8 Feb 2016

Tea Tasting: Spring 2014 Jinxuan Oolong

Another central Taiwanese Oolong. This one is from Zhushu in Nantou County, hand-picked on March 22, 2014. I bought 100g of it for a reduced price last year from Stéphane Erler's Tea Masters Boutique.

My Chaxi symbolizes the land, which is partly still covered in last autumn's fallen leaves, and still dark as the winter slowly passes. The tea contrasts this with its beautiful light green liquor. Funny enough, the weather outside just went completely crazy for about five minutes while I am writing this. Normal white cloudy sky turned full anthracite suddenly, then two thunderbolts introduced some massive hail, which quickly disappeared and now ended up as drizzling rain with sunshine, leaving me jump off my chair towards the window every two minutes to look for the rainbow which simply must be somewhere right now. In Germany, we use to call this capricious spring weather "April weather", but I don't remember it ever not having occured way earlier than actual April.

Although today I received a package with some new teaware and accessoires I ordered, I didn't include any of it in today's setup. Somehow, I always don't have the heart to use any new things right away, without first letting them sort of sit and officially become part of my property for a while.

The dry leaves, once put into the preheated wet Gaiwan, have an interesting sweet aroma, actually reminiscent of banana a bit, if that doesn't sound too odd.
After the first brew, the lid scent is light, herbal, and a bit sweet still, although not as much as the more or less dry leaves did smell. It becomes evident that this Oolong hasn't been roasted. As stated above, the liquor impresses with a green tint, making it look like I imagine a Shincha green tea if it was completely clear.

I take a sip. The herbal aroma also dominates the taste, however not grassy or something like that. This tea is very delicate. Not in-the-face herbal. There are some mellow vegetable notes as well. The second brew adds a fresh orange juice aroma to it. The third introduces a barely noticeable astringent sesame flavour. The green colour manages to remain throughout all 6 infusions I do. Very nice, although I keep asking myself if it even really interestingly contrasts the red-brown setup or if they acutally clash.

Thanks for reading!

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