Welp, I fell off the no-tea-buying wagon. On Reddit, which I really shouldn’t visit if I don’t want to buy tea, I learned that Floating Leaves was having a blind tasting of three of their spring high mountain oolongs, Alishan, Shan Lin Xi, and He Huan Shan. I had some high mountain oolongs from this company in 2016 and was incredibly pleased with them, but the $15 shipping to Canada made me reluctant to order from them again. Still, they were offering 16 g each of three pricy oolongs for $10, and would be revealing which was which in a couple weeks. My inner tea addict reminded me that an ounce of each of these things would normally cost $33, so of course, I bought two sets for $35!
It was actually well worth it, as all three oolongs were amazing. I have waited to post my reviews until after the big reveal.
I steeped 6 g of this mystery oolong, which was called Oolong A, in a 120 ml teapot at boiling for 25, 20, 25, 30, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, and 240 seconds.
The dry aroma is an intoxicating blend of orange blossoms and other flowers. The first steep has notes of orange blossoms, orchids, violets, cream corn, butter, and grass. The corn becomes more apparent in the second steep, and there are hints of citrus and herbs. By steep three, there’s a nice balance of flowers, citrus, corn, cream, cotton candy, balsam, and minerals. It’s hard to tell what’s going on because this tea is so complicated!
The next three steeps remain sweet and floral, with a honeydew-like fruitiness replacing the citrus. The flavours become more subtle as the session progresses, but even the final steeps are enjoyable.
My guess for this tea was Shan Lin Xi because of its smoothness and strong corn and balsam notes. This was an unusual and understatedly elegant oolong that is definitely high quality. I don’t regret my impulse purchase at all!
Flavors: Butter, Citrus, Corn Husk, Cotton Candy, Creamy, Floral, Grass, Herbaceous, Honeydew, Mineral, Orange Blossom, Orchid, Resin, Smooth, Violet