This is a great example of gao shan oolong with traditional style.

I found the Cui Luan Lishan to be unique in its roasted qualities, which were very well integrated with the leaves’ properties and did not overpower in flavor. However, I found the aromas and flavors to be less powerful than the other two Lishan samples (Hua Gang and Shan Lin Xi), especially in the dry leaves’ scent, which was a fresh and floral base and undertones of the roast. The aroma of the leaves sitting in the heated gaiwan was the kicker, however. Rich roasted almonds and hints of stone fruit. Floral qualities became subdued, though were not lost completely.

The liquor had strong roasted-green qualities with a depth of flinty sweetness. It had a tendency to become a bit too tart for my tastes, although it transferred into a very nice, strong and thick aftertaste, with a lingering salivation and very few drying characteristics. More of my attention was drawn to the powerful throaty coolness (more than the Shan Lin Xi, but less intense than the Hua Gang, although the Cui Luan’s cooling lasted much longer throughout steeps). The empty cup was thick with a hefty roasted barly and caramel scent. As far as the form went, it was fairly basic. Each sip produced a steady rise through the opening into the development in both flavor and mouthfeel, granting a medium complexity. The finish, as mentioned above, was most noteworthy, given its length, strong mouthfeel and aftertaste, and potent sensations.

205 °F / 96 °C

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I’m fanatic about all things tea-related. Lately, I’ve been fascinated with Wuyi yancha, aged Taiwanese oolongs, and sheng pu’ercha. Nearly all of my sessions as of late are performed gong fu, with pu’er tastings comprising probably eighty percent of them. My collection of pu’ercha is small, but growing steadily. Much of the specimens I drink daily are various samples, although I dig into a cake every so often.

I love trying new teas and I am always learning all I can about the world of tea. Hence, I spend a majority of the time I devote to tea either drinking, writing notes in my journal, or reading. But mostly drinking, as I think it should be. Since I have handwritten logs of everything I drink, I cannot usually find the extra time to log my notes here, and unfortunately my online log is underrepresented.

When drinking, I look for a tea that presents a unique experience, something that involves every sense and provides intrigue in every aspect throughout steeps. I search for teas with balanced complexity and something that makes me keep reaching for my cup. I yearn to find all the positives a tea possesses and every subtle nuance hiding among the leaves. I try to be detailed in my notes and deliver a more comprehensive view of the tea, paying attention to things other than simply flavors and qualitative aspects of aroma, such as the form of the liquor and its development in the mouth. Things like this are much easier to compare between teas, as I find them to be more consistent between sessions, and also make distinctions between a good and mediocre tea easier to make.

Adagio UtiliTEA electric kettle.
For gong fu, a 100 mL porcelain gaiwan and a 100mL Yixing di cao qing xi shi pot dedicated to mostly young sheng pu’er.
I drink all green teas in small (maybe 450mL) glass tumblers in the traditional style, with off-boiling water.


Fort Myers, Florida

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