Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Red Blossom Tea Co.
Jing Xuan, meaning “Golden Lily” in Chinese, is a relatively new Formosa varietal developed by Taiwan’s Tea Research and Extension Station in the early 1980s. The cultivar is the end result of nearly four decades of cross-breeding of several Formosa varietals to yield a tea that is distinct in character from the traditional cultivars of our Alishan, San Lin Xi, Lishan and Tung Ting.
Learn more about this tea here.
Of the three teas that were in this month’s Steepster Select Box, only one of them I had not yet tried … this tea. I’ve tried other Jing Xuan Oolong teas though, however, as I’ve come to learn, even if it’s the same name and type of tea, it doesn’t mean that a Jing Xuan from one company is going to taste the same as a Jing Xuan from another. So much depends upon the variables… which is what makes each tea experience so unique. It is one of the reasons I love tea so much!
And I love Jing Xuan. However, as far as Jing Xuan Oolong teas go, I think that this one falls a bit short over some of the others that I’ve tried. It’s good, don’t get me wrong, but, the flavor is just a little lackluster.
My first cup (the first two infusions, combined) was sweet and creamy but not too heavy. It had a lightness to it. I enjoyed the lightness of this cup, and how the flavors came together, but I expected more from this. I expected more creamy tones. I expected hints of flower and more sweetness. This … just wasn’t what I expected.
My second cup (infusions 3 and 4, combined) was a bit more brothy than the first, with stronger floral notes and a background of vegetative notes. However, what little creaminess there was in the first cup is now gone, instead, I have a thick, soup-like tea versus the buttery, creamy taste and texture I’ve come to expect from a Jing Xuan.
The third cup (infusions 5 and 6, combined) seems to be a combination of the first two. It is lighter than the second cup, but not quite as light as the first. The flavors which were more distinct in the second cup have softened and melded together somewhat, creating a smoother tea experience. Of the three cups, this one is my favorite, but, I still feel somewhat disappointed and am left wanting with this Jing Xuan.
It IS an enjoyable tea. However, this tea was in the Steepster Select box with the theme “Founder’s Favorites” and I really expected something spectacular, and I feel like instead of providing the best Jing Xuan – one that was worthy of the title “Founder’s Favorites” – they instead buffered the box with a bargain basement version of the tea. Somewhat disappointing, considering this is the last box … a fact which is disappointing in itself. I had hoped that the Steepster Select box would go out with a BANG, but instead it goes in a fizzle.