Award Winning Roasted Jin Xuan Oolong Tasting Notes | Eco-Cha Tea Club
August 04, 2016
With the first brew poured off, the freshly brewed leaves carry a strong roasted character with rich, hearty, fireside notes. After the second brew the aroma of the brewed leaves turns a bit fruity, with warming spice sweetness reminiscent of pumpkin pie. The first brew has a roasted flavor upfront followed by a sweetness like grilled fresh corn. The second brew brings out a more balanced, rich, complex character and smooth texture – a much more integrated flavor profile.
There's a solid roasted base combined with a tanginess that brings out the complexity of flavor like caramelized apples, but followed by a clean subtly astringent finish that makes it refreshing rather than heavy. These leaves have brewing endurance. They can be brewed 5 to 6 times and still produce a full flavored brew. From the third brew on, the flavor becomes a bit lighter but also more vibrant in character. Cashews and citrus are pronounced. Overall, it's a very well balanced brew, with a complexity that makes it difficult to pinpoint a particular flavor or even character. This is the effect that a quality Dong Ding Oolong should achieve, and this is even more challenging when Jin Xuan leaves are used.
Batch #50 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club starts off 2020 with a freshly harvested Alishan High Mountain Oolong Winter Tea from our ongoing source in Meishan Township. This very small batch of tea was their final day of winter harvest. The leaves were not yet fully mature, and offer a fresh, distinctly aromatic and complex flavor profile.
The photo above is this month's batch of the Eco-Cha Tea Club undergoing solar withering on November 11, 2019. This was the final day of winter harvest for our source of Alishan High Mountain Oolong Tea, and we were able to procure enough of this very minimal batch to share with our Tea Club. This date was 3 days after Li Dong (立冬) in the lunar calendar, and the winter harvest of High Mountain Tea had for the most part been completed in central Taiwan.
This summer 2017 crop of naturally cultivated and well bug bitten and matured leaves were processed as a traditional Oolong, which mainly means that they were well oxidized. The work that went into oxidizing these leaves was considerable as well as skillful. The leaves needed to be worked, and they got worked well! The result is a full-bodied, substantial brew that offers a very satisfying balance that starts with a mild smokiness, leading into a fruity body with mineral notes, and finishing with something reminiscent of old school Charms lollipops. It really does have a distinct plum powder/confectioner's sugar finishing note that is cushioned by that smoky mineral base. It's a mouthful!