Buying this tea is pretty much a given whenever I order from TTC. Shibi was the first Taiwanese oolong that really floored me and it’s remained a sentimental favorite ever since. I love its sublime florals, the luscious tropical fruit notes, and the cha qi. During a good harvest, few gao shans can beat it.

This particular harvest once again exhibited some excellent qualities but was a bit more finicky to brew. The beautiful florals were still there. It opened with notes of daffodils, magnolia, and white peony. The mouthfeel was silky and soft though fairly light. A couple of times I used water that was too hot early on and I got some vegetal-artichoke flavor and a little bitterness. Later infusions had some mineral and balsalm notes, honeycomb, and a hint of melon. Although there were some tropical aromas in the wet leaf, the brewed tea had more of a generic fruity flavor.

My main problem with this tea is it faded too early. After the 3rd steep, it flattened and tasted like any other high mountain tea. This harvest wasn’t as mind-blowing as Shibi oolongs of past, but that’s the nature of the beast when it comes to single origin teas. Thankful that TTC has samples to allow me to continue purchasing this tea without committing to a huge amount.

Flavors: Artichoke, Flowers, Melon, Narcissus

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 45 sec 3 g 2 OZ / 70 ML

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My Rating Criteria:

95 to 100: Top shelf stuff. Loved this tea and highly recommend it

90 to 94: Excellent. Enjoyed this tea and would likely repurchase

80 to 89: Good but not great. I liked it though it may be lacking in some aspects. I’ll finish it but probably won’t buy again

70 to 79: Average at best. Not terrible but wouldn’t willingly drink again

60 to 69: Sub-par. Low quality tea, barely palatable

59 and below: Bleh

Fell into tea many years ago and for a long time my experience was limited to Japanese greens and flavored Teavana teas. My tea epiphany happened when I discovered jade oolongs. That was my gateway drug to the world of high quality tea and teaware.

For the most part, I drink straight tea but do appreciate a good flavored tea on occasion. I love fresh green and floral flavors and as such, green tea and Taiwanese oolongs will always have a place in my cupboard. After avoiding black tea forever, Chinese blacks have started to grow on me. I’m less enthusiastic about puerh though. I also enjoy white tea and tisanes but reach for them less frequently.

Other non-tea interests include: cooking, reading, nature, philosophy, MMA, traveling when I can, and of course putzing around on the interwebs.

IG: https://www.instagram.com/melucky



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