Friday, September 09, 2011

Summer 2011 Shan Lin Shi Oolong

Tea cultivar: Luanze Oolong (qingxin Oolong) Harvested by hand on July 22nd, 2011. (Summer)
Origin: Shan Lin Shi, Taiwan (1650 meters high)

Test brewing: 3 grams/6 minutes in a competition cup. Boiling water.

1. View
Big dark green leaves typical of high mountain.
The brew is a slightly dark yellow/green. It has a very good transparency and clarity.
The open leaves are dark green with red traces of oxidation on the edges. They are quite thick, but still young and flexible.

2. Smell

Dry: fresh and grassy.
Brew: fruity (apples, plum...) and cereals.

3. Taste and aftertaste

It starts light and very clean. Then there is some bitterness that turns sweet and lingers on. The mouth feels fresh. It has the power of high mountain Oolong with the finesse typical of Shan Lin Shi.
Summer teas grow during the hottest months. The hot weather lets the leaves grow faster, so that leaves are more mature and have few buds. Therefore, fragrances are less flowery and the taste is heavier. For high elevations, though, the nights remain cool and help keep the leaves fresh. This probably explains why it's still possible to make such a fine Gao Shan Oolong in the summer.

It's an Oolong I recommend for all level of tea drinkers. For learners, it provides a good experience to taste the characteristics of the summer season. For advanced brewers, it allows you to use your brewing skills to improve the tea. (My advice: brew it light, with fewer leaves) And for everybody, it's a way to taste High Mountain energy at a lower price.

Remark: Those who order a full pack of 150 grams will see the Chinese characters for Ali Shan. I'm sorry for this confusion. I selected this Oolong after my holiday and the farmer had already packaged it like that (for another customer who wanted to sell it as an Ali Shan Oolong). I'm adding my own sticker on top of it with my usual information.

1 comment:

bon teavant said...

Gorgeous photo with the teapot! And appreciate the information about summer tea. Thank you, Stephane. I love your blog.