Shi Zuo oolong tea comes from Ali mountain and belongs to the category of gao shan teas. This tea is a great everyday gao shan tea that brings spring into your life.
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As the spring has arrived, I wanted to indulge in the fresh exquisite notes of Taiwanese gao shan teas. Luckily, my collection still includes some of the truly wonderful samples. One of the teashops you can never go wrong with when buying gao shan tea is Tea from Taiwan. All of them have their unique story, character, undeniable quality and – freshness.
Shi Zuo oolong tea
Shi Zuo oolong tea comes from Shi Zhuo Village ( 石棹, pinyin: shi2zhuo1), Mount Ali. Price is $21 for 75 grams. It is hand-picked and hand-processed. This tea is a very good example of Alishan teas with a reasonable price tag. It grows at an altitude of 1300 meters from Cui Yu cultivar. This is one of the most popular cultivars for Taiwanese high mountain teas. Leaves are rolled in balls, which are, in this case, quite big and heavy, matte green and contain large stalks. Scent is heavenly, flowery, deep and buttery. Is gets a whole new dimension right after the first steep, incredible note of fresh green vegetables and light citrus background.
Taiwanese gao shan teas are perfect for different types of brewing – from gongfu to mug brewing, although there are some exceptions where you should give extra care. They are mostly very tolerant to long steeping times, some of them even require at least 5 minute steep. Shi Zuo oolong tea, on the other hand, should be brewed using multiple steeping technique in order to show its complex character. That is where the beauty in brewing lies – discovering numerous subtle notes in each and every infusion.
Let’s See What This Tea is Hiding
Brewing: 7 grams, 160 ml, 95 degrees Celsius, 30, 35, 40, 60, 120, 180 seconds.
After the first steep leaves get a completely new note – thick and warm, deep flowery, yet fresh and sweet. Color is yellow-green, perfect color for the scent and flavor profile. Flavor is full and rounded, a bit mineral, fresh and lightly floral. It almost leaves a feeling of eating delicate flowers in your mouth. Second infusion if even better, more intense and a bit darker, more balanced and full. Third one reveals a spicy note that breaks into the surface in the fourth infusion. Flavor starts to fade, it’s lightly green and fresh. It lightly tingles the tongue, and is still very full and rounded. Later, there is a feeling this tea will become bitter, but there is not even a trace of bitterness. Even the used wet leaves look beautiful with dark green clean full branches and two to three attached leaves.
This tea would be the perfect choice for early autumn. Its warming, yet fresh flavor would definitely bring back memories of early spring days, cool and full of sunshine.