drank Jin Xuan Oolong Tea by IDEStea
408 tasting notes

Fall seems to be the time for clearing out my older teas. In March 2016, I signed up for a deeply discounted subscription box from Ides Tea, then canceled after a month both because subsequent boxes would have been expensive without the deal and because my first shipment hadn’t arrived yet. I kind of feel guilty since the company is now no longer in business.

From what I remember, most of the samples they sent were good. Their Li Shan and Bai Hao were fantastic; their Sun Moon Lake Black, Jade Oolong, and Tie Guan Yin were tasty; and their Dong Ding was decent. Sadly, this Jin Xuan also falls into the decent category. I steeped 6 g of tea in a 120 ml teapot for 25, 20, 25, 30, 45, 60, and 240 seconds.

The first steep is delicately floral with notes of what I’m going to call lilac. There are also hints of butter, corn, and vegetables. Even though the second steep was for only 20 seconds, it’s unusually astringent. I always wondered what people were talking about when they said that Jin Xuans taste like popcorn, but now I can see it, especially in the aftertaste. That combination of vegetal, corn, and butteriness really does evoke popcorn.

In the third steep, the florals are starting to fade and something like arugula is emerging. The astringency is back to normal. The fourth steep gets even more vegetal, which is a sign that this tea might be finishing early. And, as expected, by the sixth steep, the only flavour left is vegetal.

This Jin Xuan is okay, but I’m not sad to see it go. I just opened the sample package a couple weeks ago, so I don’t think it’s due to age.

Flavors: Astringent, Butter, Floral, Lettuce, Popcorn, Vegetal

195 °F / 90 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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Since I discovered Teavana’s Monkey Picked Oolong four years ago, I’ve been fascinated by loose-leaf tea. I’m glad to say that my oolong tastes have evolved, and that I now like nearly every tea that comes from Taiwan, oolong or not, particularly the bug-bitten varieties. I also find myself drinking Yunnan blacks and Darjeelings from time to time, as well as a few other curiosities.

However, while online reviews might make me feel like an expert, I know that I still have some work to do to actually pick up those flavours myself. I hope that by making me describe what I’m tasting, Steepster can improve my appreciation of teas I already enjoy and make me more open to new possibilities (maybe even puerh!).



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