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I’ve noticed that several people enjoy the fall and summer Alishans from Norbu. I think we should try to do a comparison of all the different Alishans there. But now I have only this 2008 winter version (which BTW is 35% reduced in price).
It’s difficult to add to the notes from the vendor and what TeaEqualsBliss has already posted. I would simply join in the enthusiasm for Norbu’s Taiwan teas.
This Alishan is from the same cultivar as the Norbu Old Plantation Qing Xin. I think this must be an exceedingly complex plant, given the experience of these two teas. And while in Taiwan this would be considered a certified organic tea, Norbu can’t market it that way because of different US laws. Nevertheless, the care that has gone into the making of this tea is very much evident in the tight dry rolls, but even more in the finished leaves, which are beautifully purply green and intact.
There is very little oxidation, I think, so the florals really come through. They are not as intense as other Alishans, however — more sober, more solid, more restraint. But the richness is amazing. It just rolls around in your mouth. There is a sweetness that makes you think someone has slipped in honey to your cup. The roast (notwithstanding the label “medium”) is very mild, much less roast that the Old Plantation Qing Xin. It’s really interesting to taste the difference that processing makes to the same tea cultivar. The same floral, veggie, and roasted notes as the Old Plantation are there in this tea, just arranged in a different chord. Very gentle but substantial. D-minor, I would say. Later infusions loose the complexity but not the sweet fullness. Pretty amazing.
I find this tea more meditative than other Alishans. It’s a tea you can stay with.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec
teaddict

I did this comparison last year, without the winter tea:

Posted 14 November 2009 – 05:41 PM

Working on the head-to-head comparison of the 2009 Ali Shan High Mountain Oolong Teas from norbutea.com. 2 grams each of the spring, summer, and fall teas, in gaiwans, about 2 ounces of water per infusion, with water that started at 185 degrees and then cooled because I was too lazy to keep reheating the kettle.

I think I am up to the 5th infusion or so, and all are just lovely teas. The spring and fall are very similar in flavor—very sweet, mellow, hay/straw/caramel notes, with the spring tea perhaps holding up little better with more infusions than the fall, and the summer tea is least sweet but more of the warm caramel notes—it just tastes more like fall and harvest than the fall tea does.

teaddict

At present I have the following in my cupboard, unopened (waiting for me to finish the spring 2009 TGY so I can break into them without guilt): summer 2009, winter 2009, and the 2 versions of spring 2010. Will do a head to head on these soon.

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teaddict

I did this comparison last year, without the winter tea:

Posted 14 November 2009 – 05:41 PM

Working on the head-to-head comparison of the 2009 Ali Shan High Mountain Oolong Teas from norbutea.com. 2 grams each of the spring, summer, and fall teas, in gaiwans, about 2 ounces of water per infusion, with water that started at 185 degrees and then cooled because I was too lazy to keep reheating the kettle.

I think I am up to the 5th infusion or so, and all are just lovely teas. The spring and fall are very similar in flavor—very sweet, mellow, hay/straw/caramel notes, with the spring tea perhaps holding up little better with more infusions than the fall, and the summer tea is least sweet but more of the warm caramel notes—it just tastes more like fall and harvest than the fall tea does.

teaddict

At present I have the following in my cupboard, unopened (waiting for me to finish the spring 2009 TGY so I can break into them without guilt): summer 2009, winter 2009, and the 2 versions of spring 2010. Will do a head to head on these soon.

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A dedicated tea drinker, I focus on teas from China and Taiwan. I favor oolongs and puerhs but also enjoy green teas.

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Boston

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