Friday, September 9, 2011
Summer 2011 Shan Lin Shi Oolong
Origin: Shan Lin Shi, Taiwan (1650 meters high)
Test brewing: 3 grams/6 minutes in a competition cup. Boiling water.
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.
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.
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.