donderdag 17 mei 2012

Shan Lin Xi (Long Feng Xia)

Today's setup: simple, where the tea stands central
After a few hours of studying Latin family and species names of all sorts of plants, nothing tastes better than a good cup of Camellia sinensis. I think I can state that this is the most favored plant of all us tea drinkers. Today I tried the last bit of my Long Feng Xia sample I got from Tea from Taiwan. The first time I tried it I was much less experienced and I did not know how to brew it properly or which water to use. Ofcourse, I still don't know how to brew tea properly but atleast I don't brew it as bad as I did a few months ago. I noticed that how more I read about the, how more I brew different teas etc... the more I realise how less I know. It's kind of funny this contradiction: the more you learn, the more stupid you feel.

Now I don't know a lot about this tea so I have to trust upon the companies description of heritage. This tea is grown at the Shan Lin Xi district( Jhushan township of Nantou county), more precise at the Long Feng Xia plantation in Long Feng at an altitude of about 1750m. The exact variety of this tea is not mentioned, they say that 3 different kind of varieties ar grown in the Shan Lin Xi area: Jin Shuan,Tsuei Yu and the Wu-long variety.
I'm not experienced enough to distinguish one from another, maybe someone else can clear it up for me?

The dry, rolled teaballs smell very floral and light, just slightly grassy. I put approx. 3g in my competition style cup and let it steep for exactly 5 minutes. After 5 minutes I poured the tea in my cup and smelled it. It was very floral and grassy at the same time, though I could already smell some hints of bittertones. The smell of the leafs was very vegetal and sweet. When I tasted it the tea was much more astringed than I first expected, probably because of the long steeping time. Though it wasn't very disturbing and the tea was very drinkable, just more concentrated and intense than I'm used to. Besides the slightly bitter taste there were lots of floral notes accompagnied by this taste which I would describe as "sunlight soapy". The first time I tasted oolong tea in Taiwan I always complained to my back then current girlfriend  that the tea tasted like I was drinking sunlight soap. But after some time this particular taste started to vanish, just now and then I just receive some hints from it, mainly when teas are steeped slightly longer than usual.
What was very interesting about this tea was the insanely long and perfumish aftertaste that kept lingering around for ever like somebody sprayed perfume into my mouth.

 Eventhough the tea itself wasn't bad, I don't know if I will buy this one again. I enjoy these floral oolongs very much on sunny,warm days but my personal preferance goes to the slightly more oxidized oolongs with a little bit of roasting because of their thicker,sweeter body. This tea would be compareable with lets say a Glenfiddich new oak finish or even a Cragganmore, very tasty whiskies but too light for me. Ofcourse you can't always drink heavy, sweet highland whiskies and aggressive Islays... sometimes you need some happiness in a cup, a little bit of sunshine into your life and that's exactly what this tea provides.

Mhm, tasty!
Even my little mouse was curious about this tea and took a little sniff. Guess what's her name? Her name is "雪" which means snow in Mandarin. I thought that would be suiting  for this white furred mouse.
Because of today's good weather she was allowed to play outside and run in the grass. It's extremely funny to see her 'running' through the grass.

Isn't she adorable?(and fat?)
Today I also opened this sample from Teamaster. I only smelled the dry tea but it was the most intense, sweet,honey-like, creamy smell I ever experienced with tea. Can't wait to try it one of these days, so if you wanna know which tea I'm talking about: keep an eye out on this blog!!!

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