This tea has so many names, and I’m surprised that vendors persist in using the one that’s potentially the most problematic. (Personally, braggart’s tea is my favourite, though I go with Bai Hao.) I’m honestly not picking on this company in particular, as most Western-facing vendors do the same thing. I’m not sure what Asian tea drinkers call this tea, but it’s probably something else.

Rant on the name aside, I enjoy this type of tea and wanted to try one made from Jin Xuan. My 10 g sample was nicely packed in two 5 g pouches, with extra cardboard sleeves inside to prevent breakage. I steeped 5 g of leaf in a 120 ml porcelain pot using 195F water for 30, 20, 25, 30, 30, 45, 60, 75, 90, 120, 150, 180, and 240 seconds.

The dry aroma is of autumn leaves, honey, muscatel, citrus, and florals. The first steep has a thick body and a fuzzy texture from the many trichomes in the tea. I get honey, autumn leaves, rose, other florals, muscatel, citrus, and some tannins. Lemon and pine emerge in steep two. In the next couple steeps, I get lots of tannins and terpenes, plus honey, lemon, muscatel, and wood. The next couple steeps are fairly tannic and drying, with nutmeg and the honey, muscatel, lemon, and autumn leaves mentioned above. The final few steeps focus on autumn leaves, honey, muscatel, wood, grass, minerals, and rather aggressive tannins.

With my remaining 5 g, I did a session using the vendor’s parameters (30/45/60/75/90… seconds), and I was surprised that the tannins didn’t kick me in the teeth. I got more autumn leaves, citrus, and muscatel and less lemon, pine, and florality, though these flavours were still there. I found this method produced a smoother tea with less character.

Could I detect the contribution of the Jin Xuan? Maybe it appeared in the rose and other florals, but otherwise, I’d say this is a nice midrange Bai Hao. It lost a few points for those tannins, but was pleasant and more interesting than other Bai Hao I’ve had recently.

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Citrus, Floral, Grass, Honey, Lemon, Mineral, Muscatel, Nutmeg, Pine, Rose, Tannin, Wood

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 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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