Taiwan Cui Yu (Green Jade) from Life in Teacup

Taiwan Cui Yu (Green Jade) from Life in TeacupThis is a very green Oolong.  The tightly wound, dark green leaves unfurl slowly to release their beautiful, light yellow-green liquor.  I brewed this in my {en:gaiwan}, using just enough leaf to barely cover the bottom curve of the vessel, and after a quick rinse (to awaken the leaves!) and two infusions, the gaiwan is more than half full of leaves!  They have really expanded… and they’re not finished unfurling completely yet!

This is why you should never steep Oolong in an infuser basket.  The leaves just don’t get the room they need to expand fully, and as a result, you miss out on some very delightful flavor!

But… I digress!  Let’s get on with the review of this amazing tea, shall we?

The aroma is delicate but wonderful.  It smells like beautifully floral with a scent that is reminiscent of mountain air after it rains.  Lovely!

The flavor is quite similar to a Green Tea, but, there are some notable differences.  The tea possesses a strong floral note with a vegetative background.  I can also taste a light nutty flavor as well as a buttery tone to the tea.  It is not as sweet as some Oolongs I’ve encountered, and there is a bitter note that intrigues the palate.  Not a “bad” or “off-putting” or “over-steeped” kind of bitter, but more of a sharp, savory bitterness that provides a delicious contrast to the sweet and floral notes of this tea.

It has a light yet pleasing mouthfeel; however, I found that the mouthfeel does not linger as long with this tea as with some Oolongs – I contribute this to the astringency of this tea.  The drying sensation from the astringency seems to wipe the palate clean, so the mouthfeel does not linger into the finish.  This is neither a bad or a good thing, it’s just the way this tea is.

Life in Teacup describes this Oolong as

One of the “greenest” oolong, with leaf color and tea taste close to green tea. This tea was produced from high mountain region of Nantou, Taiwan, in spring 2009. It has very refreshing floral fragrance.

Production Year:  2009

Production Season:  Winter

Production Region:  Taiwan, Nantou County

Style:  Modern Green Style

This Oolong can be resteeped many times without loss in flavor.  By my third/fourth infusion, the leaves had expanded to nearly fill my gaiwan!  The flavor remains intense throughout these infusions.  In fact, I think the flavor actually improves – the fifth/sixth infusion was my favorite!  The flavor becomes so smooth and delightful.  The floral essence softens a little bit, making way for a little more of a buttery flavor (and mouthfeel!)

A fantastic Oolong – I highly recommend this one to all Oolong enthusiasts!  It shouldn’t be missed!

One Comment

Steve Hoyt-McBeth

Nice review and it sounds like a dandy. I’m a fan of the green oolongs and like nothing better than to a rolled oolong’s leaves unfurl. I have a cheap gaiwan that chipped, and your encouragement to use it for rolled oolongs makes me want to dust it off.

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