This winter weather is killing me. It’s been up and down (mostly down) here for the past three weeks. Over that span of time, it has gone from sunny and warm, to bitterly cold and damp, back to sunny and warm, then to cool and wet, and now back to bitterly cold and damp. Naturally, it’s supposed to warm back up again in like three or four days. At this point, I’m guessing that my sinuses are going to keep going crazy all winter regardless of what I do, so expect me to keep whining about them for at least the next two months. I hope I’m wrong about that. Anyway, I finished the last of a sample pouch of this tea earlier in the day. My opinion of unflavored Jin Xuans has started to slip over the course of the past year, but I ended up enjoying this one more than I anticipated.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a very quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 194 F water for 7 seconds. This infusion was chased by 12 subsequent infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 10 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.

Prior to the rinse, I detected aromas of cream, butter, and grass coming from the dry tea leaves. After the rinse, I found emerging scents of sugarcane and vanilla. The first proper infusion brought out daylily and some stronger grassier and vegetal aromas. In the mouth, the liquor offered notes of cream, butter, and grass accompanied by hints of spinach and sugarcane. Subsequent infusions brought out impressions of cantaloupe, coriander, orchid, green apple, minerals, and something along the lines of lilac. I also noted stronger spinach and sugarcane notes as well as belatedly emerging vanilla, daylily blossom, and daylily shoot flavors in the mouth. The later infusions were mostly dominated by mineral, cream, grass, spinach, and daylily shoot notes with faint underpinnings of orchid, vanilla, and sugarcane.

Not a particularly dynamic or deep tea, but very drinkable and pleasant nonetheless, I enjoyed this tea’s fresh vegetal qualities and subtle floral, fruity sweetness. I did not find it to be as buttery or creamy as some of the other Jin Xuans I have tried, but that did not detract much from the overall drinking experience. This was definitely worth a try. I continue to be impressed by the Indonesian teas What-Cha sources.

Flavors: Butter, Cantaloupe, Coriander, Cream, Floral, Grass, Green Apple, Lettuce, Mineral, Orchid, Spinach, Sugarcane, Vanilla, Vegetal

6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

I can relate to the sinus problems—same here! :( Hope you’re feeling better soon.

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I can relate to the sinus problems—same here! :( Hope you’re feeling better soon.

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My grading criteria for tea is as follows:

90-100: Exceptional. I love this stuff. If I can get it, I will drink it pretty much every day.

80-89: Very good. I really like this stuff and wouldn’t mind keeping it around for regular consumption.

70-79: Good. I like this stuff, but may or may not reach for it regularly.

60-69: Solid. I rather like this stuff and think it’s a little bit better-than-average. I’ll drink it with no complaints, but am more likely to reach for something I find more enjoyable than revisit it with regularity.

50-59: Average. I find this stuff to be more or less okay, but it is highly doubtful that I will revisit it in the near future if at all.

40-49: A little below average. I don’t really care for this tea and likely won’t have it again.

39 and lower: Varying degrees of yucky.

Don’t be surprised if my average scores are a bit on the high side because I tend to know what I like and what I dislike and will steer clear of teas I am likely to find unappealing.



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