The revisit as promised.
To really notice the natural flavor of this one, I drank it side by side with a heavily flavored milk oolong from Dragon Tea House, which will be now known as the B.S. tea.
This was done using water at 190 degrees, a tea spoon of leaves, and 3-4 ounces of water- which is sooo specific.
Like I reviewed before, this is a very subtle tea, and to really hone in what I should look for, I had to remind myself that this was a natural Ali Shan tea. Every single Li Shan and A Lishan has been drastically different for me though their profile is very, very similar. There have been Li Shan’s that were fruitier and creamier than the Ali Shan’s I’ve had, and there have been Ali Shans that were sweeter and again a bit fruitier than other Li Shan’s I’ve had. This dilemma of hit or miss also applies to Jin Xuans in terms of their fruity taste.
Jin Xuan’s are always creamy in texture with a smooth buttered spinach taste. Florals and fruitiness in the tea differ, but I always hope for something lemony, coconut like, or pineapple like. Taking into account that this is an Alishan as well, this tea might be more vegetal, floral, and subtle than I want.
So after two minutes and a half in the first steep, I get the same thing that I wrote in the previous long review but I appreciate more. This tea tastes like a smooth, nutty, and creamy oolong with a highly spinachy yet low aroma floral body with very minimal fruity hints. And when I say low scent floral-I mean it literally tastes like eating flowers with a narrow what-ya-ma-call-it grassiness.
Based on my recently extended experience with Jin Xuans, I’d call this a good standard, but a very standard Jin Xuan. A lot of more experienced drinkers would enjoy it for its subtlety and consistent quality, but the very light array of flavors that this has pales to other natural JIn Xuans.
I can see why people might prefer this to a flavored one. I’ve always had a slight understanding of flavored Milk Oolongs being so flavored that they are fake tasting, but I did not realize that even decent flavoring can also overwhelm the slightest of qualities. Good Jin Xuan’s to me normally have a fruity aftertaste that is close to something lemony or tropical. The b.s. oolong had it during specific brew times and temperatures. The natural tea flavors were otherwise muddled and more possibly with larger leaves. This oolong had the tropical flavor too, but it was there more because I was looking for it in the tea.
I’m still a bit partial to some flavored teas, but the natural taste to this is to be appreciated. This sample will probably end up in my consolidation sale.