Review: Lishan Cui Feng Oolong

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Sophie’s Teaview Snapshot
Its OK" With it's creamy grass notes and sweet floral finish, it's not bad in any sense, just rather forgettable. "
Sophie’s Teaview: 6.8/10
Other Teaviews: CJ gave it 10/10, Vanessa gave it 6.5/10, Katie gave it 8.3/10
Your Reviews: 6/10
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This semi-oxidized, unroasted oolong was harvested in May 2012 at an altitude of 2000 meters above sea level. The garden is located in Cui Feng, a district on the slopes of the famous Mount Li, in Northern Taiwan. The leaves are rolled into rather large, lumpy nuggets. Their colour ranges attractively from pale apple to dark forest green. They are scented with a fresh and creamy floral aroma.

I steeped a heaping teaspoonful of leaves in 8 ounces of freshly boiled filtered water. After a 3 minute-long steep the pale gold-coloured cup smells buttery and floral. Taking a sip, the profile is again buttery, with a mineral edge to it. The creamy, savoury top notes are followed by a long-lasting but faint floral finish. There are also lots of nutty vegetal tones present throughout. It's a pleasant enough cup – I like all of the elements at play, but it's not dynamic enough to really excite me. Perhaps steep number two will be more engaging?

I manage to pull 2 more steeps out of the leaves following 4 and 5 and a half minute-long infusions. Both are quite similar to the first: smooth, creamy with a touch of broth and flowers to them. No obvious drawbacks emerge over time. However nothing really stands out either. I could probably get another steep out of the leaves if I was motivated enough to try.

I've had many offerings from this company and to date they have all been far above average. This is the first that I find only so-so. With it's creamy grass notes and sweet floral finish, it's not bad in any sense, just rather forgettable. When really stellar teas are available as part of the same catalogue, I see no reason to buy this one. The consistency and the stamina of the leaf are impressive. For those who are into buttery, vegetal teas that pull no punches, it's worth a try. If you're looking for something a bit more zip however, I would recommend their excellent Lishan Tian Fu oolong instead.

— To purchase Lishan Cui Feng Oolong, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

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