Eco-Cha's Jin Xuan (April 2014)

(Tea Provided For Review)

Today I decided to look at Eco-Cha’sJin Xuan (April 2014). I know I’ve been looking at a lot of oolongs, recently, but I decided to try this today rather than a green tea or even a nice puerh. The leaves aren’t particularly aromatic like some teas; in fact they are quite subtle. Sometimes I overlook the subtler teas that don’t instantly grab my attention so I decided to try this one.

Jin Xuan Oolong
Origin: Zhu Shan NanTou, Taiwan
Harvest: April 2014
Elevation: 400M

Dry Leaves: There is a very intense floral aroma to the dry leaves and a little bit vegetal. And the dry leaves have a very interesting shape, sort of like tightly twisted crossed with pearls, there is some uniformity to the tea leaves, but you can see a lot of uniquely shaped pearls as well. At first I thought the dry leaves were kind of ugly, since I really like uniformity in tea leaves, although after I studied the leaves for a bit, they started to grow on me. Some of them have a rosebud-esque look and you can see a lighter green one that looks a little like popcorn.

First Steeping
Temperature: Boiling
Brewing Time: One Minute
Aroma: Fruity, Floral and Green bean
Flavor: Bamboo leaves, Woody and Creamy
Tasting Notes: There was not a strong milk taste so far and it had a slightly thin mouthfeel for a Taiwanese oolong, although the milk taste did linger. This steeping was very subtle, I was correct I my suspicion that I’d taste many of these flavors in subsequent steepings.

Second Steeping
Temperature: 190oF
Brewing Time: Two Minute
Aroma: Peach, Milk, Floral, and Green Beans
Flavor: Milk, Bamboo Shoots, Malty and Sugarcane.
Tasting Notes: It became very milky this steeping, and had a thicker mouthfeel this time although not particularly thick for a Jin Xuan. I was surprised to find that this Jin Xuan had malty notes in it, I haven’t had many lighter oolongs that come close to anything resembling malty. It was quite pleasant, this is probably my favorite steeping, I like the progression from Bamboo leaves in the previous steeping to bamboo shoots; it had a lovely green tea feel to it, most of the unflavored Jin Xuans I had this year leaned more towards the floral oolong side rather than vegetal green and I quite enjoyed it

Third Steeping
Temperature: 195oF
Brewing Time: Three Minute
Aroma: Mild Peach and Floral
Flavor: Creamy, Woody, Bamboo Shoots and Honey
Tasting Notes: It became considerably less sweet this time, although I could still taste some sweetness in it. Considerably milkier then the last infusion; I liked the return of the wood taste and it meshed really well with the Milk taste. The bamboo shoot taste was lighter than the previous infusion and it felt less like a green oolong, more like a lightly roasted one. With the exception of the bamboo shoots, this tea lost it vegetal edge.

Overall very nice Jin Xuan, most of the Milk Oolongs I’ve tried tended to be more floral so I was surprised at the vegetal elements in this tea. I forgot to take a picture of the used leaves, but you can definitely tell they were machine harvested (although Eco-Cha has that listed on their website, I always appreciate a store that is honest when they could have not listed that) there was some slight tearing on the leaves, but they were in fairly good shape for being machine harvested. For 38 grams at $8, this is definitely worth the price, this is a nice everyday tea, not as milky as other Jin Xuans, but not as floral. So if you want a Jin Xuan with a light milk taste and a mild floral aroma, this is the tea for you.


Just a guy who likes tea.