Jade Tea from Doi Inthanon Tea Partnership in Thailand

Today, I will be focusing on the Jade Tea from the Doi Inthanon Tea Partnership. This is an organically grown high mountain green oolong tea. The raw tea leaves are harvested from the TTES # 12 (Jin Xuan) cultivar.

The Doi Inthanon Tea Partnership is located in Bhan Khun Wang, Tambon Mae Win, Amphoe Mae Wang, Chiang Mai Province, north Thailand. The garden cultivates only five acres (2.02 hectares) of land, and of these five acres, only about half is covered in tea. The cultivars grown are the TTES #17 (Qing Xin) and TTES #12 (Jin Xuan). The tea garden has an average altitude above 1,500 meters (4,900 feet). The factory focuses completely on the production of oolong and green tea. For more information on the Doi Inthanon Tea Partnership, please visit their website here.

The sample packet has been opened, and the leaves are definitely hand plucked and hand rolled. Let the journey begin…

Doi Inthanon Jade Green Tea Dry Leaves
Doi Inthanon Jade Green Tea Dry Leaves

The dry leaves have a dark cloudy green color, with some variation in the darkness of the leaves. There is an impressive amount of silver tips. The leaves are all whole, unbroken leaves. There are no crumbs or fragments whatsoever. The pluck is mostly two tender leaves and the bud, or one tender leaf and the bud. The buds are fairly mature. The leaves are obviously hand plucked, and hand rolled. There was much attention and care put in to the plucking and processing of these leaves. The leaves appear to be pan-fired. It looks like there was a little oxidation that occurred, but certainly less than the Yun Bi oolong tea from Doi Inthanon. I would guess that the oxidation percentage would be about 10%, making this a “green oolong”, as opposed to a true green tea. The aroma has scents of fresh baked bread, toasted seeds, stewed peaches, molasses or brown sugar, and light grass. The aroma seems to jump right out of the packet.

Three grams of dry leaves were placed in a five ounce (150 ml) porcelain infusion cup. Purified water was heated to 185°F (85°C). The leaves were infused for 3:00 minutes.

My suggestion for at home preparation is to use three grams for every six to eight ounces (180 to 240 ml) of water to be used. Heat water to 175° (75°C). Infuse the leaves for 1:30 to 2:00 minutes for the first infusion. Expect at least three or four quality infusions out the same serving of leaves. Decrease the infusion time on the second infusion to 1:00 to 1:30 minutes, then add 15 to 30 seconds to each additional infusion.

Doi Inthanon Jade Green Tea Infusion
Doi Inthanon Jade Green Tea Infusion

The first infusion produced a liquor with a light yellowish-jade green color, perfectly clear and transparent. The aroma has scents of toasted seeds, steamed leafy green vegetables, light peach, light brown sugar, and light valley flowers. The body is medium, with a smooth, almost brothy texture. The taste has notes of toasted seeds, steamed leafy green vegetables, valley flowers, light wood, and light peach. There is a mild astringency, and no bitterness. The aftertaste leans to the grassy and steamed vegetable notes, but the essence left on the breath is pleasantly floral.

Doi Inthanon Jade Green Tea Infused Leaves
Doi Inthanon Jade Green Tea Infused Leaves

The infused leaves have a perfectly uniform fresh light forest green color. I am still guessing the oxidation level to be about 10%. All the leaves and buds are whole and unbroken. There is not a single broken piece, fragment, or crumb in the sample! The pluck is either two fine leaves and a bud, or one fine leaf and a bud. The leaves are quite small and fine, with a soft, thin texture. The buds are fairly mature, with an average length of about 0.8 of an inch (20 mm). The uniformity of the size of the leaves and buds is very impressive. The aroma has scents of toasted seeds, valley flowers, light stewed peach, light wood, and cooked leafy green vegetables. Below is an extra photo of some of the individual infused leaves.

Doi Inthanon Jade Green Tea Infused Leaves Closeup
Doi Inthanon Jade Green Tea Infused Leaves Closeup

Interestingly, I did not sense any of the cream or milk characteristics that the Jin Xuan (TTES # 12) cultivar is renowned for providing. Not that this fact took away any of the pleasure I had in trying this tea, but it is an observation with this Jade Tea, as well as the Yun Bi Tea, which was also produced from the leaves of the Jin Xuan cultivar. With that being said, this tea had much to offer! The beautiful, masterfully cared for appearance of the dry leaves, the bright and lively color of the infusion, and the uniformity and wholeness of the infused leaves, were all very visually impressive! As noted earlier, the aroma of the dry leaves jumps out of the package. The tea itself has a great energy, and a satisfying texture. The taste was dominant with toasted seeds and steamed leafy green vegetables, providing a healthy taste that makes your body feel happier with each sip. This is another great product from Doi Inthanon Tea Partnership!

I am sad to say that I have only one product from Doi Inthanon left to review. That is the Luan Tze oolong. Thanks to Doi Inthanon Tea Partnership for providing these impressive samples! Cheers!

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Four Seasons Oolong Tea from Thai Tea Suwirun Gardens

Finally, back to tea reviews! I am looking forward to getting to more of these more often again, having been overwhelmed with other personal and business obligations for the past couple of months. I have some Darjeeling second flushes coming, as well as one Darjeeling specialty tea from Jungpana Tea Estate. I also have the quality season black teas from Uva Greenland Estate in Sri Lanka coming soon. To finish things off for my current sample supply, TeaVivre is sending some Chinese puer and white teas. I am also trying to find some exporters from Tanzania who can supply me with black, white, and green tea samples from that part of Africa. Basically, I have some interesting reviews coming up in the near future.

Also, all tea reviews going forward will be conducted according to professional standards. Higher water temperatures and longer steep times will be used to extract all of the character of the leaves. However, I will continue providing recommendations on water temperature and steep times for daily and normal consumption. I have decided to only write detailed descriptions of the first infusion to minimize redundancy in the posts. However, if I do prepare subsequent infusions, the photos will be posted, along with any noteworthy changes in character. You will also notice watermarks on my photos now. After having some trouble with my photos being used without permission or proper credit being given, I was forced to add watermarks.

Now that the updates and disclaimers have been given, let’s get to a review. The subject of today’s review is the Four Seasons Oolong Tea from Thai Tea Suwirun Gardens. Rather than retype information about Thai Tea Suwirun Gardens, click here to find all of the information and photos that I have on The Tea Journeyman Shop Tea Garden’s page. I am proud to offer two oolong teas from Thai Tea Suwirun Gardens at the shop, the Thea Kuan Imm and the Jing Shuan (Jin Xuan or Milk Oolong).

The sample packet has been opened, and a welcoming sweet scent is instantly detectable. Let the journey begin…

Four Seasons Oolong Tea Dry Leaves
Four Seasons Oolong Tea Dry Leaves

The dry leaves have a pale light green to dark brownish-green color. Leaves are mostly whole, with few large fragments and very small portion of crumbs. Leaves are in semi-ball shape. A coarse pluck of three to four leaves with stem intact is assumed. Oxidation appears to be in the 50% area, give or take 10%. The aroma is very sweet, with scents of brown sugar, honey, and dry tree fruit.

Three grams of dry leaves were placed in a five ounce (150 ml) ceramic infusion cup. Purified spring water was heated to 205°F (96°C). The leaves were infused for four minutes.

Normal at home preparation will be one teaspoon of leaves (about 3 grams) per six ounces (180 ml) of water to be used. Water temperature should be 190°F to 195°F (88 to 90°C). Infusion time should be 1:30 to 2:00 minutes on the first infusion, then 1:00 minute on the second infusion, with 0:15 to 0:30 seconds being added to subsequent infusions. Three to five quality infusions can be expected.

Four Seasons Oolong Tea 1st Infusion
Four Seasons Oolong Tea 1st Infusion

The first infusion produced a liquor with a bright golden yellow color, perfectly clear and transparent, with few fine and coarse particles. The aroma is quite powerful and sweet, with scents of honey, nectarines, light brown sugar, and a light floral scent that I will compare to lavender. The body is medium, with a lively, mouth filling texture. The taste has notes of honey, nectarines, light brown sugar, and lavender. The aftertaste is persistent, and the notes of lavender and nectarine are very pronounced for an impressive amount of time. The aftertaste honestly reminded me of that of a bite of fresh nectarine. Very impressive!

Four Seasons Oolong Tea 2nd Infusion
Four Seasons Oolong Tea 2nd Infusion

The second infusion continued to impress by being highly aromatic and flavorful. Taste was slightly lighter, but nicely balanced. No negative notes on the second infusion.

Four Seasons Oolong Tea 3rd Infusion
Four Seasons Oolong Tea 3rd Infusion

The third infusion is also quite sweet in aroma and bright in color. The taste is lighter, but still has plenty of flavor. The aftertaste continues to impress with a lingering floral character. No negative notes on the third infusion.

Four Seasons Oolong Tea Infused Leaves
Four Seasons Oolong Tea Infused Leaves

The infused leaves have a uniform forest green color, with reddish edges. Many leaves appear to have edges that have been bitten by insects, which helps explain the honey aroma and taste. Most of the leaves are whole, with some very large fragments, and few smaller fragments. Pluck is coarse and ranges from two to three leaves with stem intact, some with small buds attached. The leaves appear to be of either the TTES 17 (Chin Shin) or TTES 12 (Jin Xuan) cultivar, or perhaps a blend of the two. I am siding more with the Chin Shin. Even though some of the leaves are more broad like Jin Xuan leaves, the aroma and taste lacked the creamy (milky) characteristics that Jin Xuan is known for. The aroma of the infused leaves has scents of nectarine, light honey, and light floral.

Thai Tea Suwirun Gardens produces some truly high end oolong teas, in my opinion. I have had several other “four seasons” oolongs before, all from Taiwan, but I do not recall having such pleasant memories of any of those teas like I have of the Four Seasons Oolong from Thai Tea Suwirun Gardens. I have been told by others who are more familiar with the tea gardens of Thailand that Thai Tea Suwirun is good, but there are better tea gardens in Thailand. If that is true, I beg for more information on these other gardens! I believe they are out there, and if they are better than Thai Tea Suwirun, then I am in for some very pleasurable moments of tea sampling in the future! Not to take anything away from Thai Tea Suwirun, as they always leave me with a satisfied smile on my face. If I never find another garden in Thailand, I will be perfectly fine with my supply coming from Thai Tea Suwirun!

Thanks to the management at Thai Tea Suwirun Gardens for including this generous packet of Four Seasons Oolong Tea! Cheers!

Gabaron Oolong Tea from Daokrajai Lanna Fine Teas

Here is a relatively new style of oolong tea that has been gaining some attention in the health and nutrition fields recently. This is the Gabaron Oolong Tea from Daokrajai Lanna Fine Teas, sourced from a tea estate in the area outside of Chiang Rai City in northern Thailand.

What is different about Gabaron (or GABA) teas? During processing, the tea leaves are flushed with nitrogen gas, causing the level of GABA (Gamma-Aminobutryic Acid) in the leaves to increase, unlike tea leaves processed in strictly oxygen environments. GABA is marketed as a promoter of relaxation due it’s neurological effects in the brain. However, in normal to even reasonably above normal amounts that can be ingested through GABA tea consumption, this tea will most likely not have any relaxation inducing effects beyond that of other teas. I prepared this sample fairly late in the evening, and although I had no trouble falling asleep, I cannot say that I felt any additional relaxation beyond what a Sunday evening usually brings.

The sample packet has been opened, and a sweet, fruity, woody, and slightly spicy scent is filling the air. Let the journey begin…

Gabaron Oolong Dry Leaves
Gabaron Oolong Dry Leaves

The dry leaves have a light to dark brown color. The leaves are shaped into semi-balls. The leaves appear to be large fragments and whole leaves with stems attached. There are no bare stems in the mix. Although the leaves appear to be higher on the oxidation scale, I would be interested to know the oxidation percentage, and if the exposure to nitrogen causes any color change in the dry product. The aroma is sweet, with scents of brown sugar, molasses, apples, citrus, light wood and spice.

Four grams of dry leaves were placed in a 9.4 ounce (280 ml) Tokoname kyusu teapot. Filtered tap water was heated to 195°F (90°C). The leaves were infused for two minutes.

Gabaron Oolong 1st Infusion
Gabaron Oolong 1st Infusion

The first infusion produced a liquor with light golden-yellow color and a light orange tint, clear and transparent. The aroma is sweet, with fruity scents of apples and citrus, and spicy, most similar to cloves. The body is light-medium, with a lively, spicy, almost sharp texture. The taste is somewhat brisk, with strong notes of citrus (lemon or grapefruit), apples, and spice (cloves), with lighter notes of flowers and minerals. The aftertaste is light, sweet and floral. There is very little flowery or otherwise of an essence that is left on the breath.

Gabaron Oolong 2nd Infusion
Gabaron Oolong 2nd Infusion

The second infusion produced a liquor with a darker shade of golden-yellow color and more of an orange tint. The aroma remains fruity and spicy. The body is medium, and the taste is not quite as sharp as the first infusion. The taste has balanced some, with the notes of citrus, apple, and spice blending more evenly with the flowers and mineral taste. The aftertaste is still sweet and floral, but the floral hints have gained some ground on the sweetness. I preferred this second infusion to the first.

Gabaron Oolong 3rd Infusion
Gabaron Oolong 3rd Infusion

The third infusion produced a liquor that was very slightly lighter than the second infusion, but remains golden-yellow with an orange tint. The aroma continues to be fruity and spicy, but lighter in strength. The body remains medium. The taste has lightened and balanced more, with the floral and mineral notes having gained some ground on the fruity and spicy notes. The third infusion had plenty of aroma and taste to offer.

Gabaron Oolong Infused Leaves
Gabaron Oolong Infused Leaves

The infused leaves have a uniform dark reddish-brown color. Many of the leaves are whole, and are long and narrow. My guess is that the cultivar used for this product is Chin Shin. The broken leaves are large fragments, and many leaves are attached to stems that show a three leaf and small bud pluck. The leaves have a wet, thin, leathery feel to them. The aroma is also fruity (apples), spicy (cloves), with a unique mineral (wet stone) aroma that I do not remember smelling in other infused leaves. I believe these leaves could produce another infusion or two of acceptable aroma and flavor.

This Gabaron Oolong is definitely a unique product. The dominant fruity and spicy flavors are unlike any other oolong that I have had. The aroma of the infused leaves was very potent, and had a mineral scent that was unusual, yet pleasing. The appearance of the infused leaves was impressive. Despite the appearance and aroma of the dry leaves, which more resembled a higher oxidized or roasted oolong, the aroma and taste of the liquor was nothing like the higher oxidized or roasted oolongs. If you have not tried a GABA product yet, and like fruity and/or spicy teas, you may find a new favorite in the Gabaron Oolong from Daokrajai Lanna Fine Teas.

Cheers to another unique, aromatic, and tasteful product from Daokrajai Lanna Fine Teas!

Suwirun Green Tea from Daokrajai Lanna Thai Teas

The focus of today’s review is the Suwirun Green Tea from Daokrajai Lanna Thai Teas. This is the highest quality green tea offered by Daokrajai.

Two notes for today’s review. First, I still do not have complete function of my nose. The weather and temperatures in Pittsburgh have varied by nearly 30°F from day to day, and my sinuses are not appreciating the diversity. If the aroma descriptions are a bit broad, please forgive me. Second, I got rid of my iPhone last evening and opted for an LG. Please be patient with the photos while I get accustomed to the new camera functions.

Let the journey begin…

Suwirun Green Tea Dry Leaves
Suwirun Green Tea Dry Leaves

The dry leaves vary in color from light forest green to dark forest green. The leaves are rolled, and appear to be medium to large fragments. There are some bare stems in the mix. The leaves are very dry, and quite fragile. The aroma is quite potent, with scents of nuts, grass, wood, and molasses. The aroma is very attractive.

Four grams of dry leaves were placed in a five ounce (150 ml) ceramic infusion cup. Purified spring water was heated to 175°F (75°C). The leaves were infused for one minute thirty seconds.

Suwirun Green Tea 1st Infusion
Suwirun Green Tea 1st Infusion

The first infusion produced a liquor with a bright golden-yellow color, clear and transparent. The aroma is potent, with scents of nuts, wood, and light ripe citrus fruit. The body is medium, with a lively and invigorating feel. The taste is brisk, with notes of wood, nuts, grass, and citrus fruit. The aftertaste is sweet (fruity), with a flowery essence left on the breath.

Suwirun Green Tea 2nd Infusion
Suwirun Green Tea 2nd Infusion

The second infusion produced a liquor with a darker golden-yellow color. The aroma remained potent, with scents of nuts and wood. The fruity aroma has dissipated. The body remains medium. The taste is stronger, especially on the woody, grassy, and nutty notes. The citrus fruit note has lightened, but is still easily identifiable. The aftertaste is more woody or nutty in this infusion, and the flowery essence remains.

Suwirun Green Tea 3rd Infusion
Suwirun Green Tea 3rd Infusion

The third infusion produced a liquor with a color similar to the first infusion. The aroma has lightened some, and the scents of wood and nuts are most prevalent. The fruity scent has surfaced again, in a very light way. The body has lightened some. The taste has also lightened, and remains dominant in the nuts and wood notes, and light on the citrus note. Despite an overall lighter character, there is plenty of aroma and taste in this third infusion.

Suwirun Green Tea Infused Leaves
Suwirun Green Tea Infused Leaves

The infused leaves have a forest green to dark forest green color. The leaves are all small to large fragments. There are no whole leaves. There are some bare stems in the mix. The leaves have a soft, delicate feel. The aroma has scents of wood and nuts.

The Suwirun Green Tea was a very nice product, overall. The aromas were very potent, even for someone who has a hard time smelling much. The taste was refreshing and brisk, and had a nice balance of flavors. It is certainly different than most of the Chinese and Japanese green teas that I have experienced. Quite honestly, I like this style a little better. I prefer the nutty, woody tastes over fresh cut grass and vegetable tastes.

The Suwirun Green Tea was another great experience, courtesy of Daokrajai Lanna Thai Teas. Cheers!

Jiao Gu Lan Herbal Tisane from Daokrajai Lanna Thai Teas

The clock was showing around 10:00 PM by the time I had a moment to sit down and relax for some tea. My body was begging for as good of a sleep as possible, so I reached for one of the many herbal tisane samples that I had received recently. The packet with the name Jiao Gu Lan was most appealing to me. This packet of Jiao Gu Lan was provided by Daokrajai Lanna Thai Teas, which sources their teas and herbs from near Chiang Rai City in northern Thailand.

Jiao Gu Lan’s scientific name is Gynostemma Pentaphyllum. The name Jiao Gu Lan translates to “twisting vine orchid”. This herb has been used for centuries in Chinese medicine, and has been gaining much attention in other parts of the planet for it’s numerous health benefits.

The sample packet has been opened, and a sweet, dark chocolate smell is emerging. Let the journey begin…

Jiao Gu Lan Herbal Dry Leaves
Jiao Gu Lan Herbal Dry Leaves

The dry leaves have a light to dark forest green color. The leaves are rolled, giving them the appearance of some gunpowder styles of green tea. Some leaves appear to have the stem attached. The aroma is sweet, with strong scents of dark chocolate and spice.

Four grams of dry leaves were placed in a 9.4 ounce (280 ml) Tokoname kyusu teapot. Filtered tap water was heated to 212°F (100°C). The leaves were infused for five minutes.

Jiao Gu Lan Herbal Infusion
Jiao Gu Lan Herbal Infusion

The infusion produced a liquor with a yellow color and a slight brown tint, clear and transparent. The aroma is strongly herbaceous and spicy. The body is medium, with a lively, mouth-filling texture. The taste is very unique, strongly herbaceous at first, almost like overboiled dark green leafy vegetables, and evolving into a strange, oily sweetness toward the back of the tongue. I think, should I ever have this product again, I will cut the amount of leaves used in half to two grams.

Jiao Gu Lan Herbal Infused Leaves
Jiao Gu Lan Herbal Infused Leaves

The infused leaves have a dark forest green color. There are quite a few whole leaves, some still attached to long, stringy stems. There are hair-like strands on the leaves and stems. The aroma has scents of cooked dark green leafy vegetables and spinach.

Although I appreciate the health benefits of this herb, I think I will stick with Camellia Sinensis as my hot beverage of choice. The taste of this Jiao Gu Lan was very different, and it will take some additional experimentation to find a suitable strength. Perhaps it is my fault for being overzealous on the amount of leaves that I used. Regardless, everyone’s tastes are different, and many people seem to love this product. I am happy to have had a chance to try it out. Cheers!

 

Pai Red Tea from Daokrajai Lanna Thai Teas

Next on the review agenda is the Pai Red Tea from Daokrajai Lanna Thai Teas. Many of the pertinent details of Daokrajai Lanna Thai Teas may be found in last evening’s review of the Jing Shuan Oolong. Scroll down a post to read more about Daokrajai.

Let the journey begin…

Pai Red Tea Dry Leaves
Pai Red Tea Dry Leaves

The dry leaves are a uniform black color with light brown stems. The leaves are small to medium sized fragments. There are a few seemingly bare stems in the mix. The fragments are rolled. The aroma has scents of hay and molasses.

Three grams of dry leaves were placed in a 5 ounce (150 ml) ceramic infusion cup. Purified spring water was heated to 205°F (96°C). The leaves were infused for three minutes.

Pai Red Tea 1st Infusion
Pai Red Tea 1st Infusion

The first infusion produced a liquor with a dark orange-red color, with a slight cloudiness, but still transparent. The aroma is floral, earthy (wood and hay), and winey (burgundy). The body is full, with a lively, bright, and almost oily texture. The taste is brisk, citrusy (lemon), winey (burgundy), woody, and lightly floral. The aftertaste is winey and floral.

Pai Red Tea 2nd Infusion
Pai Red Tea 2nd Infusion

The second infusion produced a liquor with a lighter orange-red color with no cloudiness. The aroma remains floral and earthy, with slightly less wine scent. The body lightened some to medium-full, and the texture remains lively and somewhat oily. The taste remains brisk, citrusy, woody, floral, with lighter notes of wine (burgundy). The aftertaste is more floral and citrusy than winey. Overall, this infusion was certainly lighter than the first infusion, but nothing worth complaining about. This was a tasteful infusion.

Pai Red Tea 3rd Infusion
Pai Red Tea 3rd Infusion

The third infusion produced a liquor with an orange-gold color. The aroma has lightened, but remains floral and earthy, with a light sweetness. The body has lightened to medium. The taste has lightened significantly. The brisk character has lightened quite a bit. This third infusion was quite light in every aspect, but still not difficult to drink and enjoy on some level. I do not expect a fourth infusion to be practical.

Pai Red Tea Infused Leaves
Pai Red Tea Infused Leaves

The infused leaves have a uniform dark copper color. The leaves are all small to medium sized fragments. There are a few bare stems in the mix. The aroma has earthy scents of wood, a light floral scent, and a touch of spice.

This Pai Red is a surprisingly complex tasting tea. The highly brisk character caught me off guard, and immediately sent a spark of alertness through my body. This tea has some common characteristics with a Keemun, like the winey and burgundy-like aroma and taste, but the citrusy, brisk, and somewhat oily texture make this tea highly unique. I may have to do a side by side comparison of the other sample packet of the Pai Red against the Hao Ya A that I have at home. I do like the brisk, lively character of the Pai Red. The first couple of sips truly opened my eyes and sent a wave of energy through me. It was quite the experience.

Cheers for another impressive product, Daokrajai Lanna Thai Teas. What sample shall be next?

Jing Shuan Oolong Tea from Daokrajai Lanna Thai Teas

I cannot wait until the Spring finally hits the western Pennsylvania area and the number of sicknesses being recycled in schools and offices begin to dwindle. My son honestly got sick maybe once in the two years of his life prior to going to daycare. Now he is sick more often than he is completely healthy, and the same applies to me. My senses of smell and taste have been completely useless over the past week, but I can wait no longer. I have received so many interesting samples since I first lost my smell, and I have been itching to get to these reviews.

This review will focus on the Jing Shuan oolong tea from Daokrajai Lanna Thai Teas. The tea farms’ total acreage of 550 acres is divided between two plantations located slightly over an hour away from Chiang Rai city in northern Thailand. One plantation is in higher elevations, and the other plantation is in lower elevations.

You will be seeing a substantial amount of reviews posted in the near future of products from Daokrajai, and I am excited about that fact. In fact, many of my upcoming reviews will be focusing on teas from regions that are relatively new to me, such as Napal, South Korea, Indonesia, and Thailand. I am also hoping to come up with samples from Vietnam and Turkey in the near future. Plus, a few good samples from Malawi are waiting for my time, as well.

Anyway, back to the Jing Shuan oolong. As you may have figured out by the name, this oolong is produced from the leaves of TTES 12 (Jin Xuan) cultivar bushes that were imported to Thailand from Taiwan. The farms use organic methods to care for their tea bushes, and all tea leaves are hand plucked.

Being an enthusiast for Taiwan high mountain wulongs, especially Jin Xuan teas, I am interested to see how the tea masters at Daokrajai have developed their strategies for growing and processing the Jin Xuan bushes, and how the results compare to the Jin Xuan products of Taiwan. In the near future, I will compare this product to two Jin Xuan products from Taiwan that I have in my collection, one being quite expensive and the other having an average cost.

The sample packet has been opened, and the familiar sweet scent of light brown sugar and sweet milk is reviving my sense of smell. Let the journey begin…

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The dry leaves have a pale dark green to dark green color. The leaves are formed into dense semi-ball shapes, having an average size of a pea. The leaves appear to be mostly whole, many having the stem attached. The aroma is sweet, with scents of light brown sugar and sweet milk.

Four grams of dry leaves were placed in a 9.4 ounce (280 ml) Tokoname kyusu teapot. However, the teapot was filled with roughly 7 ounces (210 ml) of water to compensate for the lower weight of dry leaves. Filtered tap water was heated to 190ºF (88ºC). The leaves were infused for three minutes on the first infusion, one minute on the second infusion, and two minutes on the third infusion.

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The first infusion produced a liquor with a pale yellow-light gold color, clear and transparent. The aroma is sweet, with scents of light brown sugar, sweet cream, and a hint of orchid flowers. The body was medium, with a creamy, silky texture. The taste had notes of sweet cream, orchids, light brown sugar, and a very light citrus hint. The finish was very smooth to the point where I barely noticed I was swallowing anything. The aftertaste was lightly sweet at first, and gradually converted to a floral essence, reminiscent of a Taiwan wulong.

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The second infusion produced a liquor with a lighter shade of pale yellow color. The aroma remains sweet and lightly floral. The body remains medium, with a creamy texture. The taste maintains the same characteristics, and any lightness can be attributed to the significant difference in infusion time. To explain briefly why I cut down on time so much, I always find the second infusion of most Taiwan wulongs to be quite time-sensitive. A difference of thirty seconds causing the second infusion to become somewhat vegetal. This tea, on the other hand, I believe could have withstood an extra thirty seconds and not had such an effect. I will test this theory on the third infusion, and infuse the leaves for two minutes.

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The third infusion produced a liquor with a color nearly identical to the second infusion. The aroma has balanced some, lightening on the sweet scents, giving the floral scent more definition. The body has lightened some. The taste has lightened also, but there are some interesting changes in taste to this infusion. The sweet cream has lightened significantly, but the citrus (lemon) hint has become much more prominent, and is creating quite an enjoyable combination with the orchid notes. The creaminess can be felt most in the finish and aftertaste. A lighter, but no less enjoyable infusion than the second.

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The infused leaves have a dark forest green color to them, with some leaves displaying the common reddish edges. The leaves display the long, broad leaves that are characteristic of the Jin Xuan cultivar. The pluck varies, with some stems displaying anywhere from a five leaf and bud to three leaf and bud pluck. The leaves are either whole or almost whole, most attached to the stem, some loose. The aroma is sweet and floral, maintaining scents of sweet milk and orchids.

Among the reasons that I chose this out of the twenty plus samples from Daokrajai to sample first was my interest in seeing how a Jin Xuan from Thailand can compete with a Jin Xuan from it’s native Taiwan. I can say with confidence that this Jing Shuan from Daokrajai can certainly compete with many Taiwan Jin Xuan teas. In fact, I will give the Daokrajai Jing Shuan a higher mark than most of the Taiwan Jin Xuans for the fact that there was not a hint of vegetal quality to any of the three infusions, regardless of infusion time. I also like how the taste evolved from being dominated by notes of sweet cream to orchid in the second infusion, then orchid to citrus (lemon) in the third infusion. Even the fourth infusion, which I did test, maintained the citrusy dominance. It was quite enjoyable. I am impressed with the quality of this product from Daokrajai, and I think any fan of wulong and Jin Xuan will appreciate this tea.

Thank you to John and Kelly, who introduced me to the Daokrajai Lanna Thai Teas and provided samples. And as always, thank you to the workers and employees at Daokrajai. Your efforts have not gone unnoticed. I look forward to the many reviews coming up in the near future. Cheers!

Thank you for taking your time to read this review. Please leave a comment and start a discussion.