May 03, 2016
Tea Review - Adagio Teas Ali Shan Oolong
When Adagio Teas reached out to me to sample their teas, I had just finished drinking a round of Taiwanese oolongs so I knew I would select a Taiwanese oolong from Adagio's portfolio. I chose their Ali Shan. The other two teas I selected were Yunnan Noir and Formosa Bai Hao. I have drunk these two teas and will post my reviews soon, so watch this space or better yet, subscribe to my newsletter.
I prepared the Alishan oolong a couple of ways but the notes I am sharing with you today are from a session following the vendor's instructions. I used 1 teaspoon (which weighed 4 grams) of leaves in a 150 mL taiwan of 195F water. I rinsed the tea for 5s followed by 2 minute steeps. Given the amount of leaf and infusion time I was expecting a short session but I drank several cups of flavorful liquor.
The first steep yielded smells and tastes of flowers (purple lilac) and green vegetables (bok choy). The liquor was dry with mineral notes as well. It had full mouthful. The liquor was rich. There was a buttery texture but it was not overwhelming nor did it taste artificial. I don't know if this Alishan is of the cultivar 'Jin Xuan' which is used to make milk oolong. Maybe this Alishan tea was made from leaves of the 'Chin-hsin' cultivar. The second steep was very flavorful and aromatic. I detected flowers (lilac and something else), mineral nots, boy choy and a general greenness. The liquor had a lingering finish. For this session, I only steeped the leaves three times. On the final steep, I got distracted and didn't return to the tea for 30 minutes. All the flavors were still present.
This Alishan oolong seems to me to be a good quality tea. The dry leaves were carefully rolled. For the most part, each ball unfurled to reveal two intact leaves and a bud on a stem. The liquor was aromatic and pleasant to drink.