Oolong Tasting, January 22nd, 2012

Shan Lin Xi Oolong, dry leafAlishan Zhang Shu Hu Oolong, dry leafAlishan Zhang Shu Hu & Shan Lin Xi: Our first tasting will be a comparison tasting of two different Taiwanese oolongs: 2011 Alishan Zhang Shu Hu and Spring 2011 Shan Lin Xi Long Feng Xia. we will use bowls and porcelain tasting spoons, and demonstrate “cupping” tea using the techniques used by industry professionals. You will note that the two teas are nearly indistinguishable by appearance, but they have differences in aroma and flavor. Most people feel that there is a stronger “buttery” note to the Alishan, whereas the Shan Lin Xi has a subtle note of evergreen.

  • FAMILY: oolong tea
  • PRICE: $10 per ounce

Mi Lan Dan Cong Oolong, dry leafMi Lan Dan Cong: This type of tea, also called Honey Orchid, Phoenix Oolong, and many other related names, is a beautiful and distinctly delicate oolong from Phoenix Mountain in Guangdong Province in China. This particular Mi Lan Dan Cong is sourced through our friends at Canton Tea Company in London.

From Canton Tea’s product description: “Dan Cong is the champagne of oolongs: ripe with intense fruit and sweetness. This high grade example comes from a plantation on the lower slopes of Wu Dong Mountain, Chao Zhou. The leaves are thoroughly fermented and baked to produce a rich liquor with unique flowery and honeyed notes that can be enjoyed through multiple infusions.”

  • FAMILY: Dan Cong oolong tea
  • PRICE: $14.86 for a 50 gram package

Anxi Rou Gui Oolong, dry leafAnxi Rou Gui Oolong: This rich and flavorful tea also comes to us by way of Canton Tea Company. “Rou Gui” translates as “cinnamon” (or “cassia”) and you will be able to taste the spicy notes that give this tea its name.

Canton Tea Company’s Buyer’s notes: “Wuyi Rou Gui is a famous Wuyi ‘rock oolong’ but the Rou Gui varietal actually originated from Anxi and was then taken to Wuyi, so Anxi is the original home of Rou Gui. We bought this tea unbaked and baked it ourselves so we could ensure it was finished the way we like it.”

  • FAMILY: oolong tea
  • PRICE: $13.21 for a 50 gram package

Shui Xian Oolong, dry leafShui Xian Oolong: One of the well-known “rock” teas grown on Wuyi Mountain in Fujian Province in China, this oolong is bright and robust. “Shui Xian” translates to “water fairy” or “narcissus flower,” and the dark, spindly leaves of this tea brew into a liquor with a nice complexity to it. It also has a basic robustness to it that performs well under many different styles of brewing, and never becomes bitter.

  • FAMILY: oolong tea
  • PRICE: $3.00 per ounce