Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Cameron Tea
AliShan is one the famous oolong tea growing areas in Taiwan. Located at altitude of 1500m, the mountain has a rich soil and ideal climactic conditions. The cool climate and moist from daily mists make the plants to grow very slowly and produce tender, flavourful tea leaves and buds.
Learn more about this tea here.
Having previously reviewed Cameron’s AliShan Jin Xuan Competition Grade Oolong tea (and absolutely loving every sip of it!) I was very happy to try the Premium Grade of the AliShan Jin Xuan from Cameron.
I wondered how different the two grades would be and since it’s been a little while since I had that tea (back in June), I wasn’t sure that my memory would be as quick to recall all the nuances of the tea. Thank goodness I have my notes to fall back on!
I steeped this the same way I steeped the competition grade (and for the most part, this is how I steep most Oolong teas. There are occasional exceptions, but the exceptions are quite rare!) I used my gaiwan and started out with a 15 second rinse and then started steeping. The first infusion was 45 seconds and I added 15 seconds onto each subsequent infusion. Since this is an AliShan, I used my special AliShan Yi Xing mug which holds four to five infusions. This time, it held five infusions.
So this – my first mug of this tea – is the combination of the first five infusions.
Mmm! This is so lovely!
I’m finding this premium grade to be slightly less creamy than I remember the competition grade tasting and feeling. The mouthfeel is a little lighter here than the competition grade, which was rather creamy and thick. This is still creamy and thick – just not as thick as I seem to recall from the competition grade.
The creaminess doesn’t linger the same way, either. This feels much cleaner and even a little more refreshing than the competition grade. The palate feels cleaner and less coated by the tea when I sip this.
That is not to say that I don’t enjoy that thick, creamy texture – I do! I loved the competition grade! But I’m enjoying this one too and am also enjoying the differences between the two teas.
As the tea cools slightly, I find that the texture and flavor thickens somewhat. It’s still considerably lighter than the competition grade, but if you’re wanting a thicker texture from this tea, just let it cool off for a few minutes longer and you might find that you are getting more texture.
Sweet. Hints of vanilla. Lovely, soft floral notes. A really beautiful tea.
Just as I experienced with the competition grade, I find that the second cup (infusions 6 – 10) is just as lovely as the first cup was. Still sweet and creamy with subtle vanilla tones and floral notes that are emerging a little more in this cup than they were in the first.
As I make my way to mid-cup, some fruit notes develop on my palate. At first, I thought of a fruit that is something between a sweet apple (flavor wise) and a ripe nectarine (texture wise with hints of the flavor). But after I read through my review of the competition grade and I compared the fruit notes to a melon, I would say that comparison would suit these fruit flavors quite well too.
Another truly remarkable tea from Cameron. I’m nearly finished with the set of Cameron teas (I think I have but one more to review!) and I have truly adored each one that I’ve tried. This company is one that all of you tea lovers out there should check out! If you want a top notch tea – this company has got you covered!