The scent of this tea definitely gives it away as being from Alishan. It’s got the creamy, buttery, vegetal high mountain oolong scent I’m used to from teas in that region, little hints of floral dancing in the background. I am brewing this Gongfu method.
The flavor is surprisingly light. It’s mostly a floral and herbal kind of flavor with some hints of fruit, very creamy and smooth with a long lingering sweetness. TTC describes the floral as “honeysuckle” and I think that’s accurate. There’s also a sort of effervescent feeling on the tongue that lingers on. I might almost even call it a numbing or cooling feeling. It’s really unique. The flavor really sticks in my mouth quite a while after drinking, and it has a nectar and tropical fruit kind of taste, though it’s subtle. You know how the taste of artificial sweeteners really lingers? It’s kind of like that, but minus the “artificial” taste.
The second infusion is much more rich in flavor (most likely because I don’t rinse oolong tea, so the first infusion is often light). I’m getting some spicy cassia (cinnamon) notes over the floral backdrop, and the cooling, effervescent quality is still very present. This tea is very sweet and has a really thick, juicy feeling in the mouth.
The flavor is surprisingly less solid and less good quality after just the first couple infusions. That’s not to say it isn’t a good flavor overall, but in comparison to the first couple infusions, it is already beginning to taste somewhat drained of its life. This is an unroasted oolong, however, and that can sometimes be the case with these fresh green oolongs.
Still, I was really captivated by the effervescent quality of this tea, and the wonderfully clean and vibrant taste in the second infusion. I can rate it highly on that alone. The tea doesn’t have incredible longevity, but when it’s at its best steeping, it is truly something special.
Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Herbs, Nectar, Sweet