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Recent Tasting Notes
Sweet-Buttery-Wheat are the first three words that come to mind with this one. Very nice. I can already see multiple infusions in my future. Which will work quite nicely to the tune of this screwy day!
This is unlike other Ali Shans I have tried but I appreciate the differences that is for sure. I suppose it’s really in a class of it’s own because it is far from the stereotypical Ali Shan I have come to know and love.
Regardless this is terrific! It’s quite wheat-like but has those buttery textures and sweeter notes, too. I think this would pair well with many foods – just about any time of day, too! Very special tea right here!
Whilst infusing the leaves again, I realized that this was an Ali Shan … and I have a special Yixing Mug for my Ali Shan… So… now drinking the 3rd – 6th infusions from my Ali Shan Yixing. And it’s just as lovely as the first two infusions, if not even better, just because of the joy my Yixing mug adds to the experience.
Enjoying this Ali Shan again, and writing a review on it as well (to be published in a couple of days on the SororiTea Sisters blog… please watch for it!) The flavor is remarkable: at once it is sweet and floral, soft and silky smooth, with hints of buttered popcorn and lightly toasted nuts. There is also a pleasing undertone of spice that I don’t remember ever tasting in an Ali Shan before. It has a remarkable amount of flavor for such a “light” tea.
This is my first sampling from the October Shipment of the ITFA Global Tea Taster’s Club. Ali Shan! Ali Shan! Before I even looked at the labels of the teas, I quickly looked at the informational “brochure” that was included to see which region we would be receiving from for this shipment. Taiwan! I was excited because that meant one thing to this tea drinker: Oolong! And there are three Oolong teas and one black tea in this shipment.
This is one of the lighter Ali Shan Oolong teas that I’ve ever encountered. Light, but certainly not void of flavor. Very nuanced and delicate. Sweet, floral, and buttery. Very nice.
But since I had a rather strong and spicy dinner this evening, I think I shall hold off on writing my full-length review of this tea until my taste buds are a little less stimulated by those strong flavors. I don’t feel that in their current condition, they’re able to truly appreciate this Oolong the way it should be enjoyed. That being said, it is doing a lovely job at cleansing the palate.
More on this tea tomorrow afternoon.
Dry leaf aroma is of sweet amazake or dry roasted peanuts. Wet leaves smell of the last wisps of a campfire on a damp forest morning. First infusion: 98 degrees, 1.5 minutes. The flavor and aroma are savory, somewhat meaty and malty like a rich belgian beer; they fill the mouth and nose slowly, but inexorably. Second infusion: 95 degrees, 2 minutes. The liquor is a rich holly berry red. The second brew retains its body and flavor, although the aroma is slightly less bold. The maltiness is sloping into a raisin quality, making this reminiscent of a Qi Hong but with a lightness that betrays its high-mountain leaf. Third infusion: 98 degrees, 2.5 minutes. This one was a little light for my taste, only hinting at what came before. Fourth infusion: 95 degrees, 7 minutes. I decided to go all out here and was rewarded with another fantastic infusion, full of malty raisin-like aroma and a delicate body.
Brewed in a large gaibei.
Golden straw liquor, aroma of fresh lillies with a slight hint of something richer: a gingerbread sweetness. Flavor is buttery sweet lightly grilled asparagus with a gentle dryness in the finish. The aroma in the mouth lingers for quite a while.
At the start of each sip, a full body creeps up behind the aroma and very briefly threatens to overwhelm the flavor, but then fades into the background just as quickly. It’s as though the tea were trying to get my attention before the flavor soaks in. This effect is most pronounced in the second and fourth infusions.
Some notes: I infused this in a small yixing pot purchased in Maokong, Taiwan.
As of infusion five I still had quite a lot of flavor, but the aroma began to dissipate into more memory than scent. Infusions six and seven still held true: full body and fantastic flavor. Eight still has the color, but the flavor begins to follow the aroma into the past. Nine is impressively still sweet with a silky mouthfeel, but the flowers have disappeared. Infusion ten continues to be golden, although quite translucent and contains just the barest hint of Alishan at the top of the mouth and in the lingering sweetness at the back of the throat; still impressive.
Infusions 1-4 were 50 seconds. 5-8 were 1 minute. Infusion 9 was 1.5 minutes, and for 10 I allowed a full 2 minutes. The water was hot all around.