Friday, June 12, 2009

High Mountain Jinxuan Oolong from Lu Shan

Hand harvested at the end of March 2009 on Lu Shan (over 1000 meters high), in Nantou county. (My article in French).

It's not easy to get me excited with Jinxuan Oolong. That's why I don't select it very often. The vast majority are high yield, low elevation productions aimed at beginners (= cheap and fragrant). They are to tea what rosé is to wine drinkers.

And yet, there are some specialized wineries that make very good rosé. Likewise, there are also some excellent Jinxuan Oolongs to be found. What you need are good ingredients: a high mountain plantation, good spring weather and a farmer dedicated to quality.

The brew is very clear and has a light, shining, green/yellow color typical of low oxidized high mountain Oolong.

The fragrances are also light and manifold: flowers, spring vegetation and a light buttery note. Each session and each brew seems different. Two days ago, while taking these pictures, I even got an intense perfume scent that was just amazing. It's one of those that makes you drink from your cup again and again and again to experience it for a few seconds each time.

This Oolong tastes as pure and smooth as fresh water at first. It goes down the throat unhinged and leaving a fresh sweetness in the mouth.

The aftertaste is rich, energetic and surprisingly long for a Jinxuan. I can feel the mellow dryness of the rocky soil in my mouth. It is packed with youthful energy tickling my taste buds for several minutes. I also notice how well my stomach reacts to this light oxidized Oolong
A sunny afternoon is a perfect time to enjoy this Oolong. I even suggest to turn off the A/C and open the windows. When I have my A/C on, the accessories cool down faster and I don't get the same results.

I didn't feel too hot, despite the warm tea. But, just in case, for this summer Cha Xi, I added a Chinese fan to my setup.

Recommendations: This tea is very sensitive to how it is brewed. I recommend full attention!
This Oolong unfolds and brews best with very hot water, close to the brewing point. Still, be careful not to overcook your water, as it would impact the freshness and energy of the brew. High mountain Oolongs leaves unfold a lot, so don't use too many (but not too few either): the (preferably round shaped, zhuni) teapot should be around 90% full at the end. The way you pour the hot water in the teapot will also impact the flavors. For the first pour, be quick and steady. Later, pour slowly.

The open leaves are thick, healthy and strong. They are typical of young trees. It's also a pleasure to feel them with your fingers!

I'm also very happy with this Cha Xi. It made this experience even more beautiful and unforgettable. Cheers!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Fresh and refreshing for tired eyes.