This is my 6th straight harvest of Shibi oolong from TTC and once again it’s a magnificent tasting tea. There are some interesting changes from last winter’s super tropical, pina colada-y harvest. This year’s crop is all about the intense florals which hit you as soon as you open the pouch.
Dry leaf smells of fresh vegetation, cream, and daffodils. Following a rinse, wildflowers and magnolia appear along with vanilla cream and citrus notes.
The tea liquor has a bright green color. First steep tastes of sweet grass and orchid, teasing the tongue with glimpses of what’s to come. Subsequent steeps reveal thick, luscious flowers, and a faint hint of coconut cream. As the steeps progress, it becomes fruitier, gaining a nice syrupy viscosity and honey-like sweetness. The longevity of this tea is astounding. It simply doesn’t want to quit. I can easily push it to over 10 rounds and still get great flavor.
One thing to note about this tea is you need to be gentle with it. I start off most green oolongs at 195 F or so and crank the heat to boiling within a few steeps. For this one, you want to stay in the 185-190 F range and carefully increase the heat to coax out the delicate flowery notes otherwise it punishes you with astringency.
Officially my favorite tea from TTC and one of my top 3 Taiwanese high mountain oolongs of all time.
Flavors: Flowers, Fruity