Zhushan Ying Xiang Jade Oolong - Spring 2016Taiwan Sourcing
Thanks to it's parents ─ Qing Xin and Jin Xuan, Ying Xiang combines the unique silky body and aroma of its progenitors. However, it has a surpassing character that distinguishes itself from Qing Xin and Jin Xuan.
Ying Xiang in Mandarin means "an inviting aroma" and is also a very new varietal in the tea world. Born in 2013 after years of research and development this new type of tea is a testament to modern innovation and technique. After the Shanlinxi Yi Xiang from Spring 2015, we found another great Ying Xiang this spring again, but not from Shanlinxi, but Zhushan township instead.
In Han characters, Zhushan means "Bamboo Mountain." This place obtained such name back in 1920, when there were a lot of bamboo forest around it. It also has a history of great battle between the indigenous residents, (the Tsou people) and Chenggong Zheng's army back in the 17th century, making this the earliest place of Han people's development in Nantou Country.
Interestingly, even in a lower elevation environment Ying Xiang varietal oolong is both expressive and deep. This beautifully crafted Ying Xiang from historical Zhushan is a lovely tea to drink with its playful element and enlivening character.
Harvest: Spring 2016 / 春 貳零壹陸
Varietal: Ying Xiang 20 / 迎香 廿號
Elevation: 300 M / 參佰 公尺
Region: Zhushan / 竹山
Oxidation Level: 20% / 分之 貳拾
Roast Level: 0 / 無
I used 6 grams in a 120ml gaiwan and 95C temperature water. My wife did the handling and went out of the room for a second and came back to a room full of sweet floral and butter sweetness. The tea tastes like it smells, sweet, slightly floral and is intoxicating. The mouth feeling is thick with some vegetal notes... sweet but with a mouth watering tartness. Very complex tea for such a pleasant character.
I love to let the dry leaves sit for a little bit in the pre-heated gaiwan and then smell the dry leaf aroma. This tea was really just what I wanted with its very fresh floral and rich aroma. The first steep of about 30 secs (6g) was light but had nice body with emerging crisp vegetal and sweet buttery flavors. Second steep at about the same length was very refreshing and playful. The aroma that gets trapped on the bottom of my gaiwan lid smells like beautiful subtle perfume. This tea steeps out solidly with fun lingering flavors you are sure to enjoy.
As an old dog that loves new varietal, this tea is quite special to an old dog. It has a very special vegetal notes compared to any other teas and old dog had before. An old dog is pretty sure that is because of its varietal, since the familiar character showed up on our Yin Xiang last spring. But the actual surprising point is, this Yin Xiang does not taste like tea from an elevation of 300 M. The overall performance of this Yin Xiang is very similar to teas from Alishan this year, making this tea a great budget choice for jade oolong tea lovers.