Even though this is a Jin Xuan, which is a varietal I don’t usually go for, the notes on the vendor’s website and Steepster convinced me to give it a chance. Flavours of berries and caramel? Tastes like a Dan Cong? Count me in! Thanks to Tea Side for the sample.
I steeped 6 g of leaf in a 120 ml teapot at 195F for 25, 20, 25, 30, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, and 240 seconds.
The dry aroma of these fairly large, loosely rolled nuggets is of berries, grass, and orchids. The first steep has notes of cream, caramel, grass, orchid, and raspberry. It’s quite silky, although it’s not quite in heady Dan Cong territory. All these notes intensify in the next steep, especially the berries. There’s also some indistinct tropical fruit in the aftertaste. The third steep has notes of raspberries, blackberries, cranberries, sour cherries, grapefruit, cream, caramel, grass, and faint florals; it’s a bit perfumey, with a big aftertaste. The berries start getting more tart in the next couple steeps; it kind of tastes like chokecherries. Subsequent steeps have fainter notes of sour berries, grass, cream, spinach, and other veggies.
True to what other reviewers are saying, this is not your typical Jin Xuan. It has the usual creamy, caramel flavours, but is much more fruity and perfumey than most other Jin Xuans. Is it like a Dan Cong? Sort of. It has a similar heady, fruit-forward profile with a grassy and floral background and a nice mouthfeel, but it’s missing the stonefruit and tropical flavours that I generally associate with Dan Congs. The sourness and grassiness also get out of control in the later steeps. Nonetheless, this is a very enjoyable oolong.
Flavors: Berries, Blackberry, Caramel, Cherry, Cranberry, Creamy, Floral, Grapefruit, Grass, Orchid, Perfume, Raspberry, Spinach, Tart, Tropical, Vegetal