Country of Origin: Taiwan
Leaf Appearance: deep green, tightly rolled
Steep time: 25 seconds
Water Temperature: 212 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
I was super happy to hear from David at Tillerman Tea since it has been a while since I’ve reviewed any of his teas. He’s a true specialist, focusing only on Taiwanese oolongs. This tea immediately jumped out at me because I adored his Cuifeng from spring 2017. Cuifeng is a peak of Lishan, also known as Pear Mountain. This tea was made using the Qing Xin cultivar in November of 2020. The elevation was 1,800 meters, and the oxidation level was 23%. I am not often a fan of unroasted oolongs, but experience has shown me that David has a keen palate for well-balanced teas.
The dry tea consisted of fairly large, tightly rolled balls. They were dark green in color with a fairly uniform shape. There was a floral and slightly piney aroma apparent when I added them to my preheated gaiwan. Gongfu is definitely my preferred method for brewing Taiwanese oolongs, but Tillerman Tea also provides Western-style directions. I used fully boiling water with a first infusion of 25 seconds. That was reduced to 20 seconds for the following infusion, per Tillerman’s instructions, and then gradually increased for subsequent brews.
Tillerman Tea Cuifeng High Mountain Oolong brewed up a buttery gold liquor. Even before actually tasting the tea, I took notice of the viscous mouthfeel. It was almost soupy in texture. The taste was creamy and floral with notes of orchid. It was not overly perfumy but lingered on my palate long after each sip. Although this tea has not been roasted, it was not extremely vegetal or green. The piney note that I picked up in the dry leaf became more prominent in later infusions. Just as I expected, this tea was very well balanced. I can definitely understand why the description on the Tillerman Tea website says that it is one of David’s favorites.
Have you ever tried Tillerman Tea Cuifeng High Mountain Oolong? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!