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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Review:’s Ali Shan Oolong Tea

© 2011 A.C. Cargill photos and text – All rights reserved.
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The Subject:  Ali Shan Oolong Tea [More info]

Straight Tea Rating:

Oolong Ranking Bar:

About the new rating designation.

Water temperature:180° F
Steeping time:3-5 mins. (diff for each infusion)
Tea type:Oolong
Aroma, dry leaves:  Sweet green alfalfa

1st Infusion:  
Steeping time —3 mins.
Aroma, plain —  Spinachy/rosy
Taste, plain —Smooth, mild, light grassy/rosy
Color, plain —Pale yellow-green
2nd Infusion:
Steeping time —3½ mins.
Aroma, plain —  Heavier spinachy/rosy
Taste, plain —More grassy, smooth, mild, hint of rose
Color, plain —Pale yellow-orangey
3rd Infusion:
Steeping time —4 mins.
Aroma, plain —  Milder spinach/rosy
Taste, plain —Flavor fading, faint
Color, plain —Pale yellow-green

Another Oolong that is very welcome in our tea pantry. Tasty multiple steepings give this tea real value and stretch out your tea dollars. In these economic times, that’s great news.

Hubby and I loved this and did 3 infusions, each a pleasure. The flavor characteristics of the first infusion carried through to each subsequent infusion with some mellowing. Unlike the description on their site, this tea is spinachy/rosy through all 3 infusions, although the last one is quite faint. The flavor was overall light. We suspect that we may not have used enough tea leaves and could have steeped a bit longer. (Be careful, since oversteeping can make the brew bitter.)

Their description:

Ali Shan’s complex flavor profile includes classic floral, honeyed and creamy notes, as well as hints of marine air, clover fields, sage and cracked black pepper. A honeyed finish with suggestions of pepper, menthol and sweet grass and a creamy, sweet second infusion make Ali Shan a tea that can be enjoyed for a long period of time.

Again, don’t be discouraged if your taste experience differs from the “official” description. If you order one of the sample sizes that Nav, the company owner, offers, you can do a little experimenting.

One look at the tea leaves before and after steeping shows the high quality of this tea, with mainly whole leaves and some stems:

The steeping directions on the label vary slightly from those on the vendor’s site (where it says steep time is 3 to 4 minutes).

A quiet moment, a tasty treat, and a cuppa this tea. Who would want more?

Their packaging of these sample sizes were rather interesting.

Disclaimer: This tea was provided by the company named. However, the rating of the tea and any opinions concerning it are always strictly objective.

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