Jin Xuan is a tea varietal developed in Taiwan in the 1980s. Also known as Taiwan #12, Jin Xuan tea has light-green, oval-shaped leaves, and is resistant to a wide variety of diseases and pests while producing a greater yield than other varietals.
Jin Xuan has a fragrant, smooth taste profile which is suitable for both Bao Zhong and Oolong teas. When processed as oolong tea, a light roasting gives Jin Xuan a creamy quality that is known as Nai Xiang – milk fragrance.
This natural milk flavor is quite subtle, so some processors add flavoring to the tea leaves to increase the milk flavor.
Edible flavoring is sometimes added to Jin Xuan tea to accentuate the milk flavor. This is most often done with lesser-quality, low altitude tea. Flavored tea can be quite pleasant, and some people prefer it over the un-flavored Jin Xuan, which can be quite subtle in terms of the natural milk flavor.
You can usually tell whether a tea has been flavored by the odor of the dry, unbrewed leaves. Flavored Jin Xuan will have a distinct, milky aroma that overpowers the natural aroma of the tea leaves.
If you’d like to do a taste comparison, we carry both flavored and unflavored Jin Xuan tea. We have three unflavored Jin Xuan teas from Ali Shan tea district, and one flavored Jin Xuan from Nantou tea district.
Hong Pei Jin Xuan Roasted Oolong Tea – This is more heavily roasted than our other Jin Xuans, which makes the milk qualities most apparent in the first infusions.
Rui Feng Jin Xuan Oolong Tea – from Alishan. Very nice un-flavored milk oolong.
Tai Xing Jin Xuan Oolong Tea – also from Alishan, also unflavored.
Zhu Shan Jin Xuan Oolong Tea – from Nantou county. This is a flavored milk oolong made from a good grade, hand-picked oolong tea. The milk flavor is more pronounced than the other three teas.