This was Oolong C in a blind tasting set of high-mountain teas, and I correctly guessed it was Alishan because it was so darn floral. I got distracted during my first reviewing session and had to drink it again, which explains why this note is a bit later than the others. (Also, “having” to drink this tea again was by no means a hardship!) I steeped 6 g of leaf in a 120 ml teapot at boiling for 25, 20, 25, 30, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, and 240 seconds.

The dry and wet leaves smell like lilacs, orange blossoms, and other flowers. The first steep has notes of spring flowers, maybe orange blossom, lilac, and honeysuckle, plus pear, honey, cream, and grass. The next steep is more herbaceous and citrusy. This oolong is less overwhelmingly fruity and sweet than the lovely SLX, but it’s still tasty.

Steeps three and four have heavier orange blossom and other floral and herbaceous notes, and a nice, silky texture. The fruit is gone by steep five, and the tea becomes increasingly grassy as it nears the end of its life. This Alishan doesn’t have the staying power of the other two oolongs, but neither does it become an astringent, grassy mess.

This was a very good tea that seemed to be more typical of its terroir than the other oolongs in the set. It’s definitely nothing to sneeze at, especially for floral oolong lovers, but it wasn’t as memorable for me as the He Huan Shan or Shan Lin Xi. Still, I will have no problem finishing my remaining 20 grams.

Flavors: Citrus, Cream, Floral, Grass, Heavy, Herbaceous, Honey, Honeysuckle, Orange Blossom, Pear, Vegetal

Boiling 6 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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Since I discovered Teavana’s Monkey Picked Oolong four years ago, I’ve been fascinated by loose-leaf tea. I’m glad to say that my oolong tastes have evolved, and that I now like nearly every tea that comes from Taiwan, oolong or not, particularly the bug-bitten varieties. I also find myself drinking Yunnan blacks and Darjeelings from time to time, as well as a few other curiosities.

However, while online reviews might make me feel like an expert, I know that I still have some work to do to actually pick up those flavours myself. I hope that by making me describe what I’m tasting, Steepster can improve my appreciation of teas I already enjoy and make me more open to new possibilities (maybe even puerh!).



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