Li Shan Cui Feng oolong tea is grown on Taiwanese Li mountain at the altitude of 2000 meters. Reviewed tea was harvested in winter from qing xin varietal.
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Li Shan Cui Feng Oolong Tea – description
I was expecting a lot from this tea, especially because it is being sold by a great tea vendor Tea from Taiwan, but also because of its price. As I’ve written many times, I am a big fan of gao shan teas and I am happy to have a chance to try so many of them so frequently. Li Shan Cui Feng Oolong Tea (chinese: 梨山翠峰烏龍茶, pinyin: li2shan1 cui4feng1 wu1long2cha2) grows at the altitude of 2000 meters on mount Li, Cui Feng area, from qing xin varietal. This is a winter harvest tea grown without the use of pesticides. Be sure to check out magnificent photos of tea fields in Cui Feng area. The name could be translated as Green Peak (jade color). Price is 36.99 USD for 75 grams.
What is immediately noticeable, is the extremely strong scent of dry leaves. They smell sweet and floral, a bit suffocating, but in a positive context. The leaves are almost uniform, only some larger than 5mm, forest-green color with visible branches that are more green than yellow, they look more matte than shiny, and they are quite heavy.
7 grams of tea, 150ml gaiwan, water heated and cooled down to 90 degrees Celsius, 30,35,45,60,90 seconds steeping and one long final steeping. What is especially praiseworthy, is that even the samples are vacuumed packed with moisture absorption silica gel bags added in. Placed in a heated teapot leaves have even more intensive scent, floral and honey. After the washing they get an especially interesting scent – like a mixture of quality Chinese green tie guan yin and Japanese quality sencha, and a subtle citrus note is noticeable. The liquor has a pronounced flowery scent with a lot of green freshness, almost as steamed green teas. Even the color is coherent, green, not yellow like in the most gao shan teas. I would say that this tea deserves the name of the varietal it has been made of – green heart (qing xin). In the first three steepings honey notes are expressed, but they cease after the fourth steeping. All steepings are mild, but highly rounded, full and flowery. First one is the mildest and the second one will develop more pronounced aroma with a hint of sharp taste. Third one is the most rounded, full and smooth, but still very mild. Fourth will give the mixture of flowery notes and tie guan yin and that full creaminess of a good jin xuan tea. The aroma will start to fade in the fifth steeping. Fullness is still evident, but the taste give the impression these tea leaves are finished. I believe that this tea would do very well with one really long brewing or two or three 2-3 minutes steepings.
This is a very interesting gao shan tea, little different from the rest of so far presented versions. It has more scent than taste, it’s quite subtle, and well balanced. Used tea leaves are not significantly special, mostly on branches of different sizes, with 3-4 leaves and a bud, uniformed in color. Since I have compared this tea with a good flowery and mild tie guan yin tea, I think it would be good to write what differentiates this gao shan from tie guan yin. It has a special freshness and fullness that tie guan yin lacks and completely different texture (in terms of taste). Still, I think this would be a very good choice for tie guan yin lovers that would like to switch to gao shan teas.