This was another of my November sipdowns. I think I finished what I had of this tea during either the third or fourth week of the month. As unroasted Taiwanese Jin Xuan goes, this one was excellent. I especially appreciated the complexity, longevity, and thick, full mouthfeel of its liquor.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After the rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 194 F water for 10 seconds. This infusion was chased by 15 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, and 10 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted aromas of cream, butter, custard, vanilla, and gardenia. After the rinse, I detected new aromas of sugarcane, grass, and daylily. The first infusion brought out a meaty, brothy umami scent. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of cream, butter, custard, gardenia, grass, daylily, and orchid that were chased by hints of sugarcane and powerful umami notes. Subsequent infusions brought out aromas of cucumber, daylily shoots, and sweet corn along with subtle orchid scents. New impressions of cucumber, daylily shoots, minerals, sweet corn, spinach, pear, green apple, and seaweed expressed themselves in the mouth alongside belatedly emerging vanilla notes. As I ended my session, I could still detect subtle mineral, daylily shoot, cream, butter, sugarcane, green apple, and sweet corn impressions that were underscored by hints of cucumber, spinach, umami, and seaweed. Interestingly, the faint spinach presence swelled after each swallow, leaving the taste of spinach in my mouth for a short time after the end of the session.
I tend to feel that Mei Shan oolongs do not get enough appreciation compared to those produced in some of Taiwan’s more prestigious terroirs, and teas like this one only reinforce that notion. This was a fantastic offering, one that stood head and shoulders above some of the other Taiwanese Jin Xuan oolongs I have tried recently. If you are looking for a Jin Xuan oolong that provides plenty of longevity and delivers all of the cultivar’s best traits, look no further.
Flavors: Butter, Cream, Cucumber, Custard, Floral, Gardenias, Grass, Green Apple, Mineral, Orchid, Pear, Seaweed, Spinach, Sugarcane, Sweet, Umami, Vanilla, Vegetal