Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Eco-Cha
This tea garden was planted just 8 years ago, which is younger than most in the Shan Lin Xi area. This skilled farmer’s tea is in high demand and quickly sells out on a seasonal basis. This winter’s yield was record-low. This day’s harvest produced a mere 175 pounds of tea.
Learn more about this tea here.
The aroma of this Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Oolong Tea from Eco Cha is interesting – I can’t recall smelling another tea quite like it. Oh, it has some similarities to some other green Oolong teas, but, there is a delicate hint of pine resin to the scent that I don’t think I’ve found in other Oolong teas. The overall fragrance is soft, with fresh notes of grass and flower and whispers of fruit, and then there is that subtle note of pine. Interesting!
The brewed tea is much more vegetative to me than the dry leaf was, it is the scent of mild steamed veggies with a nutty tone.
I brewed this the way I would typically prepare an Oolong … in my gaiwan! My first cup (infusions 1 and 2 following a quick rinse) is a sweet and savory tasting tea, with floral tones and a slight woodsy taste. The floral tones are very soft and pleasantly sweet here. The texture is light and refreshing, it doesn’t have that buttery or creamy texture that so many other green Oolong teas tend to have. This is much lighter and cleaner. There is a mild astringency at the finish.
The second cup had a stronger flavor than the first (as is often the case with Oolong tea). This cup is slightly more astringent than the first cup and the flavor is more floral than the first. I notice a slight resinous flavor here which makes it seem like a perfect Oolong for this time of year! The texture remains light despite the stronger flavors.
I think with this Oolong, my third cup is my favorite. Here is where I notice more of the fruity notes coming forward. I taste a crisp, green apple sort of flavor, and I notice more sweetness as well. The floral notes have tapered, and there is still some astringency here, but, it is subdued compared to the second cup.
Overall, a lovely Oolong. It’s a bit different than some of the green, high mountain type Oolong teas that I’ve tasted before, and I like it when I find something different like this. It still surprises me that with as many teas that I’ve tasted over the years … I can still find teas like this one that challenge what I’ve come to know about teas.