Method: Gongfucha with 7 grams of tea to 120 ml of water with a quick rinse
(The pot I’m using is a porcelain teapot with a pour of about 10 seconds, so subtract 10 seconds from the steep time to get the tea’s “idling” time)
The leaves are very nice, dark green in color with dusted-gold stems connecting the leaves. The dried leaves smell interesting, a little like oatmeal cookies with that high mountain creaminess mixed in (not surprising since this is grown at 1300 meters). The wet leaf after the rinse has more of that green oolong-ey smell, but the weird cookie smell is definitely still there.
1st Steep (15 seconds): The Color is a light green-yellow, and has a fair depth for a first infusion. The smell is sweet, with only a little bit of that high mountain cream. The taste is pretty light (not surprising, first infusion), but it’s light and refreshing, with a bit of that “green-ness” that comes out in green tea. The Aftertaste is also really light, but it is slightly lingering.
2nd Steep (20 seconds): The Color is significantly more vibrant, with a twinge more green in it. The Scent is elegant, with just a little high mountainy-ness. The Taste is great, like I’m drinking the smell of fresh baked cookies (if that makes any kind of sense :) ). There’s not much of an aftertaste, but that’s okay.
3rd Steep (25 seconds): The Color is still that nice yellowed jade. The Smell is nice, like your average green oolong, but the Taste is wonderful. like the oatmeal raisins I was smelling on the dry leaf, but with a nice, thick moutheel. There’s some slight bitterness in the aftertaste, but that’s probably just the work of me using slightly hotter than normal water on this steep.
4th Steep (35 seconds): The Color of this is holding up very nicely. The Smell is still very nice, but it doesn’t jump out at you. The high mountain creaminess is definitely coming out a lot more in Taste here, and the mouthfeel has become more silky. Not too much of an Aftertaste, just a lightly lingering feeling in the mouth, which I promise isn’t bitterness or astringency.
Summary: A very nice Taiwanese oolong. Thoroughly enjoyable to the veteran and the novice alike. As an intro tea for Taiwanese oolong, or even just higher elevation, you can’t really go wrong. The price, at $13 USD for 75 grams, is probably too reasonable for the quality that you’re getting. I heartily recommend that a beginner in Taiwanese Gao Shan start with this tea (or at least something similar), but for the “pros” out there, this is an inexpensive standby for you high mountain cravings! :)