You know what is adorable, Ben snuggling Espeon. She is in one of those super cuddly moods, but alas I am melting from the stupid heat, so Ben to the rescue! Usually I never mind a lap cat, but it is one of those days where it is hot and humid so my skin is all crawly. It is all good though since I get to see cuteness.
Day two of the Floating Leaves Taiwan High Mountain Oolong Sampler specifically looking at the 2016 Spring Alishan High Mountain Oolong! Alishan is one of my favorite mountains for tea, especially the green Oolong style, I always get excited when I get a chance to enjoy it. Made from the QinXin varietal, which means sweet goodness, seriously I have never had a QinXin that was not wonderfully sweet. The aroma is buttery and sweet, with notes of chestnuts, sweet snap peas, sugar cane, and crisp celery. It balances sweetness and that refreshing bit of green for a light yet nuanced blend of notes.
I brewed this tea a couple of different ways, specifically gongfu and cold-steep, and let me start by saying gongfu was AMAZING, it is a star example of an Alishan with a thick texture, sweet taste, and mellow feeling, if you get this sampler (or just this tea) I suggest trying it out this way at least once. Since it is swelteringly hot though I want to showcase how this tea really impressed me, cold-steeped! The day I cold-steeped this tea I knew the night (after my session of gongfu) that I had errands to run the next day and would want tea, so I tossed the leaves in for a morning treat.
Oh my goodness this tea, in the aroma it has crisp notes of sweet snap peas and sugar cane, buttery thickness, and nutty chestnut. These notes are present, but they are joined with ethereal notes of freesia and lilac. I pretty much downed my entire first steep instantaneously, I didn’t even get out of the house with it! It was so wonderfully light while being nuanced, I love that.
So here I am with a pile of leaves and the need for tea, so I go grandpa style and add warm water, let it steep for a few, and then top it off with some ice to inevitably melt in the heat while also keeping the leaves around. This time around it really showcases the green aspect of the tea, notes of lettuce and celery, herbaceous oregano and a bit of parsley. It is so crisp and refreshing while still being sweet and floral. I am going to go on the record and say this is my favorite cold-steeped Oolong to date, the perfect combo of sweet and crisp while never being overwhelming.