Tuesday, May 17, 2011
2010 Spring Gao Shan Luanze Li Shan Oolong
Spring is here, flowers are blooming, the air is filled with fresh aromatics of spring. Drinking high mountain spring oolong is certainly a wonderful way to harmonize the light, playful turning of spring. One had sampled the 2010 Fall Gao Shan Luanze Li Shan Oolong from Teamasters a few months ago to relieve nasal congestion and vowed to enjoy this 2010 spring sample with a clear head (and sinus). So on a cloudy, rainy, spring day one opens this sample pack and hopes that it will bring some cheer to an otherwise gloomy day. With this Teamaster's offering of hand picked, low ozidized, 2200-2300 m elevation Li Shan oolong- things are certainly looking up!
The dry leaves deliver a grassy scent which turns floral with high sweet notes under a veil of faint roasted tones. It carries a smell of soft supple richness under smooth high tones. One was so mesmerized by this odour that a picture of the dry leaf was completely forgotten! The smell expands as the rolled balls contact preheated yixing and hints at honey florals to come.
The first infusion comes with light soft muted florals. There is a slow moving sweet juicy tangerine taste that stretches into the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is full and soft.
The second infusion has a light creamy start which evolves into a sweet, mellow, almost tangerine, taste. It feels very round in the mouth finishing with a smooth creamy nuanced fruit taste. Florals are left on the breath minutes later amongst a mouthfeel which has definite staying power. The chaqi is evident as a mild light headed euphoria sets in.
The third infusion starts with the same slightly sweet and creamy start. The taste is full and supported by faint deeper fruits that linger just below the surface of this tea. It finishes sweet and juicy with that same full satisfying mouthfeel. From it develops a rich melon fruitiness with faint florals following and wallowing in the mouthfeel.
In the fourth and fifth infusions the mouthfeel is most obvious as it is noticeable as soon as the liquor touches the mouth. Soft smooth flavours, creamy flavours of bananas and flowers finish juicy and with more melon fruit notes. The mouthfeel continues to support and nurture these fresh tastes. There is a very non-acidic orange taste that stays on the mouth for quite some time. One takes some time to fully take in the fresh spring odour the leaves emit from the warmed pot.
In the sixth and seventh infusions the light, smooth, slightly creamy non-specific fruity and floral notes continue to greet you at the start. They are now somewhat diminished but still ride on enjoyable mouthfeel. The initial smoothness develops a tapioca smoothness as tastes of banana, pineapple, and florals occasionally pop into the forefront.
The eighth infusion sees the nice mouthfeel supporting no prominent flavours so the session is brought to a close.