Nonpareil Taiwan Li Shan Oolong Tea by Teavivre

Recently I’ve been going through an all-black-teas-all-the-time phase, so trying this oolong was a refreshing change. In addition to the great flavor, I also loved how intact the leaves were, and how they were rolled into neatly compact pearls.

I steeped this tea at 212 degrees for 2 minutes (using the entire sample packet). The packet suggested 1-2 minutes; I sampled it after 1 minute and decided I wanted it stronger, so I left it in for another minute.

The rolled leaves start to expand as soon as they’re submerged. They’re pretty tightly rolled, but they expand a LOT. I’m not really good at determining the level of oxidation in an oolong but I’d say it was fairly light to medium, based on the color of the leaves (and of the liquor). They seem to be high-quality, fairly intact leaves; I was able to pull out one crumpled piece and tease it open to discover that it was actually a couple of entire leaves attached to a bud by the associated stem. So cool! It makes me feel a lot closer to the plant, somehow, than when the leaves are pre-measured into a sachet and/or chopped up into eensy bits.

The tea liquor when steeped is a mid-light yellow, not quite as light as the average green tea, with that distinctive oolong-y fragrance (a bit floral and a bit savory).  

First sip: tangy. There’s a definite presence of acidic/astringent aspect. A warming, slightly roasty flavor travels over the top of the tongue while the astringency pulls at the sides of the tongue. By “roasty flavor” I mean an almost nutty, hearty savoriness. It’s not exactly roasted (and certainly not smoky) but it’s a very hearty presence with more depth than just the floral/orchid oolonginess.

The flavor is overall quite smooth with no noticeable bitterness. This smoothness combines with the savoriness to give an almost buttery impression. There’s maybe a tiny bit of mineral-y-ness as well, combining with the green (in a good vegetal sort of way) and slightly roasty/hearty/buttery flavor to create a very satisfying flavor profile. 

The tea is fairly sweet already, so I added just a pinch of sugar. I don’t usually prefer milk with oolongs, so I didn’t add any. I imagine you could re-steep this tea with good results as well, based on the quality of the leaves. 

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Oolong
Where to Buy:  Teavivre

The Nonpareil Taiwan DaYuLing High Mountain Cha Wang Oolong Tea is grown in the area at the altitude of 2500 meters, in which the climate is cold and forests grow well. This cold and moisture condition is suitable for tea trees’ growth. In addition, the soil here is fertile, meanwhile performs well in drainage. Thus the tea leaves carry a natural scent of flower and fruit.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Li Shan Black Tea from Green Terrace Teas

IMG_1428_Fotor_smallTea Type:
Black Tea

Where To Buy:
Green Terrace Teas

Product Description:
Our founder’s favorite tea – this is a rare and unique cultivar available only in Taiwan. Grown at elevations of over 2,000 meters, our spring harvest is both exquisite and complex in character. Non-astringent and mildly sweet, this black tea has floral and fruity undertones with notes of plum and honey. Its aroma of sweet, ripe fruit is strong and noticeable instantly after the leaves come in contact with hot water. If you’ve never had a quality black tea before, this variety is a must try. Best brewed with multiple, short infusions.

Tasters Review:
YUM!  I would agree that this tea is rare and unique and that first and foremost is why I give this two thumbs up!  From first sniff of the tea liquid – post-infusion, of course – I could smell something sweet – much like honey or mead – and a berry of some sort – fruit – almost like currants or wild berries…maybe even elderberries!  The color of the tea in the cup is that of a weaker or more see-thru lighter brown.  Just because it’s lighter in color does NOT mean it lacks in flavor!  The flavor of this Li Shan Black Tea is truly scrumptious!  Floral and Fruity – YES – but zoning in more on the plum, berry, and honey flavors.  It’s sweet and floral but makes your mouth water.  This is tremendously good hot or cold!  It’s good for multiple infusions starting off with the shorter infusions and moving up the scale to longer infusions.  This is a MUST TRY indeed!