Here is another tea from the backlog. It was the last tea in my Shanlinxi sampler that I ended up trying. I think I either finished it around the end of May or start of June. Shanlinxi is quite famous for its jade oolongs, and admiteddly, those are the Shanlinxi teas with which I am most familiar. I have to say, though, that I found this roasted oolong to be very good. It was certainly a pleasant change of pace from the more typical Shanlinxi offerings.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of rolled tea leaves in 4 ounces of 195 F water for 10 seconds. This infusion was chased by 15 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, and 10 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves produced aromas of char, baked bread, wood, and roasted peanut. After the rinse, I picked up new aromas of cream, butter, and toasted rice. The first infusion did not really add anything new. In the mouth, I detected subtle notes of char, cream, butter, toasted rice, and roasted peanut that were chased by vegetal undercurrents and some vague sweetness on the swallow. Subsequent infusions introduced hints of umami, stone fruit, and sugarcane on the nose. Wood came out in the mouth along with new flavors of minerals, umami, cooked lettuce, grass, cucumber, sugarcane, vanilla, pear, and plum. The final infusions offered lingering mineral, toasted rice, cream, and butter notes that were backed by hints of grass, pear, and belatedly emerging juniper.
All in all, this was a very good roasted oolong. The roast was not that heavy, so some of the tea’s more vegetal qualities were quite evident. It was very well-balanced in the mouth with good body and respectable longevity too. I suppose I will have to try a few more teas of this type in the near future because this one surprised and impressed me.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Butter, Char, Cream, Cucumber, Grass, Herbaceous, Lettuce, Mineral, Peanut, Pear, Plums, Sugarcane, Toasted Rice, Umami, Vanilla, Wood