Spring Harvest 2014 Report #3 - First Sips, Jin Xuan Oolong
Last week, we tasted samples of two different batches Jin Xuan Oolong grown at 1000 plus meters elevation in Meishan, Chiayi County that were harvested and processed last week. They were quite nice and seemed above average in balance of fragrance and substantial flavor. We'd definitely call both of these batches a success. Alishan is known to receive stronger sun and warmer temperatures, so perhaps the late spring this year was overall a good thing. If so, the yield may not have been affected significantly in this area.
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Batch 65 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club was initially sourced by our friend for entry into the largest Oolong Tea Competition in the world. The standard of this competition is a medium/heavy roast, so it requires a significant level of oxidation in processing the tea leaves for optimal results. This is where this batch of tea varies most significantly from the market standard of Taiwan's High Mountain Tea. High Mountain Tea is minimally oxidized and unroasted — offering a fresh green character with a floral bouquet. This batch was not only more oxidized, but also delicately roasted to offer a more balanced, sweeter character with fruity and pastry components to compliment the floral notes.