Here is yet another tea review from the backlog. I purchased a two ounce pouch of this tea way back in early autumn of 2016 and finally got around to drinking it during the first week of June. Fortunately, the vacuum seal held up as the tea had not faded in storage. I tend to like roasted Jin Xuan whether it is flavored or not, so it should come as no surprise that I ended up liking this tea. I have no clue why it took me so long to get around to trying it.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of rolled tea leaves in 4 ounces of 195 F water for 8 seconds. This infusion was followed by 15 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 10 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, and 7 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves produced aromas of toasted rice, cream, and vanilla. After the rinse, I picked up on new aromas of butter, steamed milk, cocoa, and brown sugar that were underscored by some indistinct vegetal scents. The first infusion then brought out subtle scents of coconut and pineapple. In the mouth, the tea liquor offered notes of toasted rice, cream, butter, vanilla, and steamed milk that were balanced by hints of cocoa, pineapple, and some grassy, vegetal tones. Subsequent infusions saw the nose turn increasingly more vegetal as well as a bit floral and somewhat fruitier- I noted subtle aromas of mango, peach, dandelion, orchid, and daylily on many of these infusions. New notes of daylily, mango, popcorn, minerals, dandelion, cattail shoots, roasted barley, watercress, orchid, daylily shoots, peach, and spinach appeared in the mouth alongside belatedly emerging coconut and brown sugar notes and stronger hints of grass. The final infusions offered lingering impressions of minerals, cream, butter, vanilla, toasted rice, and spinach that were backed by hints of orchid, grass, pineapple, and coconut.

A roasted Alishan oolong that offered a nice mix of aroma and flavor components, this was the type of roasted Jin Xuan I tend to like. Unfortunately, it was not among the best teas of this type that I have tried over the years. In places there were some notes that came off as being slightly too overbearing and/or artificial, and they distracted me somewhat. Still, I must reiterate that this was a very nice tea. I wish I knew more about it.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Butter, Cocoa, Coconut, Cream, Dandelion, Floral, Grass, Mango, Milk, Mineral, Orchid, Peach, Pineapple, Popcorn, Roasted Barley, Spinach, Toasted Rice, Vanilla, Vegetal

195 °F / 90 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

Cattail and daylily shoots, huh. I’ve dug up plenty but never smelled or eaten them. Interesting addition to your notes.

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Cattail and daylily shoots, huh. I’ve dug up plenty but never smelled or eaten them. Interesting addition to your notes.

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My grading criteria for tea is as follows:

90-100: Exceptional. I love this stuff. If I can get it, I will drink it pretty much every day.

80-89: Very good. I really like this stuff and wouldn’t mind keeping it around for regular consumption.

70-79: Good. I like this stuff, but may or may not reach for it regularly.

60-69: Solid. I rather like this stuff and think it’s a little bit better-than-average. I’ll drink it with no complaints, but am more likely to reach for something I find more enjoyable than revisit it with regularity.

50-59: Average. I find this stuff to be more or less okay, but it is highly doubtful that I will revisit it in the near future if at all.

40-49: A little below average. I don’t really care for this tea and likely won’t have it again.

39 and lower: Varying degrees of yucky.

Don’t be surprised if my average scores are a bit on the high side because I tend to know what I like and what I dislike and will steer clear of teas I am likely to find unappealing.



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