Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Ali Shan

Tea: Ali Shan
Vendor: Adagio Teas
Price: $29.00 / 5 oz
Source: Taiwan
Vendor Description: Oolong tea from Taiwan. Formosa, meaning 'beautiful' was what the Portuguese explorers called this island. The oolong tea grown here continues to be called as such. The exquisite bouquet of Formosa Oolong tea is regarded to be the finest in the world. Complex floral notes echo on your palate as you enjoy this product of Taiwan's Ali mountain. Light bodied and softly sweet with an underlying complexity, this oolong will surely come to haunt. Perfect for multiple infusions.

Leaf: This leaf consists of large tightly rolled leaf balls. They vary in size from shades of light green to dark green. There is a distinctive green oolong aroma to the leaf, although it is on the lighter side.

1st Infusion Parameters: 5g, 5 oz, 208F, 1 min

1st Infusion: This tea has a light green hue. It is quite light and clear. There is a very prominent green oolong aroma to it though. The aroma is similar to a Tie Guan Yin, but not quite. The flavor is very light and crisp. The majority of the flavor is found in the center portion of the tongue, there are light amounts of flavor in the general body of this tea. It feels like a very mild green oolong, with a very relaxing feeling to it.

2nd Infusion Parameters: 45s, 208F

2nd Infusion: This infusion has a bolder yellow color to it. The aroma is also stronger. It is obvious that the tea has opened up a lot more for this infusion. The flavor is bolder and fuller. It shows a strong green oolong aftertaste. It is very warming yet holds onto a very sharp green oolong tanginess to it.

3rd Infusion Parameters: 1:30, 208F

3rd Infusion: There is no significant color change in this infusion. There is slightly less of an aroma to it though. The flavor is yet again bolder though. But even with the decrease in the sharpness it feels bold, almost like it softened out after the second infusion. It finishes off with a light sense of astringency.

4th Infusion Parameters: 1:30, 208F

4th Infusion: The color is slightly lighter this time around. The aroma is about the same as the third infusion though. The flavor is sweeter and lighter this time around.

5th Infusion Parameters: 3:00, 208F

5th Infusion: This time the flavor was showing obvious signs of waning. The color and aroma were both very light. The flavor showed signs of wateriness and a lack of strength.

Rating: 9/10

Conclusion: This was quite a solid offering from Adagio. It held up very strongly for 4 infusions, with a light 5th. One thing that I don't particularly like about this tea though is that you have to order between one sample size and 5 oz. It's a large jump in purchasing. Especially with the number of infusions you'll get out of each time with this tea, 5oz is quite an extensive purchase. That said though, the tea is a good price, it's a solid flavor.

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