Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Fong Mong Tea
The hand-plucked leaves of Alishan Jin Xuan Oolong Tea are grown in the famous Ali Mountains (Alishan) in Taiwan. At the elevation of 1000 meters above, the mountainsides are covered with fog or clouds which are ideal for growing Oolong. Withbetter drought tolerance, also higher yield, the price is usually lower than Alishan Oolong.
Jin-Xuan is a special variety of Camellia Sinensis (tea plant) developed through research at the Taiwan Tea Agricultural Research center. This special variety is known for producing an Oolong with a special fragrance and a very light creaminess. Alishan Jin Xuan Oolong brings one of the great locations for growing Oolong tea together with one of the special Oolong varieties.
Learn more about this tea here.
I reviewed this tea previously but it’s a new year and along with a new year comes a new harvest. And an AliShan Oolong is worth at least two reviews (maybe more when the new harvests arrive, right?)
And Fong Mong Tea has some really spectacular Oolong teas from Taiwan, including this amazing AliShan Jin Xuan! It’s beautifully sweet and creamy, with notes of flower and hints of vegetation. So many fantastic layers of flavor!
As I do with all AliShan Oolong teas, I use my gaiwan and fill my YiXing Mug with the first five infusions (following a 15 second rinse). I use 180°F water to steep each infusion. The first infusion is steeped for 45 seconds, and I add 15 seconds to each subsequent infusion.
The first cup (which is the combination of the first five infusions) is so smooth and creamy. The floral notes and vegetative notes are softened by this sweet, creamy taste that reminds me of fresh cream. It tastes indulgent and luxurious.
But even though it is a creamy and sweet tea, there is complexity to it. Layers of flavor. The creaminess is not overly heavy so that I can explore the floral notes which are reminiscent of orchid. There is a honey-like sweetness just beneath the floral tones. The next layer I notice is a mild vegetal flavor. It’s very soothing and has a silky smooth mouthfeel.
The second cup (the combination of infusions 6 – 10) was even nicer than the first! It is still quite creamy – which was surprising, as I had expected some of those creamy notes to wane considerably with this cup – and the tea is delectably sweet. The vegetal notes are less discernible now, and I taste more floral notes and even a hint or two of sweet fruit. Melon! NICE!
The honey notes are still there. The creamy notes are not quite as strong, but they are sweeter and more like vanilla! So while the creamy notes are not quite as velvety and thick, the vanilla notes more than make up for it!
An absolutely LOVELY AliShan! If you haven’t tried Fong Mong Tea – you really should! You’re missing out!