I’ve been meaning to write a note for this tea for a while. Daylon generously sent a sample to me last winter, and after smelling the leaves, I immediately ordered 50 g in the middle of what was supposed to be a self-imposed buying ban. (No regrets.) I steeped 6 g of leaf in a 120 ml porcelain teapot using 195F water for 25, 20, 25, 30, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, and 240 seconds.

Dry, this smells a lot like a Tie Guan Yin with some high mountain floral flourishes: orchids, other flowers, apricot, pleasant sourness, and herbs. The first steep has notes of apricot, orchid, lilac, pleasant sourness, herbs, and grass, with a lingering apricot aftertaste. The next steep is more herbaceous, and adds butter and some spinach. The stonefruit notes are more pronounced in steeps three and four, though I don’t detect pineapple as Daylon did. However, I see where he’s getting cilantro. I taste pronounced apricot with overtones of peach, with the sour, herbaceous, floral finish of Tie Guan Yin. The next few steeps are greener, with grass, spinach, and other veggies blending with the stonefruit and florals. This is starting to taste more like a regular Tie Guan Yin. The final few steeps fade into generic veggies and flowers.

Like Daylon, I had a hard time listing everything I tasted in this tea, and think that “ethereal” is a good way to describe it. I found it to be more like a Tie Guan Yin than a Li Shan oolong, though the profiles of these teas overlap to some extent. I’ll have fun playing with my 50 g of this tea next year.

Flavors: Apricot, Butter, Floral, Grass, Green, Herbaceous, Lilac, Orchid, Peach, Pleasantly Sour, Smooth, Spinach, Vegetal

195 °F / 90 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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Since I discovered Teavana’s Monkey Picked Oolong four years ago, I’ve been fascinated by loose-leaf tea. I’m glad to say that my oolong tastes have evolved, and that I now like nearly every tea that comes from Taiwan, oolong or not, particularly the bug-bitten varieties. I also find myself drinking Yunnan blacks and Darjeelings from time to time, as well as a few other curiosities.

However, while online reviews might make me feel like an expert, I know that I still have some work to do to actually pick up those flavours myself. I hope that by making me describe what I’m tasting, Steepster can improve my appreciation of teas I already enjoy and make me more open to new possibilities (maybe even puerh!).



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