Jin Xuan "Milk Oolong"
Also grown on the high peak of Ali Shan in central Taiwan, Jin Xuan (金萱乌龙茶) is a special and highly treasured variety of the tea bush. Its rolled and gently roasted leaves produce a golden infusion with a delicious floral aroma and a uniquely creamy texture. The thick mouthfeel gives this tea its nickname, “milk oolong”.
Despite the nickname, Jin Xuan tea is just rolled leaves. Nothing else has been added to produce the rich aroma and taste inherent in this variety. It is the particular chemistry of the tea bush brought out by a skilled tea master during processing that makes this tea so special.
Taiwanese tea growers have long been experimenting with the varieties of leaves in their care. Through selection and grafting of plants in the high-elevation regions of the island, this cultivar was developed in 1981. Taiwanese cultivars often have numbers as well as names, and in the classification of the Tea Research and Extension Station this tea is called “No. 12″ (although you may also see it referred to as “No. 27″). In contrast, the majority of oolongs produced in Taiwan use the Qing Xin (青心) variety, called “No. 17″.
This tea was sourced after a recent trip to Taiwan during which our Tea Devotees discovered a small, family-run tea business on Ali Shan which produced teas of a very high quality. They make many different styles of tea from the bushes in their gardens, but we were particularly drawn by the amazingly sweet aromas of their Jin Xuan cultivar. When Jin Xuan is grown at this elevation, its flavors become more concentrated and potent.