Heritage Baked Organic Milk Oolong (凍頂火候金萱烏龍茶) is a wonderfully complex oolong created from the leaves of the Jin Xuan (金萱) cultivar. This particular tea was carefully baked in a traditional manner to produce a heritage style type of tea that is not often found nowadays. The baking process is slow and time consuming, and the type of roasting employed is normally reserved for much more high end Competition Grade Dong Ding Oolong teas. The medium level of baking results in a complex flavour profile where the roasted notes do not overpower but rather compliment the original tea flavours. It is from a fully organic production located in Mingjian Township, Nantou County, Taiwan. This lot is from a November 2022 harvest and the last baking of it was in March 2023.
This Heritage Baked Organic Milk Oolong is finished by our Tea Master in a traditional style that has undergone extensive baking. It is a recreation of a type of tea she used to enjoy growing up that her late father used to make. These complex, heavier roasted oolongs that were popular in Taiwan 30+ years ago have been largely replaced by the lightly oxidised floral versions popular today. While both types have a distinct and attractive character, there is a particular appeal in the complex and skilfully crafted heritage-style teas such as this one. It is truly a labour of love and a fitting tribute to a more traditional style of Taiwanese tea.
The Jin Xuan cultivar that is used to create this oolong was developed in Taiwan in the 1980’s. It is also known as the Golden Daylily (Jin Xuan) or TRES #12, the number given to it by the Taiwan Research and Extension Station. Milk Oolong is also sometimes known as Nai Xiang (奶香) ‘Milk Fragrance’ in Chinese. Jin Xuan cultivar is very popular with farmers since the plants are more hardy and produce a higher yield. From a tea lover’s point of view, Jin Xuan is an attractive aromatic drink with a lovely sweet and creamy character.
This heritage-style Milk Oolong is sourced directly from the Tea Master in Taiwan that carries out the roasting. The tightly rolled leaves produce a medium liquor with good clarity and a light roasted aroma. The taste is supremely smooth with an overall underlying roasted flavour. The top notes are floral and quite scented. The flavour has fruity notes of golden syrup and baked pastries. Makes us think of a fruit custard bun or a peach danish! The taste is lasting, very easy-drinking and has a great comforting quality. The Jin Xuan cultivar certainly adds an overall creamy impression and mouthfeel. It is a fine example of a careful and considered baking process.
It is best brewed at 90°C for 3 minutes according to your taste and can be brewed multiple times, increasing steeping time with each next brew if desired.