Jul 21, 2010

Review: Canton Tea Company Ali Shan Oolong

I have decided, and I am sure that my husband would agree, that I am a contrary creature.  Here it is a nice hot summer day and I am craving a hot cup of oolong.  Luckily for me, my last batch of samples had several to choose from.  My choice today is an Ali Shan Oolong from Canton Tea Company. 

In doing some research, I discover that an ali shan oolong is one of the one of the best known of Taiwan’s high grown oolong which is known for its sweet fruity flavor.  It is known for the greenish-purple coloring of the leaves which are rolled into large ‘fists’ or tea balls.  It also has a rather short growing season which contributes to the sweetness.

Looking at my sample, it certainly conforms to the physical attributes of an ali shan.  The aroma to me is a sweet floral blended with the scent of melons.  Perhaps I am not so contrary, just the scent alone seems to fit well with a summer day.

According to the notes on Canton Tea Company’s website the liquor should be a bright green.  Instead it is clear in coloring with a light wash of green.  The melon aroma is now stronger.  It almost reminds me of grilled honeydew melons.

I can certainly see why this tea is known for its sweetness.  The first thought that hit my mind was how sweet it is.  The theme of the melons carries through into the taste and I am also now able to pick up a dab of apricots also.  This tea has some body to it also with a slight oily mouthfeel that I get from the better oolongs.

Since it is a hot day, I also iced some up which brings forth the flavor of the apricots even stronger and causes the melons to fade back a bit.  I thought that I enjoyed the flavor hot but I do have to say that I enjoy it even more over ice.  Truly a multipurpose tea.

The final question is whether I would stock this in my personal oolong collection.   If I didn’t have so much oolong on hand right now, I would certainly place an order for this one.  I have a few more oolongs from this vendor to try out and then I will check my stock.  I foresee an order in the future.

I rate this tea a 4.

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