I can’t believe that I am the first person to get around to reviewing this tea on Steepster. It seems like I am never the first person to review flavored/scented teas, but here I am. This tea is an unrolled Jin Xuan scented with jasmine blossoms. I tend to be a huge fan of flavored/scented Jin Xuan oolongs of almost any sort, but this one turned out to be a huge letdown for me. Almost everything about it struck me as being off-kilter.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a very quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of the loose tea leaf and jasmine blossom blend in 4 ounces of 176 F water for 7 seconds. Even though the recommended water temperature seemed a bit low to me, I could tell that the oxidation level of the leaves was mostly minimal, so I ended up going with it. The initial infusion was chased by 14 subsequent infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 9 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, and 5 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry leaf and flower mix emitted strong aromas of jasmine and cream. After the rinse, I detected emerging scents of butter and spinach. The first infusion then added a hint of custard to the nose as the jasmine began to express itself even more forcefully than it initially did. In the mouth, the liquor offered butter, cream, and spinach notes underscored by jasmine. I was not expecting that. I figured the jasmine would be just as strong in the mouth as it was on the nose, but that was not the case. Subsequent infusions introduced kale, mineral, vanilla, and seaweed notes with occasional touches of custard and peach. The lengthier final infusions offered notes of minerals, seaweed, spinach, and cream backed by fleeting hints of jasmine.
The whole time I was drinking this I kept wondering why the jasmine was not popping in the mouth. I just could not get it to emerge fully, and unfortunately, that allowed a host of overly strong savory and vegetal notes to dominate. I mean the blend smelled great, but it never came together in the mouth. Imagine drinking a very vegetal smoothie with a touch of off-putting, poorly integrated, perfume-like floral sweetness in the background. That’s what drinking this tea was like. I could not help wondering about the quality of the tea base, and to be honest, I got the impression that this amounted to an attempt to cover up a uniquely processed, but very blah tea with a powerful additive. Overall, this blend did not live up to my expectations. Since What-Cha offers far better flavored/scented oolongs, one would not be missing much passing on this one.
Flavors: Butter, Cream, Custard, Jasmine, Kale, Mineral, Peach, Seaweed, Spinach, Vanilla