Dec 27, 2008

Jin Xuan Oolong (金萱)

Edited in 02/10

Jin Xuan is one of the 4 major Taiwanese oolong varieties (the other three are Green-heart oolong, Cui Yu/Green Jade, and Si Ji Chun/Four-Season Spring). It is famous for its natural milky buttery flavor.

I like the story about development of Jin Xuan cultivar. Cultivation of Jin Xuan started in 1950, and it took 30 years of research, experimenting and field work to get the Jin Xuan we have now. Before it was cultivated in large scale, this oolong variety was just called Taiwanese oolong #12 among researchers. When this cultivar was approved for large-scale cultivation across Taiwan, a common name was needed. The head scientist of this tea research group, Professor Wu Zhenduo, named this oolong cultivar and another one with names of two people he loves and admires most, his Grandmother and his Mother! He named this tea with his Grandmother's name, Jin Xuan. He also named another oolong cultivar, Taiwanese oolong #13 with his mother's name, Cui Yu. Behind these names are Professor Wu's best wishes that the society should give mother-like love to tea farmers and nurture rural tea economy.

Jin Xuan (literally meaning Golden Tiger Lily) and Cui Yu (meaning Green Jade) are both beautiful yet ordinary female names. In old times, there must have been thousands of women with these common names. I appreciate Jin Xuan and Cui Yu as names of these two nice oolong varieties. They reflect women's great influence on many things in our daily life, including tea!

Loose tea leaves

First infusion in cup:

Spent leaves:


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