Special Reserve Alishan High Mountain (Winter 2020)

Tea type
Oolong Tea
Ingredients
Oolong Tea Leaves
Flavors
Chamomile, Cream, Flowers, Vegetal
Sold in
Loose Leaf
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by LuckyMe
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 4 oz / 110 ml

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  • “Backlog. Another FLT oolong that I wanted to like but didn’t quite work for me. It had some nice floral elements for sure, but was affected by an underlying stale taste. A frustratingly common...” Read full tasting note
    86

From Floating Leaves Tea

Story

When we tasted the high mountain offerings from our usual sources this Winter season, we could only find one that we thought was up to Floating Leaves standard. That was Hehuan Shan. It was a little scary, but we knew that we needed to search for something cleaner and with more going on. It was also very exciting.

It was lucky that we got in touch with this tea, because it has redefined for us what high mountain oolong can do. This Alishan is a small plot tea, and the farmer’s skill is phenomenal.

Description

It’s honestly a bit hard to describe what this tea does in the mouth and nose. At first, the only tangible descriptor I could come up with was “I want to drink more of it!” It feels very comfortable, soft and gentle, both in the mouth and as it glides into the body.

The flavor is not all that different from our regular line up of high mountain oolongs. It has notes of citrus, flowers, and a creamy feeling. But instead of busting out big and bold, like bright sunshine, in this tea these same notes are integrated into one singular point. It’s like the sunshine is veiled in mist. The broth is incredibly soft and beautiful, and it reaches deeply into the body. If one flavor really stands out, I have to say it’s creamy. This tea is seriously creamy. Maybe even profoundly creamy!

Aftertaste is delicate but substantial. After swallowing, the flavor returns with a delicious sweetness and lingers for a long, long time.

This is a really exciting step for us. We’ve wanted to find high mountain oolong at this level for a few years now. This teaching has returned to us again and again this year, that good luck brings bad luck, and bad luck brings good luck (故福之為禍, 禍之為福). So now, because of a poor performance from our usual sources for high mountain oolong, we have the chance to look for smaller farmers producing special reserve quality teas!

Facts

Harvest Location : Shi Zuo, Alishan, Taiwan
Harvest Date : November, 2020
Cultivar : Qing Xin
Altitude : 1200 Meters
Brewing Notes

We don’t usually include brewing notes, as you can see from scrolling around our site. But with this one, we’ve found we really don’t need too many leaves to brew a pot. If you just barely cover the bottom of your pot or gaiwan, with a little bit of the ceramic poking through, it should be plenty.

About Floating Leaves Tea View company

Company description not available.

1 Tasting Note

86
590 tasting notes

Backlog.

Another FLT oolong that I wanted to like but didn’t quite work for me. It had some nice floral elements for sure, but was affected by an underlying stale taste. A frustratingly common issue with green oolongs, unfortunately. I really wish all vendors packed their tea in oxygen free packaging like Taiwan Tea Crafts to avoid this problem.

Back to the tea at hand. I gongfued this for 6 infusions. It starts somewhat disappointingly with a stale vegetal taste mixed in with flowers and an unusual chamomile note. The second steep though is clearer with more distinct flowery notes of daffodils and honeysuckle rounded out with hints of vanilla and cream. The next two steeps present a thick, lingering flower nectar, the intensity of which reminds me of lily of the valley. The flavor peters out over the final couple of steeps yet retains a candy like sweetness and the odd chamomile note from the initial steep returned.

All in all, this was the best oolong from my Floating Leaves order although that’s not saying much since all of them were lacking. That’s not a reflection on the vendor though. I’ve had good tea from Floating Leaves before. I suspect it has more to do with the quality of last winter’s harvest.

Flavors: Chamomile, Cream, Flowers, Vegetal

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 110 ML
Leafhopper

I’m kind of relieved I didn’t buy any winter 2020 oolongs.

LuckyMe

Yeah they’ve all been duds so far

Daylon R Thomas

What did you guys think of the 2020 spring?

LuckyMe

Spring 2020 was okay, better than this winter’s crop but no real standouts aside from an AliShan from Mountain Stream Tea. I ordered from Mountain Stream Tea, Green Terrace, and Taiwan Tea Crafts.

Past favorites weren’t as good last spring. There were several teas that were very aromatic but lacking in flavor.

LuckyMe

Fingers crossed for spring 2021!

Leafhopper

I’ve had a few nice spring 2020 oolongs (Cha Yi’s Alishan and What-Cha’s Li Shan come to mind). Most of the others I had were decent, though as LuckyMe said, they were stronger on aroma than flavour. I ordered from Cha Yi, Tillerman (haven’t tried all of the ones I got), What-Cha (the Jade Oolong was surprisingly good as well), and Camellia Sinensis.

Also, I just had a sample of What-Cha’s Li Shan Tie Guan Yin from Daylon, which I think was a winter 2021 harvest, and it was awesome!

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