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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: Baked Bread, Butter, Cantaloupe, Cream, Cucumber, Floral, Grass, Honey, Honeysuckle, Mineral, Nectar, Vanilla

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
eastkyteaguy

I think I’m going to have to bump my rating of this tea up two or three points because I used the remaining 4 grams for a Western session and enjoyed it a little more. It’s definitely an oolong that is all about the vegetal and savory characteristics. It’s a little bit of a different twist on the Shan Lin Xi style, but I’m at a point where I appreciate it more fully.

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eastkyteaguy

I think I’m going to have to bump my rating of this tea up two or three points because I used the remaining 4 grams for a Western session and enjoyed it a little more. It’s definitely an oolong that is all about the vegetal and savory characteristics. It’s a little bit of a different twist on the Shan Lin Xi style, but I’m at a point where I appreciate it more fully.

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My grading criteria for tea is as follows:

90-100: Exceptional. I love this stuff. If I can get it, I will drink it pretty much every day.

80-89: Very good. I really like this stuff and wouldn’t mind keeping it around for regular consumption.

70-79: Good. I like this stuff, but may or may not reach for it regularly.

60-69: Solid. I rather like this stuff and think it’s a little bit better-than-average. I’ll drink it with no complaints, but am more likely to reach for something I find more enjoyable than revisit it with regularity.

50-59: Average. I find this stuff to be more or less okay, but it is highly doubtful that I will revisit it in the near future if at all.

40-49: A little below average. I don’t really care for this tea and likely won’t have it again.

39 and lower: Varying degrees of yucky.

Don’t be surprised if my average scores are a bit on the high side because I tend to know what I like and what I dislike and will steer clear of teas I am likely to find unappealing.

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