Origin: Fushoushan Farm on Lishan (梨山) Mountain in Taichung, Taiwan
Preparation: 8 steeps, gongfu style (gaiwan). Rinse / 20 seconds / 25 seconds / 30 seconds / 40 seconds / 60 seconds / 90 seconds / 120 seconds / 180 seconds
Temperature: 195 F
I’ve been catching-up on a variety of Teavivre teas in my queue to taste and review…and I have been especially looking forward to this Taiwan Li Shan Oolong. Many of the reviews of this oolong on Steepster, and on Teavivre’s site, have noted the mild sweetness, and subtle honey notes. I definitely agree. In fact I picked-up some of those honey tones on the nose the minute I opened the packaging (with a very pleasant aroma of the dry leaf). I knew from the beginning I was in for a treat.
The Li Shan tea trees are at high altitudes (i.e., high mountain oolong) and grow in cooler conditions/temperatures, which make “the tea leaf soft, thick with high content of pectin substances.” (one of the things I like best about Teavivre is all the details they include on their website for every tea offered). The dry leaf is a vibrant green (just like the liquor itself once brewed). In addition to the hints of honey or honeydew, I also detected a mild floral-ness in the aroma of the dry leaf.
The first couple of infusions were pleasantly mellow. Slight, but detectable, floral notes combined with a touch of sweetness. By the 3rd and 4th infusions the flavor became much more complex and very enjoyable. The liquor was also a very vibrant green. The complexity relates to the addition of such sweet undertones as stone fruit, and maybe even a slight carmel-ness at the back of the tongue. The floral notes were very balanced (not over-powering).
The word I would use to best describe this Li Shan Oolong would be smooooooth (yes, deliberately with a lot of “o”s). Many have used the “buttery” descriptor, and I agree. This Oolong will now be added to my regular rotation. It delivers all the flavor profiles, mouthfeel and “drinkability” that I like best with high quality, high-mountain Taiwan Li Shan Oolong.
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Photos copyright: Teaminded.com
(note: complimentary sample provided by Teavivre)