Thursday, August 4, 2016

Floating Leaves: 2016 Spring LiShan High Mountain Oolong, A Tea Review

Yours truly did one of the most girly things last night, well girly for me anyway...I was up til five in the morning working on my wedding registry and wish-listing wedding related clothing and things. My desire to dress like a princess, have my wedding dress be something I will use more than once, and to not spend a fortune has made this an exciting endeavor. We still haven't set a date yet, it will at the least be a year away since we are waiting for Ben's sister to come back from Peace Corps, and I am kinda hoping for a Halloween wedding as to be an excuse as to why my wedding garb looks possibly like a cosplay of two different characters of mine from two separate RPGs Ben and I play, that is a conversation I don't want to have a million times, but if it is Halloween that is good enough! Oh man, I am such a dork.

You guessed it, today the adventure through the Floating Leaves High Mountain Oolong Sampler continues as I pretend to travel to these beautiful mountains through the taste of teas. Looking at 2016  Spring LiShan High Mountain Oolong today, and this tea mountain has a special place in my heart. If you travel back in time to September of 2013, it was one of the first High Mountain Oolongs I blogged about, I didn't have my army of gaiwans or clay pots yet, I was doing pseudo gong-fu with quick steeps using a half filled mug and a steeping basket. Oh how times have changed, three years later and it is still a favorite...and I have more gaiwans/teapots/cups than sense now. I got fussed at by Ben while I was sniffing this tea, mainly because I started making a racket and he has a headache, but the aroma is pretty out of this world. It is very sweet, with notes of chestnut, sugar cane, and a bit of starchiness, but the thing that elicited the noise from me was the distinct note of bananas and pineapples, it smells so good!! I had my nose stuffed in the teapot snuffling like a truffle pig for far longer than necessary.

I decided to give my gaiwans a bread and pull out the green Oolong XiShi pot, I say green but really at this point it is only used for Taiwanese High Mountain Oolongs, TGY and Baozhong have their own pots, because I am a hoarder. The aroma of the leaves after the first steep still has that banana note of happiness, but is also has a savory spinach note, sesame seeds, bok choy, hyacinth, and a general aroma of growing things in summertime. The liquid smells like freshly baked slightly buttery banana bread, and I swear if it wasn't 100° I would bake some. There are also gentle notes of pineapple, starch, and a bit of green vegetation.

Tasting time! While writing this I am watching Roman Holiday, a good backdrop to musing about fancy teas. It starts light and sweet with a wonderfully buttery viscous mouthfeel, it really lights up in the back of the throat, gentle at the front then a light show at the back. The taste of banana and orange blossom at the back if the throat is joined by a beginning of sweet peas and fresh vegetation. Delicious stuff!

Next steep, woo! The aroma is sweet and green, a really good balance of the two. The taste, well, first let me touch on that texture, it is so thick and buttery, but the thickness is accompanied by a rich sweetness that lingers long into the aftertaste, I swear it is so long in the mouth. The taste, once I finally get my thoughts out of the mouthfeel, is floral and sweet, with distant bananas, pineapples, and orange blossoms.

Third steep, the aroma is still going strong with sweet and green, however there is a building hyacinth note that gets quite strong towards the end of the sniffing. The taste is also quite flowery this steep, notes of hyacinths, lilacs, orange blossoms, and a distant bit of plumeria. Towards the end the banana and fresh vegetation notes show up with a lingering buttery sweetness that stay forever. I pulled many steeps out of this tea, when it nears its finish the notes of lilac and hyacinth dominate til they fade away.

Also, don't forget about the coupon if you want in on that sweet sampler action. Use the code teageekery35 for 35% off the High Mountain Sampler before August 31st! This tea was sent for review purposes by the company.

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