While window shopping for new tea to try, yes it is a hobby that I partake in most evenings because either I am completely obsessed or…actually or nothing, I am completely obsessed with tea. It is a lifestyle. Anyway, while window shopping I discovered the website for Yezi Tea and their delightful ‘try before you buy’ promotion sending you three samples of their teas for the very reasonable price of shipping. Of course I chose three different Oolongs because they are my favorite tea to drink (maybe). They were kind enough to send me an extra sample and that is what I am reviewing today.
First off, you need to visit the website for the Li Shan Oolong because it is wonderfully informative! Not only is there really detailed steeping instructions, it also delights in telling me that this particular Oolong is from the Li Shan Mountain Range in the Nantou County of Taiwan, harvested at 6,600-7,800 feet above sea level. Those who follow my blog know how much I love this kind of information, I am such a collector of information that it makes me giddy! But I bet you are here for the actual review of the tea, so allow me to introduce this Oolong’s aroma! Why, hello delightfully floral Oolong, you are very light and reminiscent of a spring day. The main floral aroma is honeysuckles, not so much the heady summery aroma of honeysuckles but the late spring early bloom where the flowers are just starting to open their petals. Hiding beneath the freshly blooming honeysuckles are notes of sweet honey and a touch of rose.
As the tea steeps it first takes on the aroma of hay and strawflowers but very quickly turns into heady orchids. It fills the room up with the aroma of orchids and that mild chestnutty aroma I find in Oolongs, and it is lovely and sweet. The brewed liquid smells like honey and very mild orchids, surprisingly mild considering how heady the brewing leaves are.
The first steep is mellow and sweet! The initial taste is that of honey followed by the slight mix of fresh vegetation and mown hay. It gives a slightly tingly mouthfeel that is very refreshing and enjoyable. There are aftertastes of flowers that do not linger.
In the second steep we lose some of the sweetness and it is replaced with an intense richness. The taste becomes much more heady and floral, intoxicating, with a touch of vegetal green taste that blends well with the intense floral taste. The aftertaste is that of chestnuts and hay.
In the third steeping we get something that I absolutely adore in Oolongs (other than all the other tastes that have graced me with their presence) a mix of copper and minerals. That may not sound very tasty, but it is, every time I drink and Oolong that has these flavors it reminds me of a mountain spring, it is very clean but the undertones of minerals and copper are delightful. I should note that the mineral and copper taste are just hints, the main taste in this steeping is an even more intense floral with rich nutty notes.
In the final steep the sweetness from the first returns, delightfully mild with a touch of honey. The floral taste also is much more mellow and a sweet chestnutty aftertaste is present. A wonderful last cup!