I managed to squeeze in another oolong session this evening. This tea was one that I had been meaning to try for some time. What-Cha’s Taiwanese oolongs seem to enjoy a good reputation here and elsewhere, so my hopes were high. Fortunately, this tea lived up to expectations.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 185 F water for 10 seconds. I followed this infusion up with 12 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 12 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, and 3 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted pleasant aromas of cream, butter, grass, and flowers. After the rinse, more distinct impressions of lilac, honeysuckle, and hyacinth emerged, as did traces of vanilla and custard. The first infusion produced a similar bouquet with a very light hint of citrus. In the mouth, I detected mild notes of cream, butter, vanilla, custard, sweetgrass, hyacinth, lilac, and honeysuckle. I did not pick up any citrus. Subsequent infusions revealed hints of lily and magnolia chased by lime zest, green apple, pear, and a faint hint of almond. A lively mineral presence began to emerge toward the back of the throat at this point. Later infusions were dominated by minerals, sweetgrass, cream, butter, and almond, while extremely faint citrus impressions lingered in the background.
This was a very interesting and satisfying high mountain oolong. Though its peak was very brief, the tea remained enjoyable on one level or another throughout the session. I could definitely see this being a rock solid oolong for regular consumption and would recommend it highly to anyone looking for a respectable Li Shan oolong that will not entirely break the bank.
Flavors: Almond, Butter, Cream, Custard, Floral, Grass, Green Apple, Honeysuckle, Lime, Mineral, Pear, Vanilla