I love autumn oolongs. I never receive quite the same level of enjoyment from the aromas of spring teas, compared to the depth and complexities of autumnal aromatics. This specimen’s scent, for example, is potent and fresh. Aspects bringing to mind sweet grasses, honey, and warm biscuits are exuded upon allowing the leaves to sit in a preheated gaiwan. The bread-like features seem to suggest a low oxidation level, which is supported by the opaque light green-yellow liquor. The leaves also seem to point to a slightly higher oxidation level than average, with their somewhat darkened color and occasional bruising.
After a steep or two, the gaiwan lid begins to hold a thickly floral aroma, while the empty cup scent presents a “darker” side of this tea, with a deep, full-bodied richness. The liquor’s form retains a hefty development, while it’s introduction is weaker and monotonous. The front end of each sip is low in flavor with stone-like texture. This rapidly shifts to an overall “greenness,” low and silky sweetness, and an moderately assertive vegetal-grass flavor. This development is of medium duration, dropping suddenly into a low, flinty sweetness, light mouth-cooling, and the characteristic gao shan aftertaste. There is also a [generally] pleasant bite of tartness felt primarily on the sides of the tongue during this finish. Perhaps a result of the bruising I found on some of the leaves.
I am actually somewhat impressed by the degree of flavor present in this tea. It is spring-like in its intensity and autumnal in its depth; it is an appealing balance. However, I fail to detect much of a huigan and the mouthfeel is lacking in substance, particularly the creaminess or butter-smoothness of other high-end gao shan Taiwan oolongs. I would say this tea offers a wide spectrum of what a gao shan oolong can offer in a single package, as it does not really have anything particular that defines it uniquely.