Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Seven Cups
The name “Li Li Xiang” means each leaf is fragrant. Most versions on the market are made from a blend of several tea bushes such as huang dan, ben shan ,mao xie and tie guan. This year we are excited to introduce Li Li Xiang made purely from leaves of the Tie Guan Yin Bush. Experience the stronger dark chocolate aroma, rich lightly roasted flavor and complex aftertaste of this high quality tea. While this tea’s level of oxidation is similar to other Anxi teas like Monkey Picked, it has undergone more intense roasting in its processing. This stronger roast gives Li Li Xiang a golden liquor color and a flavor that is reminiscent of Anxi’s traditional style. The interesting flavor and affordable price makes this a great everyday wulong tea.
Learn more about this tea here.
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The aroma of the dry leaf of this Li Li Xiang Anxi Wulong 2013 Oolong Tea from Seven Cups was very interesting to me, it had a fragrance that was familiar – smelling of a top-notch Tie Guan Yin Oolong – but, the scent was much more intense than I have experienced with other Tie Guan Yin Oolong teas that I’ve tried. It smelled very lush and “green” but there were also some very intriguing notes of raw chocolate. The brewed tea loses much of this aroma, smelling mostly of vegetation, but there are some faint hints of raw chocolate if I really focus on the scent.
The raw chocolate notes translate – surprisingly! – to the flavor, and what a delightful surprise that was. I’m not sure if it’s because I was smelling the chocolate in the aroma that my palate simply wanted to taste the chocolate but … it still took me aback because I’m not used to experiencing chocolate from a pure Oolong like this.
The vegetal notes are present too, but they meld with the other flavors of the cup. I taste notes of flower and peach, with hints of toasted nut in the distance. There is a creaminess to the cup too. This creaminess reminds me a bit of vanilla, but it’s not quite a sweet as vanilla. I like how the creaminess complements the notes of cacao.
My second cup (infusions 3 and 4) was even more delightful than the first. The vegetal notes are softer now, and the fruit notes are emerging. The floral notes blend in with the fruit notes and I like the flavor that the two produce together. The notes of vanilla remain although this isn’t quite as creamy as the first cup. I’m still noticing the subtle raw cacao notes.
With my third cup (infusions 5 and 6) the flavors were beginning to soften a bit. This is still a very flavorful cup, but, I don’t think that I’ll continue to infuse this tea for a fourth cup. I taste a sweet peach/apricot note mingling with the floral notes. The vanilla is less discernable now, and I taste very little cacao as well.
This is a really wonderful tea. One of the very best Tie Guan Yin I’ve ever tasted!