2020 Spring Jinxuan Oolong from YiGuang Shan
Almost High mountain
Cultivar: Jinxuan Oolong (TRES No 12)
Harvested by hand: April 2nd, 2020
Origin: YiGuang Shan (700 m), Nantou, Taiwan
Process: Light oxidized, rolled. This Jinxuan Oolong was harvested in YiGuang Shan (700 m), a mountain between Shan Lin Xi and Zhu Shan.
The dry leaves are big and have a yellow-green hue. The brew has a very good transparency and bright yellow color. The aspect of the leaves is quite varied, which is a good sign of a natural plantation management. And the leaves are indeed rather thick and healthy.
The scents of this Jinxuan are particularly light, floral and fresh.
The taste is very mellow and soft. It lacks any bitterness or astringency. It's a perfect everyday fresh Oolong that is very easy to brew with boiling water.
Conclusion: This year, finding this Jinxuan Oolong proved very difficult. Unusually cold temperatures in late March/early April have prevented a normal growth for Jinxuan leaves in the higher elevations of Alishan. All the teas I tasted there were lacking in floral notes and carried bitter notes. That's why I turned to this Jinxuan from a slightly lower elevation (700 m) and was much more pleased with the taste and the light aromas. It tastes like a high mountain Jinxuan, but is sweeter and a little bit cheaper! It has great value and is also an exception to the rule that says that the higher the plantation, the better the Oolong!
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 roughly 1 minute or a little more for the first brew.