2020 Winter Jinxuan Oolong from Ali Shan
High Mountain Jinxuan Oolong
Cultivar: Jinxuan Oolong
Harvested by hand: November 8th, 2020
Origin: RuiFeng, Ali Shan (1200 m)
Process: Light oxidized, rolled.
The dry leaves are big and come in dark green or light yellow green hues. The brew has a very good transparency and light green/yellow color. The size of the open leaves and buds confirms that they come from a high elevation.
The dry leaves have a very fine scent of spring flowers. The dry notes are high and slightly milky sweet. The brew also displays flower scents.
The taste is mellow and a little zesty. The sweetness is very good and there's no astringency or bitterness in competition testing mode. Brewing tip: This rolled Oolong needs not just boiling water to open up, it also requires a thorough preheating of the tea vessel (porcelain or gaiwan). Wait 1 minute or a little more for the first brew.
Conclusion: For this winter Jinxuan Oolong, I chose a very lightly oxidized Jinxuan. It's in contrast with this spring's Jinxuan, which was more oxidized. I felt this lighter oxidation was in better harmony with the high mountain aromas. It also shows that the winter harvest can be just as fine as a spring harvest. The winter season will be a little bit sweeter, while the spring version is generally a little bit more fragrant.
Note: The Jinxuan cultivar was created in 1981 by Dr. Wu Zhen Duo. Its experimental code was 2027 and it was released as Taiwan Tea Experiment Station (TTES) No 12. The name Jinxuan is the first name of Dr. Wu's grandmother! He created this cultivar to help farmers increase their yields so that they could produce a good quality and fairly priced light oxidized Oolong. Its elegant fresh scents and lack of bitterness (when processed well!) makes this a great choice for an everyday mountain Oolong. It is the best value to start exploring the fresh world of High Mountain Oolongs.