Country of Origin: Taiwan
Leaf Appearance: deep green, tightly rolled
Steep time: 30 seconds
Water Temperature: 212 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Liquor: bright gold
I'm a sucker for gaoshan, aka high mountain oolong. It's one of those teas that really hooked me way back when I started on this crazy journey. One of the things I love most about tea is that there is always something new to try and interesting to learn, even with an old favorite that I have had many times before. I have had many Alishans over the years but I don't think I've ever heard of Chia-Yi. It turns out that this is the name of the county where the tea is grown. Tea facts are fun!
The dry leaves of this tea were rather large and tightly rolled. I did a quick rinse to open them up but it took a few infusions for them to fully unfurl. The taste was creamy and floral with a lingering sweet finish from the very first sip. There was a vegetal note in the background that reminded me of steamed baby spinach. Although I usually enjoy teas with a higher roast, it still wasn't nuclear green so it was A-OK in my book. There was no bitterness and the mouthfeel had an almost oily texture that was very pleasant.
I don't often brew oolong teas western style but I thought that I would give it a shot with this one. It performed surprisingly well. The mouthfeel wasn't quite as thick as what I experienced using my gaiwan but it was still very aromatic. That being said, the leaves do expand quite a bit so you'll definitely want to use something with an open infuser basket rather than a teeny tea ball. Better yet, just let your leaves free!
This tea was received as part of Teaful's Taste of Taiwan Chapter 1 tasting box. There are five different curated selections to choose from. They are an excellent way to educate yourself on the many different teas that Taiwan has to offer, especially if you are new to the world of tea. The packaging is beautiful and a collective 75g of leaf is plenty to play around with.
Have you ever tried this tea? I'd love to hear about it in the comments!