Today was incredible hot for September so I was longing for a refreshing,cooling tea. Today's Cha Xi gives a cooling,relaxing feeling to body and mind together with some Chinese pimpa music. The tea I chose was a sample from Mei Lan of an Alishan tea harvested this year around the middle of May. Taiher is one (or even the highest) plantation on the Alishan mountain range. It is located around 1300-1600m.
This oolong was one of the tightest and dark little balls I've seen so far. The roll was so tight and so consistent. It almost looked like a gunpowder tea! They looked well dried (as I prefer) and I could already see this wouldn't be an over green high altitude tea because there are some brown spots visable on the surface. This tea just looks flawless but lets see how it tastes.
When I gently poured the tea into my preheated gaiwan some lovely sweet aromas gently touched my nostrills. Oh yeah, this is the smell I like. I couldn't smell any bitterness or off notes at all, very promising. The taste of this tea I could describe as 100% floral, no fruity notes at all like you have with Lishan oolong. One particular thing about this tea is that beside these lovely, bittersweet floral notes there is this 'side note' I would describe as 'brown earthy sweetness'. Never smelled this in a tea before but it gives an interesting twist to the profile of this tea. Without this particular note the tea would have been bland floral but now the tea has some more spine to weave different floral notes on. This flavour does disappear during later brews(5th and later) and you get a pure,refreshing tea who cleanses the mouth like no other. I thought it was an Qingxin (luanze) Oolong though the leaves from the tea were too wide. So I was thinking about jinxuan but the flavors were too subtile and refined to be jinxuan. Now I just received info from Mei Lan and it is a Qingxin dayou which is a variental on the Qingxin.
The leaves look very fresh, young and fragile (in a positive way). The edges are nicely oxidized but not too much, it is still a low oxidated tea after all but it's not over green which for me gives astringent/bitter notes to the tea and is more aggresive towards the stomach. You can clearly distinguish some very young leafs,buds but also some older bigger leafs with a rounder shape.
The conclusion of this tea: refreshing and cooling but lacks a little bit overall complexity. Besides that it is a great drinkable tea with a particular character.