Thick, crisp, and incredibly green. Florals were there, but the greenery and grass notes were stronger with slightly fruitier ones in texture. In terms of specific notes, it reminded me of a granny smith apple in its sour crispness, or a greener mango. The florals were a little bit more vague for me. Those who are better with the language of flowers could do a better job. It kinda reminded me of a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc white wine.
I prefer this one Gong Fu to Western to diffuse the mega green taste a little, though I need to try Western with less leaves. Western brings out a milkier texture whereas gong fu brought out the delicate florals. I started out with rinse and a 30 second beginning, 45 sec, and 50 improvising the rest of the steeps based on aroma. I looked for higher florals in the smell to brew up the cups.
As mush as I liked the tea for its crispness and the typical pineapple skin taste that I love from these oolongs, I found myself preferring What-Cha’s Li Shan, the Indonesia Bao Zhong, and the Jade Oolong. -Gasp-I know, I prefer a cheaper tea over a fickin’ Shan Lin Xi. This does have many of the notes that I enjoy of this varietal, but the thick grassy taste with the slightly sour (if that note is remotely accurate) is a little overwhelming for me. Shan Lin Xi’s used to be one of my all time favorites, but lately, I have not been enjoying them as much because many of them have just tasted like a slighlty more nuanced green tea. I don’t know if its because of the weather for the recent harvests or if its just my changing preferences, but I really have gravitated a little bit away from them.
With that nick-pickiness said, the crisp apple taste is awesome. I see this more as a summer tea despite the insanity of drinking it in 90 degree weather, or something in the winters as a reminder of coming spring. It’s oddly refreshing in its own right, and I would devote this tea to specific days when you want something green. Lovers of this varietal would be fairly happy with this along with green tea lovers, and I recommend this one to you. Know that it is GREEN.