Review: Sanne Tea Jin Xuan

Oolong Tea, Sanne Tea Add comments
K’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"It's very delicate, largely creamy with a hint of floral undertone and mineral aftertaste."
K’s Teaview: 8.5/10
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I haven't tried anything from Sanne Tea (pronounced, according to the website, like "sanity"), but they're exactly the sort of company I love. They specialise in pure Taiwanese teas and have a limited selection of leaves, all of which look spectacular.

This Spring 2015 offering is a lightly roasted and oxidised, hand-picked oolong grown at around 300 metres. The leaves are mid-to-large in size, dark, shiny green, and balled up. I put 5 grams in a 5-ounce yixing, rinse, then brew at 195° for 40 seconds. My first cup has a light amber-yellow liquor with a delicately milky and floral scent. Jin Xuan is also known as milk oolong, so I'm happy to find the milky scent translates beautifully to the flavour. It's very delicate, largely creamy with a hint of floral undertone and mineral aftertaste. It's so mild it walks the line between bland and delicate, but the brilliant creamy taste saves it.

My second infusion is 1 minute, and it has a much thicker body than the first. It coats the mouth with a vegetal and mineral flavour. It's still a mild tea, but it's much less delicate than before. Unfortunately, while there is some creaminess left, it is largely overpowered now.

My 1.5-minute third infusion has an edge of woodiness to it now. There's no creaminess. It's largely mineral, coating the mouth and leaving a tingling, acidic finish that lingers on. By steep four, the tea has mellowed out significantly. It's still very flavourful, but the mineral, oak, and acidity are all blended together in one delicious taste. I increase my time by 1 minute for each of the remaining steeps and end up with 8 cups total before the leaves give out.

After brewing this gong-fu style, I have enough leaf to brew it the Western way: 1 teaspoon per cup for 3 minutes. It's still brilliantly aromatic and has a strong cream flavour with mild lilac and mineral notes. In short, it's delicious either way you want to brew it. I have grown to appreciate companies that only have a few teas as long as they do those few very well, and based on this sample, Sanne Tea does their teas well. I look forward to trying more from them in the future.

— To purchase Sanne Tea Jin Xuan, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

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