Jin Xuan Premium Grade Oolong

Tea type
Oolong Tea
Oolong Tea Leaves
Floral, Honey, Seaweed, Vegetal, Bitter, Kale, Smoke, Spinach, Creamy, Herbaceous, Milk, Walnut, Flowers
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Loose Leaf
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Edit tea info Last updated by Krystal
Average preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 45 sec 6 g 7 oz / 193 ml

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From Mandala Tea

This Jin Xuan (literally “Golden Day Lily” and pronounced a bit like “Jing Shuan”) is grown organically at an altitute of over 4,700 feet.  It is produced with absolutely no aromatization.  Many milk style oolongs are crafted with ingredients to create an appealing dessert-like aroma, but this particular tea remains untreated and delicious.  The growing area is Alishan, a region in Taiwan known for its natural beauty and climate perfectly suited for growing interesting tea.  Jin Xuan is a relatively new variety developed by the Taiwan Research and Extension Station in the 1980’s.  The subtle creamy sweetness of this tea makes it a favorite introduction to Taiwanese tea art and most who try it choose to keep a supply on hand.  We recommend doing one rinse of 5-10 seconds (at 195 degrees) and then beginning with a couple 30-second infusions before slowly increasing steeping time.  If you have a yixing pot for high mountain oolongs, all the better.

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16 Tasting Notes

4195 tasting notes

Thanks so much, JakeB! One serving of this one left… so sipdown! And yes… I’m steeping a Mandala tea Western style again, though I realized a while ago they should be steeped Gong Fu. A tiny bundled, dark green oolong. I swear the dried leaves had the scent of peaches and I was really hoping the flavor would be the same, but no. Sadly, only roastedness from the leaves is revealed in the flavor. And maybe some sweetness. To me, Jin Xuan should be the natural milk oolong, but I wasn’t noticing that at all. All steeps were the same. None of them seems oversteeped. Not special enough for me. If any oolong has any roastiness at all, I’m usually not very interested, especially if it’s the only characteristic of an oolong. I’m happy I tried it though!
Steep #1 // 1 teaspoon for a full mug// rinse // 10 minutes after boiling // 1 minute steep
Steep #2 // 10 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #3 // just boiled // 3 minute steep

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16 tasting notes

Garret included this in my order as a sample. After the rinse the smell on the lid was intoxicating. Seaweed and honey comes to mind. I definitely taste a milkiness which a really nice. What I like about this tea is it’s floral but not like perfume. Drinking this doesn’t give you that Macy’s perfume section vibe which I notice from greener oolongs. It was good. Not something I’d probably buy (but that’s solely because greener oolongs aren’t really my thing and not because of the quality.)

Flavors: Floral, Honey, Seaweed, Vegetal

190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 30 sec 6 OZ / 170 ML

Great to see your review on this. I was drinking this tea all afternoon in the shop yesterday and serving it up for customers. I can’t remember if you also got some of the Big Red Robe from me? That was the other tea I was drinking yesterday. Thanks for writing up your thoughts. Grateful, Garret

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71 tasting notes

I wish I had rinsed this before the initial steep. Maybe that would have changed my opinion a bit. I don’t like it very much. I’d go as far as to say that it’s my least favorite of all the oolongs I’ve tried. I steeped it at 195 (as recommended) for 30 seconds, and oh my it’s bitter. Bitter and vegetal, and not even slightly sweet or buttery. This is the kind of overwhelming vegetal taste that I hate in some of the Japanese green teas. I’m surprised no one else has mentioned smokiness because it seems kinda smoky to me. It’s got the vegetal qualities of a green tea with the bitterness of a black tea, and this really does not work for me.

As oolongs go, I prefer one of two flavor profiles so far: 1. floral, peachy, sweet and sometimes buttery or 2. roasty and nutty (light or medium roast). If I want to taste raw kale or spinach, I’ll put them in a gross smoothie. Not a fan of this one. And I’m disappointed because I actually did pick up the aroma of butter when I smelled the wet leaves, but I don’t taste it at all.

Flavors: Bitter, Kale, Seaweed, Smoke, Spinach, Vegetal

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 7 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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139 tasting notes

I enjoyed the changes in flavour throughout the steepings. Ended up tasting fruity like peaches and apricots.

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672 tasting notes

My gravity steeper was in desperate need of cleaning, so I ordered some of Mandala’s Smart Soak, and Garret kindly threw in some tea samples as well.

This one is particularly well balanced, a delicate mix of light cream, floral, and vegetal notes. Steeped, the hearty-looking leaves smell like something between steamed spinach and swiss chard, but this isn’t in the flavor at all, as the vegetal notes lean much closer to snow pea.

I tried to follow the instructions closely, starting with a 5 second rinse and then doing 30 second steeps. This worked very well, and I do get the feeling that this is a tea you have to be pretty precise about, and definitely you don’t want to get sloppy on it with the steep times. I think I got 6 steeps out of it before I had to run, and they were all flavorful, but my favorite was probably the second or third steep.

Of course it all tasted so much better with the steeper all shiny and clean again. That Soak really is amazing! Many thanks to AllanK and Awkward Soul / Oolong Owl for recommending it.

190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

I’m so happy you have enjoyed this. I’ve been drinking this one quite alot lately and each time happy that I chose it. Thanks for taking the time to write up your thoughts! Grateful, Garret


No problem, thanks so much for the samples! I love trying new things, and I can tell these are really high quality :)

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1707 tasting notes

Okay, this time I’m drinking it again, but with less water and between 4 and 5 grams of tea leaves. I tasted the milk MUCH more this time with the vegetal notes. I also get a little bit of walnut. I still prefer the Milk Oolong and the Tie Guan Yin, but I am enjoying this tea a lot more right now.

And yesterday, August 24th, 2015, I liked it even more. The cream and butter qualities were more apparent this time than the last one. The tasting notes were the same, but more balanced and it resembled the Milk Oolong more but toned down (though that’s exactly what it is. I enjoyed every steeping and appreciated it more.

Flavors: Milk, Vegetal, Walnut

190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 147 ML

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1248 tasting notes

From everything I’m reading this should be a green oolong but all I’m gettin is woodsy and hay notes of a black tea. Garret I’ll contact you and see what you think. Its a good black, just not what’s on the package I think.


I will respond to your email and this message. I’m the one who would have bagged up your tea. I am hoping I didn’t mess up and give you GABA black. Can you tell me if the dry leaf looks black in color or maybe shoot me an email with a pic of the dried leaf?


I’ll send you an e-mail

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107 tasting notes

Gongfu. 190 degrees. The instructions said 195 but my kettle doesn’t do that, so… 3g of tea (about 1 tsp). 30 second rinse. Lovely aroma. I don’t know what it is… floral, light, sweet…peaches? Lovely flavor, also light and sweet. A few sips and I already feel relaxed, and I just got home from a long commute after a long day. Second: 30 seconds. The leaves are really opening up now. Lots of twigs in there (good, bad?). Third: 30 secs again. I really love this tea. It’s so mellow and sweet. I feel like I took a xanax. Sweetness giving way to more vegetal flavor. Fourth: 40 secs. It’s still mellow, not a hint of bitterness, but flavor has faded a tad. Fifth: one minute. It is still giving. I am floating on a cloud. Sixth: TWO minutes, I dare you to get bitter! Nope, it’s not. In my happy place now. Seventh: 3 minutes. No bitterness, but not much flavor left. All done!

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2291 tasting notes

Umm. So I decided to try this one this morning. I’m not fully awake and I’m having issues with my shoulder/headache thing, so this might not be completely coherent.

First, a story. My introduction to oolong was with a lily oolong. Upon first impressions I liked the green seaweedyness, but then after I had drunk some I started feeling really ill. So, uhh, that scent/taste is not something I’d normally drink. But because this was a sample from the lovely Sil, I thought I’d give it a go. (And of course I figured this all out after steeping it and smelling it and then looking up the name, etc. So most of the sample is gone already!)

The taste and feel of this tea start out very creamy and thick, but then the aftertaste is all weird seaweed.


I’ll be popping the rest of this into someone else’s box.


this was a sample from mandala – not something i’d generally be inclined to drink, though i do like their milk oolong. green oolongs. blech.


Normally the green oolongs I’ve had have been quite floral. This wasn’t really floral. It was cream and seaweed and spinach. :/

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15131 tasting notes

free sample of this one in my latest mandala order – the rest is off to omgsrsly since it was a semi joint order lol and she can always share with folks out there if she doesn’t like it. this is a GREEN ooolong. it’s not like a milk oolong..but there is a creaminess to it that iam a fan of. that being said, i won’t need to order this since oolongs, they’re not for me most of the time…but i can say that this would probably be nice for an oolong fan!

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