I wrote more about Thai oolongs than Chinese and Taiwanese ones on this blog. This was because I had to spend four weeks in Thailand due to the coronavirus and I had a chance to taste and source Thai Oolongs there. I was quite impressed by most of them and also this one which is made out of plants from Cultivar #12 which were imported to Thailand from Taiwan in 1990ies. What is special about this tea is that it is from this year (2020) and possibly this is as fresh as it can get unless you cultivate and make your own tea. On this website, I’ve read that Jin Xuan oolong from Cultivar #12 in Thailand is harvested four times a year with an additional harvest during winter months. The winter harvest produces a special tea called Jun Xuan Hoarfrost and given that this tea is from January 2020 and even if it was not described to me as Hoarfrost oolong, I want to believe that it was one. In line with the description on Siam Teas, I did feel that it did not only taste earthy and grassy but also slightly malty. I thought that its oxidation level was between Cultivar #17 and Dong Ding Oolong from the same area in Northern Thailand.
I have another Thai Cultivar #12 oolong from another producer and I’m looking forward to trying that. I really enjoyed this Jin Xuan Oolong, my biggest regret is that I had only 4 gr of this one, but I did steep it for many times.
Origin: Northern Thailand
Harvest time: 2020
Leave colour: Green
Liquor colour: Bright yellow
Tea aroma: Earthy and smoky
Tea taste: Full bodied with sweet, earthy, grassy and malty notes
Steeping/brewing: You can use around 85°C water temperature and brew for up to one minute in gongfu style or up to three minutes in Western-style. You can brew the leaves many times (until the taste is lost). To each infusion add additional time. Experiment for a result that suits your taste.
Shelf life: Up to one year, the fresher the better.