Alishan Jin Xuan from Tea Ave

AliShanTeaAveTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Tea Ave

Tea Description:

Known to some as milk oolong, around here we think of Alishan Jin Xuan as our dreamy, creamy oolong. An elegant tea with a refined, subtle taste, Alishan Jin Xuan’s fruity and floral aromas complement its smooth, milky mouth feel. 

Only oolongs from this particular region, grown on the foggy Alishan mountainside, produce the creamy, milky qualities found in Alishan Jin Xuan—and since the leaves are naturally flavored, it’s all done without the addition of artificial flavors or chemicals. Alishan’s unique origins also account for a flavor profile that is delicate and nuanced—never strong or overbearing. A little bit like a beautiful woman: subtle, inviting. Alishan is lightly oxidized and unroasted.

Alishan Jin Xuan turns a light golden color after infusing, and its natural creamy and fruity notes develop immediately. Aftertaste is naturally sweet. You’ll want it to linger.

Tea leaves are bright green and come curled into balls.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I adore Jin Xuan oolong teas. If you find the right one, you can get everything from leafy and green to peachy and creamy flavors in just one cup! Plus, the leaves are usually champs with resteeping so you do get more cups of tea for your money. This particular Jin Xuan is natural, according to Tea Ave, and lacks any sort of artificial flavors or additives. I don’t mind a flavored oolong tea, but there is something so beautiful about a natural oolong that can offer such an incredible range of flavors.

teaave-wet-alishanThese tea leaves produce a lovely golden cup with just a hint of green. The first sips offer beautiful milky notes which linger and softly transition into a leafy finish. I also taste salted sweet cream butter and just a hint of mango. There is a slight drying sensation on the tongue, but the lovely creamy start keeps you coming back for more. Oh so delicious!

I can definitely say that this is one of my favorite Jin Xuan oolongs I’ve tried. It’s creamy, sweet and milky – just what I needed! I have a feeling that further infusions will bring out even more interesting flavors, but I will have to save that for another time. If you’re looking for a natural Jin Xuan oolong, this is a great place to start. It’s certainly worth the price, plus Tea Ave’s packaging and presentation are simply wonderful.

Alishan Jin Xuan Oolong Tea from Tea Ave.

Alishan Jin XuanTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Tea Ave.

Tea Description:

Known to some as milk oolong, around here we think of Alishan Jin Xuan as our dreamy, creamy oolong. An elegant tea with a refined, subtle taste, Alishan Jin Xuan’s fruity and floral aromas complement its smooth, milky mouth feel. 

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

When I received the amazing package that I received from Tea Ave., I was most excited about trying this Alishan Jin Xuan Oolong Tea.  I mean … hello?  Alishan?  My FAVORITE!  Of all the many different Oolong teas out there, Alishan is my favorite … especially a Jin Xuan (aka milk Oolong).

And given how much I adored the other two Oolong teas that I’ve tried from Tea Ave, I knew that I was in for an amazing treat with this Alishan Jin Xuan.  So, I got out my special Alishan YiXing mug and started brewing!  Alishan Jin Xuan1

LOVELY!

I’ve had many different Alishan Oolong teas over the years, and many of them were Jin Xuan.  Some were ‘flavored’ Jin Xuan where the milky notes were enhanced with added flavors.  Others were not.  I’m happy to say that this is one that is not.  Don’t get me wrong, I quite enjoy a flavored Jin Xuan, but there is something just so amazingly, naturally beautiful about a pure Jin Xuan!

The creamy notes are generally more subtle in a pure Jin Xuan, but they are so soft and wonderful.  I love how the creamy notes don’t inundate the palate with the flavor so that other characteristics of the tea can be explored and enjoyed.  Notes of flower mingle with the notes of cream.  The floral notes are not sharp.  They are mild and meld beautifully with the creamy flavors.  Sweet hints of fruit reveal themselves and develop as I continue to sip.

Alishan Jin Xuan2I was surprised to find that later infusions were still just as creamy as the earliest infusions.  Sweet, luscious and thick on the palate.  The floral notes softened in later infusions as the fruit notes emerged stronger.  It’s difficult to really pinpoint the fruit flavors that I’m experiencing because the sweet notes of the fruit aren’t really present.  The sweetness of this tea is more from the creamy notes – almost vanilla-esque!

But the fruit notes taste more like the fruit but not so much of the sugar sweetness of the fruit.  It’s like an apricot or a peach that has had it’s sugars extracted from it, quite interesting.

A truly AMAZING Alishan Jin Xuan – this is a tea I’d recommend to all tea drinkers.  Not just Oolong enthusiasts!  I think that this is a tea that all tea lovers can appreciate and enjoy.

Jasmine Oolong Tea from Tea Ave.

JasmineOolong2Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy: Tea Avenue (to be opening soon!)

Tea Description:

Jasmine Oolong is a flower tea with an inviting floral scent and a clean, strong taste.  The flavor of jasmine blossoms overlaying earthy Oolong undertones.

Taster’s Review:

TeaAvetoteSo, this review is a little bit unusual because the company – Tea Avenue – hasn’t yet opened it’s online store.  (They should be opening soon!)

A few months ago, I was approached by Tea Ave. about reviewing some of their Oolong teas on our blog.  When the package arrived a couple of days ago, I was astonished by it!  Tucked inside the large box that DHL delivered was this cool tote bag – this is the size that you’d use to tote your groceries home so this bag will be reassigned to grocery duty!TeaAveTeas

Inside the bag were three sample size pouches of tea:  Alishan Jin Xuan Oolong (a favorite of mine!), Magnolia Oolong (yay!) and this Jasmine Oolong!

TeaAveAromaSet
Aroma set – two porcelain cups with a solid oak tray!

Also inside the bag was an introductory letter and a gift card for $15 off the next purchase of $75 dollars or more … and a beautiful, white pearlescent box that opened to reveal a gorgeous aroma cup set with tray!  Wow!

I felt like I won a prize or something!

And because they sent me not one but TWO of these marvelous introductory gifts, I have an extra one to share with one of my lucky readers!  Keep reading for details on how to win!

But in the meantime, let me tell you about this tea!

JasmineOolong1Jasmine Oolong!  I’ve tried a few Jasmine Oolong teas in the past, and I’ve enjoyed most of those that I’ve tried.  To brew this, I grabbed my gaiwan.  Following a quick 15 second rinse, I steeped the first infusion for 1 minute in water heated to 175°F.  I added 15 seconds onto each subsequent infusion.

My first cup (the combination of infusions 1 and 2) was absolutely delightful to sip.  The flavor is distinctly jasmine, but I love that it isn’t at all perfume-y.  Floral – yes, and quite floral at that.  There is a perfect balance between creamy notes from the Ali Shan Oolong and the sweet floral notes from the Jasmine.

My second cup (the combination of infusions 3 and 4) is stronger in flavor than the first cup was, but there is still a really pleasing balance between the flavor of jasmine and the creamy notes of the AliShan Oolong.  The cup is more floral this time:  the jasmine notes are mingling with the natural floral notes of the Oolong tea, and the AliShan is delightfully creamy and smooth.  The flavors aren’t bitter or sharp.  Just smooth and relaxing and oh-so-delightful.

This seems to be about as perfect as it can get:  my favorite Oolong tea combined with my favorite floral for a tea – jasmine!  It’s such a remarkable tea!

My third cup (infusions 5 and 6) is a little less balanced versus cups one and two.  I still get a pleasant jasmine note and a lovely flavor from the Oolong, but these flavors have become more mellow.  It’s a smoother cup – more creamy while the jasmine is a little less focused.  Still wonderful though – so I highly recommend going for that third cup!

PLEASE NOTE:  THIS CONTEST IS OVER AND A WINNER HAS BEEN SELECTED.  THANK YOU FOR VISITING OUR BLOG AND PLEASE KEEP CHECKING BACK.  WE DO FREQUENT GIVEAWAYS!

Now, as promised, I’m going to offer my second ‘gift set’ from Tea Ave. to one of my readers!  

This contest will run from today (February 15th) through  Saturday, February 21st.  On February 22, I will select a winner by random draw using Random.org.  

The gift set includes:  three samples of Oolong teas from Tea Avenue, along with a gift card for $15 dollars off your next purchase form Tea Ave., a gift boxed porcelain aroma set with oak tray and a durable tote bag suitable for reuse (as a grocery bag, a book bag, or whatever you want to use it for!)

To enter for your chance to win, you just need to comment below.  Be sure to include a way to get in touch with you if you’re the lucky winner!  If I’m unable to contact the winner within three days, I will need to conduct another random draw.

Want extra entries?  Of course!  Who doesn’t?  Here are a few easy peasy ways to earn extra entries:

  1. To earn another entry, follow Tea Avenue and SororiTea Sisters on twitter.
  2. Like Tea Avenue and SororiTea Sisters on Facebook.
  3. Tweet this contest – and be sure to link it – on Twitter.  After you’ve done this, be sure to send us a link to the tweet so that we can check it out!
  4. Mention this contest on Facebook – and be sure to link it!  After you’ve done this, be sure to send us a link to check it out!

That’s it … four simple ways to earn four extra entries to win this amazing gift set!

Taiwan Alishan Jin Xuan Oolong (2014) from Fong Mong Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Fong Mong Tea

Tea Description:

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.

Taster’s Review:

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!

Jin Jun Mei Black Tea from Yezi Tea

loose-leaf-red-black-tea-jinjunmei-from-tanyang-fujian-china_grandeTea Type:
Black Tea (Red Tea)

Where To Buy:
Yezi Tea

Product Description:

If Arthur Conan Doyle had wanted to pen a mystery set in China, he would have sent Sherlock Holmes to find some Jin Jun Mei tea. And Holmes likely would have failed. For Jin Jun Mei is an extremely rare tea. However, due to a collaboration between Yezi Tea and tea farmer Wu Qiong, we are able to bring you the finest Jin Jun Mei from the Tan Yang Mountains of China.

Jin Jun Mei grows at 4,500 feet above sea level, at which altitude there is very little agricultural land available to grow tea. This in large part explains why there is so little Jin Jun Mei to go around. But we can be thankful for the little Jin Jun Mei that is available every year. This loose-leaf tea, like no other, engages your senses at multiples levels: with its complex taste, whose body and rhythm evolve for as many as fifteen brews; its fragrance, which evokes a world of faraway orchids; and the tea leaves themselves, which are shaped like eyebrows perched neatly over dove-shaped eyes.

Even More Info about this tea.

Tasters Review:

Anytime I hear of a tea that could possibly stand up to 15 infusions I’m ‘game’.  Especially when it’s a black tea.  This Jin Jun Mei Black Tea from Yezi Tea lives up to the product description of being complex – having multiple levels – and engaging senses.  Over time I have found that I have a special place in my heart for black tea with leaves like these…shaped like eyebrows…multi-colored…two or three toned when dry and then melting into a muddy brown colored leaf when wet.  With this tea – there is no real way to ‘screw it up’.  It’s tasty if over infused, under infused, while using too little or too much loose leaf…you name it.  It doesn’t get bitter.  It has a very pleasing flavor but also a very versatile flavor depending on how much or how little you use, how long you infuse, or depending on the temperature of your water.  It’s fantastic hot or cold.  This could easily be considered one of my go-to black teas.