This is the second sample I received from Green Terrace Teas. I chose three oolong, as I feel I haven’t spent enough time with oolong and I do really adore them. This is my third time trying a Jin Xuan, and I already have a personal favorite Jin Xuan so I’m curious to see how this one will sit with me.
The first thing I notice is how subtle the scent of this tea is. After an initial rinse, there’s a very creamy aroma with notes of butter and vanilla. It almost smells like the crust on a creme brulee.
I’ve noticed many of my oolong becoming too flowery and heady a few Gongfu style steepings in, so I’ve cut down my initial start time on them to 15 seconds rather than 30. So far so good. The initial steeping of course is very light now and carries the subtelties of the tea. I’m getting very light notes of cream, toasted sugar, and butter. There’s a very mild floral aroma in the leaves, but it does not come through in the taste (yet).
This tea already differs quite significantly from my favorite Jin Xuan, which is called Jin Xuan Dong Ding because it is grown on Mt. Dong Ding. That variety has fruity notes common to Dong Ding oolong, I am guessing because of the terroir of the region, but the creamy notes of Jin Xuan come through as well since that is the varietal they are growing in that instance. This Jin Xuan from Green Terrace is very creamy, but does not have fruit aromas or flavors. I think it is closer to what Jin Xuan is typically known to be like.
The second steeping is similar to the first and still somewhat light. By the third steeping I am getting a more rich flavor, quite buttery with floral hints and a slightly vanilla aftertaste. Great hui gan. Four steepings in and it’s getting even more rich. I’m expecting at any moment for one of these steepings to fully unleash the creeping floral tones that I keep getting whiffs of, but much to my surprise it stays very creamy and soft while those floral hints stay in the background. It’s nice.
After a full five steepings, this tea is staying flavorful and is not getting particularly stronger or more floral or astringent. In my opinion that is a good thing for a tea that is meant to have a creamy, rich, mellow flavor. The flavor doesn’t really change much from one steeping to the next. It is pretty consistent, but builds on itself in richness.
I will call myself spoiled on the Jin Xuan Dong Ding I mentioned earlier. I really prefer its fruity-creamy blend of flavors. This Jin Xuan from Green Terrace is agreeable though, and I think those looking for a strictly milky, creamy tasting Jin Xuan will not be disappointed.
Flavors: Butter, Cream, Vanilla