TeaGuide: Reviews and Ramblings

May 24, 2010

Review: Shan Lin Xi Oolong 2010

Tea photo courtesy of Camellia Sinensis; additional stock photos

This Taiwan oolong was very recently sourced from Camellia Sinensis.

I steeped it in my preferred “modified” gong-fu style: repeated successive steeps in the small clay (Yixing) teapot, poured into a larger vessel to blend with each other.

The C-S catalogue describes this tea as having the qualities of ground-cherry and wheat grass. Hmmm. Having never encountered either of these (I’m not sure I’d even know what a ground-cherry is if I saw one!), it evoked for me the aroma of a buttercup meadow: these gently scented flowers in a field of grass, with hints of the earth beneath them. A bit of sweetness and spice in the cup’s finish, although C-S’s allusion to vanilla and coconut similarly escape me. (As a fellow tea lover recently suggested, it may be a question of different water: the tea is from Taiwan, C-S is in Quebec, and my Brita filter is here in the USA Southlands.)

The tea does, however, exhibit the light creamy texture described by C-S, a bonus offered up by only a select few oolongs.

A very elegant cup. And leaves are of a quality that provided no less than six steepings.

I will continue to explore this tea, as I suspect there’s more to it than meets the palate on this first taste.

Although Camellia Sinensis is located in Quebec, Canada, their shipping rates to USA are reasonable. Don’t let postage concerns keep you from enjoying their fine teas!

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