I purchased a bargain-bin 2008 batch of this tea to drink at work, as a light, “green” oolong. Accordingly, I need to drop my expectations for excellence from this tea. I followed the brewing guidelines and ended up with a tea a bit too thin and empty for my tastes. At two years old, the amount of dry leaf used needs to be double and the initial steep drawn out a bit. Faded wet spring lilacs, faint peach nectar, and a slightly sulfurous quality to the finish, maybe a bit raw and rough. In the end, I got what I wanted from this tea: affordable, organic, green oolong that’s not flawed.
Zi Yun Shan Anxi Oolong (Organic)
Zi Yun Shan is an excellent Anxi oolong made entirely from 100% organic Tie Guan Yin tea bushes. The green emerald leaves are lightly toasted and crafted into their characteristic spiral shape. Once brewed, note the clear golden yellow color and sweet fruity aroma. Zi Yun Shan’s flavor starts with a light sourness, like that of plums. The sourness gently gives way to a sweet and overall smooth taste that pleasantly lingers in your whole mouth. The name of this tea is taken from the place it is grown, a mountain on the edge of Anxi city. With its gardens at an elevation of about 900 meters (uncommonly high for Anxi oolong!), Zi Yun Shan’s tea exhibits certain “high mountain oolong” qualities like a richness in amino acids and a flavor that endures over many infusions.
Location: Fujian Province
Tea Bush: original Tie Guan Yin Bush
Tea Master: Yan Li Zhong
Harvest Time: Mid April
Picking Standard: one slightly open leaf and two mature leaves
Brewing vessel: glass cup, gaiwan, glass or porcelain pot, yixing pot
Brewing Guidelines: 1st infusion ½ Tbs per 12 oz 212F for 1½ min
Infusions: at least 5 times