According to Chaidim’s website OrganicShin Chin No. 17 is a hybrid tea cultivar otherwise known as Ruan Zhi, I’ve had Ruan Zhis in the past, but I never had one from Thailand before, in fact this is my first tea grown in Thailand. Ok that is not exactly true, I’ve had Cha yen (Thai Tea) before, but this is my first loose leaf tea from Thailand.
The dry leaves are large hand rolled similar in size to jasmine pearls, but a lighter green with a little yellow in some of the leaves. I didn’t have enough tea to do both a gongfu session and my preferred western brewing, unfortunately. I’ll have to buy some more later on and revisit it.
For my first session I brewed at 190°F for three minutes after a quick ten second rinse at the same temperature. It has a very similar mouthfeel to a Taiwanese Four Season, perhaps a little thinner. It has a very floral aroma and taste; it also has minor honeysuckle notes in it. As for taste, it has a very soft grassy taste; interestingly it is a little milky although nowhere close to a Milk Oolong.
I brewed again at 200°F for four and half minutes. The floral aroma became more distinctly orchid than anything else, it had a slightly thicker mouthfeel than the last infusion. The taste was still milky, but not grassy like the last infusion, although there was a new nutty taste that was quite nice. I’ll have to buy a couple more teas from Chaidim in the future, this is such an interesting tea that is very similar to Taiwanese oolongs, but at a more modest price.
I rather like Chaidim’s Organic Shin Chin No. 17 and I can imagine this being one my staple teas. It’s interesting that Chaidim list under the feature tab on this tea that it was harvested October 2013 and that is was grown between 600 and 800 meters above sea level which completely blows my mind. While it isn’t as distinct as a Taiwanese High Mountain Oolong, it is remarkably similar even when grown at such a comparably low elevation.
Flavors: Floral, Honeysuckle, Milk, Nutty