Let’s get to the good stuff, the tasting…
This is a beautiful tea! The dry leaves are rolled into tight, little nuggets with visible stems and they range in color from dark green to various shades of olive green.
I set them up to infuse using 190-degree water for the initial infusion. I used a cast iron kettle, called a Tetsubin in Japanese, that my daughter who lives in Osaka, brought me several years ago. It is traditionally a hand-crafted object that was developed as a utensil for use in a Japanese tea ceremony. As soon as the water hit the leaves, up wafted a yummy honey and wild flower scent, that was absolutely tantalizing. After a brief 2-minute steep, my cup was a sparkling, pale golden hue. The flavors were complex, like a lovely, spring time flower bouquet– very floral and sweet- a combination of lilac, lily of the valley, hyacinth, with a very subtle hint of fresh cut grass. Once infused, the tight little nuggets had unfurled into large beautiful leaves (5-6 cm), and revealed three leaves and a bud. The mouthfeel was silky, smooth and light-bodied, with a subtly sweet finish with a very pleasant light and creamy aftertaste that lingered and lingered. I re-steeped for a total of four times, with great results each time. Each infusion had the same complex combination of flavors every single time.
This Ali Shan rates a BIG 5! From the intense, profound aroma of the leaves, before and after steeping to the complex floral taste of the tea after it steeps, makes this huge winner with me. I can’t get enough of this tea!” Be sure to re-steep if you have the time, for it will just prolong the enjoyment of a great oolong.
All teas will be rated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 for dislike and 5 as love:
- Dislike (I didn’t like the tea and would not repurchase)
- Passable (I didn’t dislike the tea, but I didn’t think it was very good)
- Average (I didn’t find it good or bad and would drink it again)
- Good (I liked it but it and may repurchase)
- Love (I enjoyed it lot and would repurchase)
Next… The Letter B