Now let me say, at first I was quite skeptical of ordering tea from ebay but DTH’s rather nice and complete set of teas and decent prices lured me to try some out. I was really after a comparison between this and hand picked oolongs from another vendor. I opted for a Jin Xuan variety because I was hoping to get that nice milky undertone to the tea. DTH also sells its version of a “milk oolong” but I was afraid of it being that of being flavoured instead of natural.
I was also unsure if this was from this year or last year as DTH tends to lie about these things, the product description for all teas were updated to 2011 harvest at the same time. Mostly i was impressed that it actually came in a box and was vacuum packed. Again, my friends at the Canadian Border control had decided to open my tea for inspection. Anyways, I just dumped my 100g out into a freezer proof ziploc bag. For the most part it comes in nice intact pieces, but there are some small fragments and dust (about 10% of it all), I just dumped out the dust in the trash..
Brewing came about in a gaiwan, and it went to 7 infusions before I gave up on it. First 2 were slightly floral but not quite as much as it smelled. Mouthfeel was rather weak, and I didn’t get any milky taste or anything out of these. Light bodied and pretty much consistent brews for the most part. I did note that these come from Ali Shan which depending on what elevation it is grown at could be something of a higher quality. The tea came out rather plain, but decent quality. Nothing comparable to the high mountain stuff, but is alright as an everyday tea. Mostly, the leaves uncurled to full stems and leaf in full portions and produced light and really uninteresting brews. I got really bored by the 7th round, and while I’m sure it could probably go 2-3 more times I stopped and threw it out. Quality-wise though, it’s better than the typical oolong you would find at a mainstream North American tea store.