I finally got to try the tea regarded as the Taiwanese president’s choice of oolong, so I took care to follow the directions carefully, and treat this tea with well time respect. I actually took written notes for this one.
So here it went:
Water just under boiling, 6 grams to my Manual Tea Infuser of 5 oz, or 125 ml.
20 sec initial rinse
Not too much in the aroma, distant florals. The taste is nice, having something like rice milk in flavor and creamy texture with a little of greenness to it. The pectin maybe? Otherwise, some florals coming up like honeysuckle and perhaps hyacinth.
The leaves themselves had a ripe fruit smell like pineapple before I refilled the vessel with hotwater. It had me looking forward to the future.
Lilac smell, not too much taste, so I let it cool down. Tasting after letting it sit for a little bit, intense CREAM notes, lilac, lime hint, maybe something like cucumber, and a clementine finish with a lovely and silky mouthfeel.
More cool down made the tea a little softer.
20 sec brew
Fuller flavor with a sweet lilac smell almost bordering on lavender. This steep had a bit of an fresh evergreen note with a long lasting floral finish as well. The leaves definitely opened up this time, and as it cooled down, more fruity notes popped up. It was something between pineapple and asian pear, but it was not nearly as ripe as before. It was almost like a pineapple that was a hair to young to cut, almost white in color. More cucumber flavor and texture in the cool down.
Before brewing, the leaves had an asparagus like smell.
25 second brew
Great nuanced aroma, more lilac, and an almost breeze like presence through evergreen forests before the ocean. The flavor was sweet touching on brown sugar, but more like agave. There was a floral explosion of lilac, lavender, hyacinth, and honeysuckle. I’m surprised I did not taste osmanthus.
25 sec again
The last steep was a little heavier than I wanted, so I went with a lighter approach. It was still generally the same: creamy, floral, lime, cucumber in that order.
30 second brew
Pine, more fruit notes like honeydew and light coconut milk in the texture. A little bit more nectary.
The next three more brews were pretty much the same in flavor edging on a fruitier profile towards the last steep. I got a fuller body of flavor giving me some magnolia finally, and something milky like iris. It was unctuous overall, and the last few brews were quite sweet and surprisingly my favorite.
I was going to make this my 1000th note, but I was a little disappointed with this one despite its longevity and rich mouthfeel. It was without a doubt an excellent tea with host of nuances, but I paid nearly a dollar per gram for this tea and would have liked a more forward flavor. This might change the next and perhaps last time I drink it, but I was expecting more power with the same sophistication I got since I’ve had other Lishans that were just as finessed and flavorful for cheaper. I know I am being brutal to an exceptional tea, but I’ve had better. Perhaps I do not appreciate this tea as much because it is more subtle. I do, however, still recommend it. I got this tea for the sake of experiencing it, and I am glad that I did it once, and I also know that this tea could have been much more expensive anyway.