Shan Wai Shan Tea
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Recent Tasting Notes
As all the text on the pretty green and gold tin are in Chinese, I have no idea if I’m preparing this correctly. It’s tasty, though! I’m tasting some leafy greenness that sort of expands on the tongue. It’s got some body to it, and some astringency, probably due to overbrewing. It’s still pleasing for all that, so hopefully with some tweaking, I can decipher this tea.
The leaves of this Iron Goddess are medium to darker in color, but they are distinctively more buttery and vegetal overall in flavor. I don’t really pick up many floral or fruity notes on this one. It’s not plain, but rather a nice basic oolong with a very nice amber colored liquid.
Usually, this is a decent option when I’m not really in the mood for something specific. The leaves produce lower amounts of astringency and there is a nice warm amount of energy after drinking it’s tea.
Picked this up on a lark from a local Asian grocery… it was cheap, and only 1.76 oz so I wouldn’t end up with a ton of tea sitting around if I didn’t like it.
But, what happened is even better: I do like it! Now I confess to being fairly inexperienced with oolongs, but this tea, while light, has a slightly roasted, nutty flavor that I find delicious. It reminds me of a bolder Wu Yi oolong. The leaves are big, with that lovely ball shape, and steep a very smooth liquor. My procedure is to use 1½ tsp for 9 oz water, rinse for 15 seconds with hot water and pour out, then steep for 1m15s, 1m30s, 1m45s, etc.
The first two steeps were so good, I wouldn’t believe this is a cheap tea. Far better than anything you typically get at a grocery store for this price point. In fact, I shared a few sips of the first infusion with my roommate who normally only likes green tea, and he dug it.
I’m having the third steep now, and unfortunately, the liquor has lost its clarity a bit. It’s as if there are different tastes fighting in the tea; some bitterness has appeared. Still very, very drinkable. I’m lowering my rating a little due to this third steep but this tea is nevertheless a great deal and a good introduction to this style of oolong for me.
I picked this up at the local Chinese Grocery store today. It was $2.10 for almost 2 oz. How could I pass that up? This is actually pretty good. I gave it a quick wash in hot water and then steeped it for a couple of minutes. It’s floral, a little complex, and has some of that toasty chinese restaurant oolong flavor that I like. There is also some fruity background flavor I haven’t identified yet. For $2, I’m pretty impressed.
Oh, and the container is gorgeous too.
Update – getting a little grassy flavor as it cools.
Picked this tea up this weekend on a foodie shopping trip. I was at Dean and Deluca and another local high-end food store and kept seeing all this AWESOME looking tea that was all way too expensive. So when I saw a decent looking oolong at 888 Market and it was less than 5 bucks I had to jump on it.
The tea is fairly meh – as might be expected. The package says boiling water, but I liked it better at about 190-195. But it’s definitely drinkable, and I have a feeling that it would be decent iced. There aren’t any standout notes. It’s a little dusky, so I think it’s slightly roasted. The leaves are surprisingly large and unbroken for being so inexpensive.