Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Beautiful Taiwan Tea Company
This tea is a premium GaoShanCha. The special reserve teas are grown at very high elevations and take longer to grow. They take their time growing and develop a deeper, fuller flavor. This tea has a heavy liquor, it’s not dry at all or bitter. It’s very clean and refreshing. Explore this tea slowly with many infusions and you might catch such notes as butterscotch. We recommend brewing this tea gongfu style. Like our other teas, this tea is expertly grown, hand-picked, hand-processed and vacuum packed at the source! Only our face-to-face sourcing directly with farmers insures you premium quality!
Learn more about this tea here.
Wow! This is an amazing tea!
The aroma of the dry leaf is intense. It has a strong, sweetly floral fragrance. The brewed liquid smells much softer, but I’m still able to pick up on those lovely notes of flower as well as hints of fruit.
To brew this tea, I grabbed my trusty gaiwan and measured out a little less than a bamboo scoop into the bowl of the vessel. Because of the intense fragrance, I felt comfortable using a little less leaf than I usually would and after taking my first sip, I know I made the right call. I use my instincts a lot when it comes to tea and more often than not, they have not let me down.
I performed a quick rinse (a 15 second infusion that is strained and discarded) and then infused the leaves for 45 seconds. I strained the tea into a teacup and infused the leaves a second time, this time for 1 minute. I strained the tea of the second infusion into the same teacup; hence what I am enjoying now is the combined first and second infusions.
And it is gooooood!
I drink a lot of tea. And I’ve been drinking a lot of tea for many years. For quite a few of those years, I’ve been writing about tea and before that time, I was creating my own tea blends. So, I feel comfortable in saying that I’m knowledgeable about tea. However, I certainly don’t consider myself a tea expert. I think I could be drinking tea and writing about it for double the time that I have and I’m pretty confident that there is still a great deal that I don’t know about tea. Tea is such a vast and somewhat mysterious subject. Perhaps that’s why it keeps me intrigued.
And the reason I bring that up is this: I am finding myself wondering how closely related are a ShanLinXi Oolong Tea (like this tea that I’m drinking) and an AliShan Oolong Tea? If anyone out there has some knowledge they’d like to share with me, I’d really appreciate comments in the comment section.
In the meantime, let me tell you about what I’m experiencing with this tea.
The above description suggests notes of butterscotch. And YES … I taste butterscotch! I couldn’t believe it at first. At first, I thought that my mind was playing tricks on me. But no. This tea has a lusciously sweet, delectable butterscotch-y taste to it. I don’t often experience a caramel-y/butterscotch-esque note to an Oolong like this so I find myself amazed by this tea.
Sweet. Yes, deliciously so. Smooth. No bitterness whatsoever. No astringency. No dryness at the tail. No tangy sensation. Just smooth from start to finish. When I take a sip, It’s almost as if I have one of those yummy butterscotch candies in my mouth and it’s melting over my palate.
Once my palate became accustomed to the delightful sweetness of the tea, I started to pick up on notes of flower. These are mere whispers of flower and the creaminess of the tea softens what sharpness the floral notes might bring to the cup. I am also picking up on delicate notes of spice that complement the butterscotch notes.
For my second cup, I added 15 seconds onto each subsequent infusion and combined infusions 3 and 4. This cup is less butterscotch-y than the first. Oh sure, I still taste some of those delectably sweet notes. The cup is still creamy and sweet, but I find that the distinct butterscotch has softened somewhat to allow my palate to experience the floral notes that were in the background in the first cup. I like the way the butterscotch and flowery flavors play together on the palate. It’s a really unique and delightful experience.
As I said earlier, I’ve been drinking tea for a long time but I don’t think I’ve experienced an Oolong quite like this.
Later infusions proved to be very enjoyable as well. The flavor kept going strong with each infusion – I managed eight delicious infusions! I found that with each cup, the creaminess softened somewhat from what i experienced in that first amazing cup and it was my favorite of the four cups I drank from these leaves. But the three subsequent cups were quite lovely as well and I enjoyed discovering the layers of flavor that this ShanLinXi had to offer.
If you’re an Oolong lover, this tea should be a MUST TRY on your list. Any tea drinker should try this, it’s an incredible tea!