96

Below is my review from What-Cha’s website. I’ve since spent some more time with this tea.

“Special tea. Very nice, large rolled leaves that were handled well. This tea has a very rounded profile so I’m having a difficult time picking out the distinct aromas in the dry and wet leaf. Haven’t tried the recommended brewing parameter yet but brewed in a gaiwan, the liquor is incredible. I taste a very light roast, florals, unripe peach, medicinal wood, and it’s quite sweet like a light honey. There’s a wonderful menthol that might be imperceptible if you don’t savor the tea or if you drink it with food. The menthol lightly lines my mouth and I notice it most near my sinuses. Overall, a very delightful, balanced tea. I’m very grateful to have tried this Shan Lin Xi and hope to purchase more.”

Addendum:

As is it turns out, the menthol became really pronounced in later steeps. Not so much in taste but in feel. I happen to love this; others may not. This tea makes me sweat and I was exuding a minty coolness from my armpits and chest. Like washing up with some peppermint Dr. Bronner’s soap.

This tea just keeps on giving, too. When I thought the brew might be over, I pushed it.
This was my first experience with a shanlinxi and I’ve read that they generally have a butteriness, which in retrospect I totally missed. Upon pushing the last few steeps, the butter became very pronounced and I know it’s an odd descriptor but it was chewy.

I feel like I lack the experience to adequately describe this tea. Probably easier for a well seasoned taster but I can still say I love its complex well roundedness and its longevity. Not an absolute beginner’s tea.

Bought up what I could. I hope whoever else gets their hands on the remaining amount finds it as pleasurable as I did.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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If you’re an aspiring or current tea grower, let’s talk! I am slowly beginning a tea farm here in Northern California. Currently growing are young plants pulled from the ground and gifted to me after a visit to Fairhope Tea Plantation in Alabama. The parent plants are sinensis variety from a defunct Lipton research project. I’ve also started seeds from Camellia Forest Nursery in North Carolina. The types include Camellia taliensis, an assamica variety, and 3 sinensis varieties including “Small leaf” “Large leaf” and “Black Sea.” To learn how to process tea into different styles, I plan on traveling to China and Taiwan if/when COVID becomes a relative non-issue. I’m taking Mandarin classes to aid in this journey.

Tea became a hobby and my daily drink of choice some time late in the last decade. My introduction to loose leaf came, following a lone tin of some Tie Guan Yin oolong many years prior, in the form of dumpster-dived Wuyi oolong packets that somebody left upon moving out of an apartment building. From there, my palate expanded to teas from across China and the world. I used to focus more on taste and still harbor the habit, but after trying sheng pu’er, I tend to focus more on how a tea feels in my body. Does it complement my constitution? Does it change my mood or does it enhance my current mindstate? While I may not mention those effects in tea notes, it is what I value most. Flavored teas are not a favorite but I do drink them intermittently.

In terms of who I am, you could consider me a jill of all trades. Specialty is not my strength, as can be seen in the spread of my tea notes.

One thing I will always love is riding a bicycle.

Location

Sonoma County, California, USA

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