Precious A Li Shan: Tao Tea Leaf

A Li Shan by Tao Tea Leaf

Precious A Li Shan by Tao Tea Leaf

My MA thesis is trying to kill me. It has destroyed my eyesight to the point that I had to get glasses for the first time in my life. It has given me tennis elbow so bad that I cannot move my arm for even the simplest tasks (brush my teeth, brush my hair, get dressed, lift a teacup to my mouth!). And I’ve gained 10 pounds! If I were a lion, looking for a meal… I would be thinking… “yeah… go for the fat, blind one with the gimpy arm”!! Natural selection would have done me in weeks ago! Trying to kill me….  Well… there are only 10 weeks left in the MA from hell, so if I can just survive for 10 more weeks and avoid any lions… I’ll be OK. Then I can get my life back.

Feeling a little wild, and a little desperate, and backed into a corner… I reach for some tea. It makes everything all alright! This Precious A Li Shan is an organic Taiwan oolong, considered to be one of the best teas on earth. Can’t wait to try it!

Opening the package, these crunched up brown pellets smell like dry wood… toasted almonds… nutty, with a dry sort of astringency. I’ve read that it’s supposed to taste light and fruity, like pears, but I’m not getting that from the smell. Let’s taste it and see what happens

I brew it Gongfu style. A quick rinse of the leaves, and then steep for 30 seconds. It smells super sweet and warm and fragrant… still a bit toasty and… corn… but just a wonderful aroma! (hmm…. can’t lift the cup with my gimpy arm, so must go left!) First sip… MMMMM!!!! Sweet!!! Creamy!! It’s really reminding me of fresh creamed corn. But then, there is a layer of fruity aroma over the top. It’s kind of perfume-y and fruity-fragrant. Really good!! This is one of those teas that doesn’t taste like it smells. The flavour is so much more layered and full!

Precious A Li Shan in Grandma's teacup

Precious A Li Shan in Grandma’s teacup

I steep the second cup for 55 seconds. It’s quite a bit darker. The leaves, BTW are HUGE! How can those little balls hold so much leaf? The flavour is now totally different. This one has a deeper, sweet, fruity, nectar-y flavour, with tones of toasted almond. It’s much deeper and richer, and the fruit comes through. It’s just delightful in the mouth!! It’s a wee bit astringent, but with no bitterness at all.

Cup #3… 90 seconds. Creamy and toasty, with a surprising little twist of perfume near the end of the gulp. My goodness… it’s almost like Lychee!! Where did that come from??

This tea is amazing! It doesn’t look or smell all that spectacular out of the bag, but steeped, it is full of surprises! I highly recommend this one! Hope it repels lions!

BIG THANK YOU to Tao Tea Leaf for providing this fantastic tea!

 

 

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