shortage of manual labor in recent years, the majority of competition tea batches are de-stemmed using a computerized machine specially designed for this purpose. However, whenever we visit the source of this batch of tea during competition season, 2-4 family members are sitting around a card table draped in black cloth, painstakingly inspecting and selecting only the best quality of the leaves and discarding the rest.

The leaves were delicately roasted to meet the competition quality standard, offering a mild, smooth, well-balanced, buttery-sweet brew. The light roasting can be observed in the color of the brewed tea above, which is more golden than an unroasted High Mountain Tea. We have very much appreciated this standard set by the Meishan Farmers’ Association Competitions, as it offers a flavor profile that is between a fresh, green, floral unroasted High Mountain Tea and a rich, bold, complex traditionally made tea, such as Dong Ding Oolong.

It can be seen in the appearance of the brewed leaves above that the leaves have not been substantially altered by the level of roasting they have undergone. Still maintaining most of their green hue, with signs of oxidation evident, but not “shriveled” or “browned” by extensive roasting.

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1 Tasting Note

88
189 tasting notes

My nose has been kind of stuffed up lately and I’ve been trying to finish older teas, so I’ve been rather inactive on Steepster. This tea has been open for a while and, though I’m not head over heels for it, as I’ve been for some other Eco-Cha Tea Club offerings, it’s still pretty good. I steeped 6 g in a 120 ml porcelain teapot at 195F for 25, 20, 25, 30, 30, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, and 180 seconds.

The first thing I notice about this tea is how sweet it is. I get notes of custard, cream, flowers, and grain in the first steep. The second reveals more floral notes (osmanthus?), honey, and a kind of tart green apple flavour. The roast on this tea is very light, letting a lot of the greenness show through.

Floral, honey, and creamy custard notes persist throughout the next few steeps. The tea also has a thick, heavy mouthfeel that seems to make the slight roast more palatable. By the eighth steep, the tea is roastier and drier, but still engagingly floral.

This tea combines the floral freshness of a green oolong with the sweeter character of a slightly roasted one, and as such, is very pleasant to drink. But I don’t have the desire to hoard it for special occasions like I did with their Tie Guan Yin or their bug-bitten tea club selections. This might be a tea for those who dislike the grassier notes of greener oolongs.

Flavors: Cream, Custard, Floral, Grain, Green Apple, Honey, Osmanthus, Roasted, Round

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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