This is my second session with this tea. I was going to write about it before, but was overwhelmed by its complexity. This high mountain oolong from the Li Shan area performs well above its relatively modest price point. I steeped 5 g in a 120 ml porcelain teapot at 205F for 25, 20, 25, 30, 30, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, and 240 seconds.
The first steep is a wonderful balance of floral, fruity, and vegetal. It has notes of peonies, sweet pea flowers, dried fruit (cranberries?), cooked spinach, arugula, and herbs, and is much pleasanter than that sounds. In the second and third steeps, nutty overtones become more noticeable and the liquor gets stronger and tangier. It also has the silky mouthfeel I associate with good Li Shan teas. I’m having trouble describing exactly what’s going on because this oolong is so complicated.
The next few steeps are nuttier and fruitier as the florals fade into the background. There’s a hint of grain, as mentioned on the website. If I were being fancy, I’d describe this as a cranberry-almond biscotti next to a receding bouquet of peonies. Even after nine steeps, this tea isn’t a sad vegetal mess like some high mountain oolongs, retaining its tangy, dried fruit flavour.
This is an exceptional oolong that I’m surprised is still in stock.
Flavors: Almond, Cranberry, Dried Fruit, Floral, Grain, Herbaceous, Nutty, Spinach, Tangy