Taiwan 'Shan Lin Xi' High Mountain Oolong Tea

Tea type
Oolong Tea
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Grass, Green, Vegetal, Watery, Butter, Floral, Bread, Cinnamon, Cream, Custard, Gardenias, Green Apple, Mineral, Orange Zest, Pear, Seaweed, Spinach, Sweet, Umami, Vanilla, Violet, Zucchini, Melon
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Edit tea info Last updated by Daylon R Thomas
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec 6 g 8 oz / 236 ml

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9 Tasting Notes View all

From What-Cha

A smooth and highly fragrant high mountain with a crisp floral taste.

Tasting Notes:
- Smooth texture
- Floral aroma and taste

Harvest: Spring, late April 2017

Origin: Shan Lin Xi, Nantou County, Taiwan
Altitude: 1,600m
Farmer: Chen Family
Sourced: Specialist Taiwanese wholesaler

Cultivar: Qing Xin
Oxidisation: 15-20%
Roast: 0%
Picking: Hand

Brewing Advice:
- Heat water to roughly 90°C/194°F
- Use 1 teaspoon per cup/small teapot
- Brew for 2 minutes

Packaging: Resealable ziplock bag

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9 Tasting Notes

365 tasting notes

Okay. I thought I’d brew this up after my session with the lightly roasted version earlier today and try to put some words around how it misses the mark that the light roast hits so well (for me).

The wispy green/jade/vegetal/grassy notes seem to tamp out the floral/butter/cream roundedness that the light-roasted version blossoms into so beautifully. Every steep sort of tastes muted and watery, like an anticipatory rinse that never quite arrives at Second Steep Magic™. I am tempted to experiment with wok-kissing this at home… those notes are in there, I’m sure of it, but need the lid taken off.

Like petting a cat through a duvet.

Flavors: Grass, Green, Vegetal, Watery


I wonder if overleafing might help, too.


I know I tried that at least once, but don’t remember it making too much difference.


“Like petting a cat through a duvet.” Love that imagery XD

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14 tasting notes

After last nights debacle with the pomegranate stuff, I decided to whip myself into shape this morning and follow some directions!

But as I write this, and look on the bag, I realize I only partially followed the directions. I did brew this tea at 194 as directed. I brewed gong fu cha style with about 7g of tea to about 6 oz. Water. I steeped 30 second steeps after a 5 sec rinse.

I don’t think this is a complicated tea. It’s very light and buttery with a sugarcane note in the finish. I’m picking up subtle florals with a hint of grassy ness. Very pleasant but not particularly mind blowing. I will gladly drink the rest of this tea but probably won’t restock it.

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1403 tasting notes

Sugarcane sweet.. Floral. Juicy.

Yes, I know juicy is probably not a flavour.

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529 tasting notes

Another tea that never made it into my Steepster cupboard, still it’s a sipdown.
Western, 2min, 200F
Floral, smooth, buttery. I re-steeped it with the same flavors. Overall, not that memorable and not a re-purchase.

Flavors: Butter, Floral

200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec 12 OZ / 354 ML

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1048 tasting notes

Now that I have cleared out the December 2018 backlog, I can move on to my first official sipdown of 2019. I finished a 25 gram pouch of this tea on either the second or third day of the month. I wanted to start 2019 out with something light and floral, so this ended up being the tea I selected to fill that role. Though it most certainly served its purpose, I have to say that I have had somewhat better Shan Lin Xi oolongs in the recent past. In general, Shan Lin Xi teas are incredibly hit or miss for me; I either freak out over them and love them, or I end up respecting and appreciating them to a certain extent before moving on to teas from terroir that I find more consistently appealing. The latter was kind of the case with this tea. It was very good for an unroasted Shan Lin Xi oolong, but like a lot of the Shan Lin Xi oolongs I have tried in the past, it was more savory and more vegetal than I would have preferred.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After the rinse, I steeped 6 grams of rolled tea leaves in 4 ounces of 194 F water for 10 seconds. This infusion was followed by 15 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, and 10 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves produced aromas of cream, butter, custard, and gardenia. After the rinse, I detected new aromas of cinnamon and vanilla as well a meaty umami presence and vague vegetal hints. The first infusion introduced an even stronger umami scent and new aromas of grass, violet, and zucchini. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented brothy, meaty umami notes as well as impressions of zucchini, grass, cream, custard, and butter. I also picked up some subtle hints of gardenia before notes of vanilla, spinach, green apple, and daylily shoots took over on the swallow. Subsequent infusions introduced subtle aromas of pear and stronger scents of spinach, green apple, daylily, and baked bread. Stronger and more immediate daylily shoot, green apple, and spinach notes emerged in the mouth along with subtle impressions of cinnamon and violet. New notes of sweet corn, hyacinth, pear, seaweed, daylily, minerals, baked bread, and orange zest also appeared. As the tea faded, the liquor emphasized lingering impressions of minerals, umami, zucchini, grass, spinach, daylily shoots, and pear that were chased by hints of green apple, cream, and custard.

This was a very good Shan Lin Xi oolong, but it leaned a little too heavily on its vegetal and savory characteristics for my liking. I prefer Shan Lin Xi oolongs that are creamier, fruitier, and more floral, and while this tea displayed plenty of cream, fruit, and flower aromas and flavors, it often seemed to place more emphasis on its other characteristics over the course of my review session. Still, this was a very good tea. I am willing to bet that fans of teas that are more savory and more vegetal would get quite a bit of enjoyment out of it.

Flavors: Bread, Butter, Cinnamon, Cream, Custard, Floral, Gardenias, Grass, Green Apple, Mineral, Orange Zest, Pear, Seaweed, Spinach, Sweet, Umami, Vanilla, Vegetal, Violet, Zucchini

6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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1670 tasting notes

After going through a bunch of oolong, this is nice to have around. I even appreciated the vegetal qualities, and the body had a little bit more umami this time. I might change my mind on this one after all.

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