I’ve had a fair number of Taiwanese oolongs, and I have never had a tea I liked more than this. Nothing even close. It’s a green, small-leafed beaded oolong, and doesn’t have a remarkable dry leaf odor, but after steeping- ooooh, after steeping. It’s almost-but-not-quite creamy, with a slight astringency and pretty, goldenrod liquor. But more than anything, it’s so incredibly floral, like perfume, but if perfume were actually nice. I shared it with a relative, who insisted it must be scented with gardenia, which it is not. It’s a pleasure to breathe in and even better to drink. The mouthfeel is smooth, and the cup smells lovely after you’ve sipped the tea from it. It is, however, really easy to brew it not-quite-right and end up with a good, but not mindblowing cup aof tea. I sort of enjoy this, however, as it gives me a goal of perfection to work towards. I’m incredibly cheap about tea, but this is one I’ll shamelessly spend too much money on, because it’s just exactly what I want.
Shan Lin Xi
Shan Lin Xi is situated in Lugu village, Chushan Town, at the headwaters of the Jia Zou Liao in Taiwan. At between 3,500 and 6,000 feet in altitude, Shan Lin Xi was known in earlier years for its thousand-year-old Formosan cypress. To this day, the area is surrounded by thousands of acres of bamboo groves, and is covered in cloud and fog year round. The area is cool, with plenty of rainfall and fertile soil, creating excellent conditions for the growth of tea.
Given the high altitudes and the high temperature difference between day and night, Shan Lin Xi has an annual growth period of over 55 days. Consequently, its leaves are plump, soft, and deeply textured.
The tea, after proper fermentation, has a neat and shiny appearance and yields a bright, transparent gold liquid that is soft and elegant. The fragrance of this tea withstands a wide temperature range and permeates the palate, leaving a lingering smooth flavor in your teeth.