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I finished this 10g sample pouch of what I think is Spring 2018 harvest. Kind of. By throwing it out.

So… this tea does not play well with long steeps gongfu. It tasted pretty good in the first steep, light-bodied and oily with minerals, salt and a playful lemon but entered bad territory very quickly in the second steep with the leaf smelling very sulfuric with eggs and peanut and butter. Tastes of florals including lilac along with some kale and fresh sugarcane. But it was weirdly bitter with a an overripe honeydew aftertaste that did NOT mix well with the sweetness and florals. By the third steep I made an audible ‘Eugh.’ and the aftertaste was like buttered, nearly rotten winter squash. Like wtf?? Into the compost with you, you bad leaf.

So… stick with short steeps. Plenty of florals in the mouth early on, and with the swallow some lemon water followed by light saltiness. There was a weird fleeting aftertaste of potting soil with the first steep, but I could look past that. The liquor continued to stay pretty light in taste with some vegetal coming forward and light astringency that lasted. The aftertastes were the most prominent part of the tea with a good mix of butter, fresh sugarcane and fresh florals (my guess would be iris) with an addition of coconut cream?, changing into light pineapple, then banana leaf and ending on light peach. Around the fourth steep, the buttery taste became quite prominent and the liquor had an accompanying slipperiness in the mouth and on my lips. The last few steeps ended with tastes of corn and light butter.

Idk man, this tea was all over the place and although it started off nicely it became totally unbalanced. I’d be scared to brew it western :x

Edit: just to add to the confusion, the dry leaf was wonderfully fragrant with a strong pine nut note I wish showed up in the flavor.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Daylon R Thomas

Try less grammage? I’m guessing you may have already tried. Otherwise, I remember that the Misty Mountain was a pretty good Shan Lin Xi. I swore that I tried the one you just wrote about and thought it was too vegetal four years ago, or I at least talked to someone in regards to it recommending the Misty Mountain over it, but I do not see a note on it. Either way, that’s a shame. I used to love Shan Lin Xi’s myself, but they can be a little too savory for me.

Daylon R Thomas

You’re note’s comprehensive, btw. :)

derk

I’m not sure less grammage would change it for the better and I have none left to try. It wasn’t that it was overwhelming in any flavors or its savoriness but that the tea seemed jumpy both in mouth and in taste progression. There was no flow with these nuggets. Thanks for the word on Misty Mountain. This definitely hasn’t turned me off from Shanlinxi, so I’ll be on the lookout for to try others in the future.

LuckyMe

Sometimes it’s not you, it’s the tea. Could have been stale, finicky or just not a good harvest as was the case last year. Good SLX is definitely worth seeking out.

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Daylon R Thomas

Try less grammage? I’m guessing you may have already tried. Otherwise, I remember that the Misty Mountain was a pretty good Shan Lin Xi. I swore that I tried the one you just wrote about and thought it was too vegetal four years ago, or I at least talked to someone in regards to it recommending the Misty Mountain over it, but I do not see a note on it. Either way, that’s a shame. I used to love Shan Lin Xi’s myself, but they can be a little too savory for me.

Daylon R Thomas

You’re note’s comprehensive, btw. :)

derk

I’m not sure less grammage would change it for the better and I have none left to try. It wasn’t that it was overwhelming in any flavors or its savoriness but that the tea seemed jumpy both in mouth and in taste progression. There was no flow with these nuggets. Thanks for the word on Misty Mountain. This definitely hasn’t turned me off from Shanlinxi, so I’ll be on the lookout for to try others in the future.

LuckyMe

Sometimes it’s not you, it’s the tea. Could have been stale, finicky or just not a good harvest as was the case last year. Good SLX is definitely worth seeking out.

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Always up for a trade. I keep an updated cupboard. Check it out. Don’t be shy — message me if you want to try something! I send international :)

Most enjoyment:

I prefer straight loose-leaf and compressed tea, teabags for ease of use and herbal teas/tisanes. My favorite teas come from all over including China, Taiwan, Nepal, Darjeeling, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan and Georgia. The only one that doesn’t do much for me is Ceylon.

I abandoned my preference reference in early 2020, favoring a focus on qualitative description and because everybody uses a different rating scale. I’m still comfortable toggling the ‘Not/Recommended’ button.

Preference reference:

100-90: A tea I can lose myself into. Something about it makes me slow down and appreciate not only the tea but all of life or a moment in time. If it’s a bagged or herbal tea, it’s of standout quality in comparison to similar items.
89-80: Fits my profile well enough to buy again. Some could be daily drinker teas.
79-70: Not a preferred tea. I might buy more or try a different harvest. Would gladly have a cup if offered.
69-60: Not necessarily a bad tea but one that I won’t buy again. Would have a cup if offered.
59-1: Lacking several elements, strangely clunky, possess off flavors/aroma/texture or something about it makes me not want to finish.
Unrated: Haven’t made up my mind or some other reason. If it’s puerh, I likely think it needs more age.

Some things about me:

Endless curiosity and fascination have led me to wear many hats. Stubbornness and naivety have led me down dark paths. The restlessness isn’t improving with age but at least at 37, I’m finally aware of my nature. I have high physical energy and love being around people but am easily exhausted. My most recent caricature is that of an environmental engineering masters dropout working in retail electrical sales. An impatient woman with a knack for making stupid decisions, a lover of Jesus, science, art, beauty and language who happens to ride a motorcycle and bicycle, dabbles in sax, wields a chainsaw and drinks tea out of tiny pots. They call me “Trouble”.

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Sonoma County, California, USA

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