Formosa Shanlinxi High Mountain Oolong is the lemoniest oolong I’ve ever tasted. It has a bright, very clean, slightly acidic taste, but it is also quite smooth and silky. As is the case with most lightly oxidized oolongs, the Shanlinxi Oolong does not start off in the first infusion displaying its full potential, but instead reveals its full flavors gradually, getting better and more interesting with each subsequent infusion and then gently dropping off after the third or fourth. This provides a nice experience, as each of the earlier infusions hints at the fuller flavors of the infusion that will follow it.
While I say that the tea is “lemony,” the actual characteristics of the flavor and scent are much more like lemon grass than lemons. This lemongrass-like flavor was quite different from other high mountain oolongs I have had, and I really enjoyed drinking it.
The description from auraTeas’ website:
“Grown at high elevation (1600 meters) in Jushan (Nantou, Taiwan), Shanlinxi Oolong is one of the premium Gaoshancha (High Mountain Tea) in Taiwan. The high elevation provides ideal conditions for oolong tea growing, produces the smoothest and slight astringent oolong tea. Gaoshancha (High Mountain Tea) from Taiwan has been considered as best quality oolong tea by tea connoisseurs. Compare to Dongding Oolong, Shanlixi Oolong is smoother and closer to Green Tea in taste, it is the best choice after having a big meal.”
Before brewing this tea I would recommend reading the suggestions regarding temperature and amount of leaf with the product description on auraTeas’ website. Using water that is too hot or using too much leaf would definitely compromise the quality of the tea, resulting in a brew that was okay, but not nearly as flavorful or interesting as this tea should be. I brewed it gongfu style, using a gaiwan, and it yielded seven very pleasant infusions.