This is my first black Jin Xuan tea from Taiwan, although I had a pearl version from Thailand a while ago that I enjoyed. Thanks, Derk and White Antlers, for the generous sample from a company I’ve been eager to try. I couldn’t find any steeping instructions, so I brewed 6 g of leaf in a 120 ml porcelain pot at 195F for 25, 20, 25, 30, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, and 240 seconds.
The dry aroma is of raisins, berries, oats, cream, wood, and flowers. The first steep has notes of apple, orchid, oats, honey, blackberries and other berries, cream, and raisins, and has a sweet, lingering aftertaste. It reminds me a bit of the Golden Dragon Black Pearl Oolong from Taiwan Tea Crafts, though it’s a lot fruitier. The honey and florals become more prominent in the second steep, with the fruit revealing itself after the first few seconds of the sip. I get some not unpleasant tannins and hints of cinnamon.
The third steep is similar, though the raisins seem more prominent and I get a hint of sour plum. The honey aftertaste is quite strong in this steep. The stonefruit shifts to apricots in the next couple steeps, and I get minerals and wood in steep six. The session ends with raisins, tannins, honey, minerals, and wood.
As Derk mentioned, this is a perfect tea for fall. Its honey and fruit flavours remind me of many other Taiwanese black teas, including Mi Xiang and TTC’s Golden Dragon, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I’ll enjoy using the small amount I have left for Western steeping.
Flavors: Apple, Apricot, Berries, Blackberry, Cinnamon, Cream, Floral, Honey, Mineral, Oats, Orchids, Plums, Raisins, Tannin, Wood