Another oolong sample I have been holding on to for several months, this was not actually the tea I intended to review tonight. I was originally hoping to review Beautiful Taiwan Tea Company’s Shan Lin Xi Premium, but I grabbed this one out of the cabinet instead. I didn’t mind in the end though, because this turned out to be a nice, basic, approachable high mountain oolong.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a very quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 195 F water for 10 seconds. Subsequent infusions were conducted at 8 seconds, 11 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, and 3 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves gave off subtle aromas of cream, butter, grass, and flowers. The rinse caused the cream and butter aromas to intensify somewhat. The first infusion saw hints of fresh baguette, cucumber, and vanilla emerge. In the mouth, the tea liquor was smooth and thick, though it only offered thin notes of grass, butter, cream, and vanilla. I caught a ghostly nectar-like impression on the finish. Subsequent infusions maintained the tea’s overtly bready, grassy, creamy, buttery, vanilla heavy character, while faint impressions of cantaloupe, honeydew, nectar, lily, gardenia, honeysuckle, and honey cut through the murk at various points. Later infusions saw the tea regress to a somewhat simplified version of its original character, mostly offering cream, butter, and grass notes. I could, however, still detect a hint of vanilla as well as a touch of minerals.
This presented itself as a very mellow and balanced oolong. Though I generally prefer sweeter, more floral oolongs, I could still get into this tea on certain levels. I could tell that it was a quality tea, but I found it to be the sort of tea I could appreciate more than outright love. In the end, I would recommend this one to folks looking for something easygoing and accessible.
Flavors: Bread, Butter, Cantaloupe, Cream, Cucumber, Floral, Grass, Honey, Honeysuckle, Mineral, Nectar, Vanilla