Before we tell you about this particular Jin Xuan oolong we’d like to clarify something. There are two very different oolongs teas on the market, both of which have “milk” or “milky” in their names. Due to popular demand, we stock both types of this tea. While our personal favourite is the original tea from Taiwan, we have to be honest, the other, Chinese “milky oolong” is one of our best-selling teas.
The original milk oolong is a lightly oxidized, ball style oolong with a floral scent and a sweet, buttery taste. It comes from Taiwan and is made with leaves from a specific cultivated variation of the tea plant named Jin Xuan. This cultivar was created in 1981 to help tea farmers increase their yields and when produced as a lightly oxidized, rolled oolong is known for having a distinct silky, smooth, creamy flavour that reminds many drinkers of milk.
Experienced tea drinkers will quickly spot the difference between a Jin Xuan milk oolong and a flavoured milk oolong. While the original Jin Xuan is subtle and delicate and allows its flavours to unfold slowly over multiple (at least 4) “gong fu cha” style infusions, the mass-produced version smells and tastes sweet and creamy, almost like a vanilla yoghurt of condensed milk and the taste subsides after 2-3 infusions.
This delicate Jin Xuan oolong comes from plants that have grown at 1200 meters above sea level on Mount Ali Shan. The dry leaves smell of spring flowers and are tightly rolled. The infusion is a bright, pale yellow colour and the taste is at first sweet and creamy, with subsequent infusions developing zesty, tropical fruit notes and a lingering sweetness. The brewed leaves show traces of being bug-bitten, which is always a good sign.
Refreshing and with a nice long aftertaste this Jin Xuan is an ideal tea to start exploring the wonderful world of high mountain oolongs and if you’ve never done it before, to start brewing tea gong fu cha style.