I am finally catching up on some things both at home and at work, so my tea reviewing schedule is back on track. After three straight days of spring-like warmth, the temperature has plummeted, allowing me the opportunity to indulge in a recently acquired craving for smooth, sweet oolongs. I started on a sample pouch of this one immediately after getting home from work, and I have to say that I find it to be perhaps the most consistent Jin Xuan I have tried, at least to this point.
I prepared this one gongfu style. After a very quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 195 F water for 10 seconds. This infusion was followed by 13 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were: 7 seconds, 12 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, and 3 minutes. Yes, I decided to play around with my brewing methods again. No, it will never end.
Prior to the rinse, the dry leaves gave off mild buttery, creamy aromas. The rinse introduced a subtle scent of vanilla frosting. The first infusion produced bolder aromas of cream, butter, vanilla frosting, and daylily shoots. In the mouth, I picked up delicate notes of cream, butter, vanilla frosting, sweetgrass, and daylily shoots. Subsequent infusions introduced floral and fruity qualities. I began detecting mango, papaya, orange, cantaloupe, honeydew, and well, actual daylily as opposed to just daylily shoots. Later infusions were mildly creamy and buttery with the dominant notes of cream and butter underscored by progressively fainter daylily, citrus, vanilla frosting, and melon impressions.
This was really pretty great for a Jin Xuan. Many teas of this type will bludgeon the drinker with over-the-top and/or artificial creaminess, but this one didn’t. It was nicely balanced and I greatly appreciated that. It also displayed wonderful texture and body in the mouth. I could have cut my session short by at least a couple infusions, but I just did not want to because this tea felt so nice. If you are the type of drinker who has ever lamented the lack of subtlety and sophistication in many contemporary Jin Xuans, I would strongly urge you to try this one.
Flavors: Butter, Cantaloupe, Cream, Floral, Frosting, Fruity, Grass, Honeydew, Mango, Orange, Vanilla, Vegetal