I'm back! And spring oolongs are here. And Seattle is hot!
This seasons tea shares only one characteristic with last seasons tea. And that's that it's totally uncharacteristic of it's season. Spring tea, at least before the world's climates really started changing, was lighter and more floral while winter teas were more robust and complex. Talking about high mountain oolong here. Last seasons tea (Winter), however, was very delicate and didn't hit very hard. The season (Spring) that just came in is a full lineup of powerful teas.
The weather is the main culprit, as far as I've been told. Taiwan had a very warm winter last year, which means the teas grew to fast and the good stuff that we like to taste and feel was not as concentrated. This Spring was very cold, and the teas took their sweet time. They arrived in the shop almost a month later than usual! But the product is worth it.
The teas are all different. In the shop we have Alishan, Lishan, Shan Lin Xi, Hehuan Shan and Da Yu Ling. They all seem to carry some sort of citrus quality. Some are tart like citrus, some are more sweet. Some are stimulating like citrus, some have a clear citrus oil mouthfeel. I'm very excited about all the teas. I feel proud to work for someone who takes such care in finding the best teas she can. The teas are all still slightly groggy from the trip over. We call it jet-lag. And that means they are changing every day. When the settle down, I will try to characterize each of the five high mountains I've been drinking.
PS Check out Shiuwen's Spring harvest high moutain oolongs here