Thursday, June 6, 2013

Shan Lin Xi Oolong (春, Spring)

Sniffing the dry leaves has become a rather addictive affair. It gives me a preview of the high mountain power that these small tightly rolled balls are about to unleash. The dry smells are reminiscent of a bunch of fleshy petalled flowers, possibly crocuses, but I do not know for sure.

Armed with only a thermos flask, I left my tea to brew much longer in the Gaiwan at a lower water temperature. Lifting the lid, the fragrances underneath did sober me up and caught my attention intensely as a result of their similarity to a very much lighter version of agarwood scent of the very top grade.

The infusion felt very light but fusion between leaves and water did yield a very wholesome cup of tea, despite lowered temperatures. I first enjoyed three brews of this tea outdoors without passing any further judgement and went back into the house to resume my tea session. This time with freshly boiled water..
The colour of this oolong remains crisp under those few rays of sunlight left. With a higher brewing temperature, trademarks of this tea become more pronounced. Where a Jin Xuan oolong is about kicks and more direct floral notes, this Shan Lin Xi oolong exudes fragrances in more subtle and sustainable ways. There is a peculiar light waft of cinnamon which I attribute to the fermentation process and no steep rises and falls in its taste profile. Instead, a rather soft yet powerful aftertaste that coats one's mouth and digestive pathway as the tea makes its way down your throat to reach your stomach and a light Cha Qi spreads.

For all my teas that are available for sale, I have selected a black resealable pouch with a touch of traditional Chinese calligraphy. The simple matt design helps us to focus on the quali-tea contents inside. This pouch sits daintily on a flat surface, and I certainly would not mind parking it in any tea setting. The neutral design is both pleasing to the eyes and not "attention seeking" for relaxing tea times ahead.

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