2019 Spring QingXin Oolong Ali Shan
The 2019 flagship
Cultivar: Qingxin (ruanzhi) Oolong
Harvested by hand: April 29th, 2019
Origin: ChangShuHu, Ali Shan (1300m)
Process: Lightly oxidized and rolled Oolong.
1. The view
Dark green and light yellow dry green leaves. The brew's color is a bright, light and shiny yellow. It has a very good transparency. The open leaves are dark green, a sign that they've received plenty of sunshine. The leaves are rather tender and small. This explains the very delicate flavors of this tea.
2. The scents
The dry floral scent are light, fresh and flowery. It has hints of lavender and vetiver, very elegant scents. The brew is a bouquet of lily flowers.
3. The taste
Sweet, it feels buttery and fresh. It leaves a pleasant and long lasting aftertaste. It feels more delicate than your average Alishan Oolong.
Conclusion: this Alishan Oolong is top notch and, like in 2018, could easily be mistaken for Lishan Oolong! It's on the green and fresh side, but it brings a lot of sweetness. Even brewed in competition style, it tastes wonderful! This will likely be my best value high mountain Qingxin Oolong this year. It was also fun to select: the farmer started by letting me taste his April 24, 26 and 28 batches. I found none of them very appealing. Of course, there's always one that's a little bit better than the others, but I felt it wasn't good enough. Then, the farmer then said: "I have another one, made yesterday. Maybe you'll like it better!" Of course, I did! This was a textbook situation: the farmer starts offering you his weaker teas, those that are the most difficult to sell. The better one(s) are for picky buyers who show up at the right moment!