Eco-Cha Tea Club Batch 5: ShanLinXi Black Tea

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From Eco-Cha Artisan Teas

The tea leaves above were harvested about a month after the spring 2015 harvest of High Mountain Oolong Tea grown at 1700m in the Shanlinxi region of Nantou County, Taiwan. This crop of tea was cultivated naturally, and harvested when the leaves were at about half the maturity of leaves that are grown to make High Mountain Oolong Tea. When these young leaves from the Qing Xin Oolong plants grown at high elevation are processed as black tea, they offer a full-bodied brew with a unique flavor profile.

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921 tasting notes

It is a beautiful day! Perfect weather, intermittent cloud cover with a pleasant breeze, 75 degrees (the perfect temperature for me) and the hint of possible storms in the future. Of course I am spending the day watching Fighting Games on the West Coast Warzone Stream and have been doing that since yesterday. I am using a break in stream (by break I mean it is a game I don’t care about, sorry Guilty Gear) to blog about some yummy tea.

Today I am looking at one of the teas from Eco-Cha’s most awesome club which I am a member of, I joined at the beginning and paid for the whole year because I know Eco-Cha has good tea, so far I have been very pleased. I plan on writing about all of the teas I have gotten at some point, but this one needed blogging about now because Taiwanese Black Teas are a thing of epic beauty. ShanLinXi Black Tea (the link takes you to their blog post, very informative) comes from, you guessed it, Shan Lin Xi Mountain, one of my favorite mountains in Taiwan to procure tea from. The aroma of these curly leaves knocked me out of my chair from first sniff, seriously, I am so easily floored by red teas, it is a bit embarrassing. There are notes of lychee, mango, papaya, cocoa, cream, and nutty almost coconut water undertones, this tea smells tropical and immensely sweet and rich.

Into my beloved ruyao gaiwan the leaves go, the aroma keeps up the tropical fruit notes with papaya, longan, lychee, mango, and a touch of cherries. There is also an undertone of chocolate and cream, it is so sweet, it is almost cloying but manages to sneak right under the cloying radar and fall happily into richness. Wow, somehow the liquid manages to smell even sweeter, but still manages to not be cloying, probably because it smells like fruit juice rather than candy, with notes of papaya, cherry, and lychees, with a woody and cocoa undertone and a delicate hint of cream.

Wow, just wow, this tea is sooo sweet! It is a bit mind boggling! It is very smooth in the mouth with a tiny bit of bright crispness at the finish that let’s you know there might be some tannins somewhere in this tea, but only a hint. It starts with papaya and lychee, then moves on to woody and creamy with cocoa undertones. The finish is a bit of autumn leaves and mineral. Then the real fun, the aftertaste on this tea goes on forever, super sweet tropical fruit creamy goodness that just does not quit.

Second steep, the aroma keeps up the intense sweetness, but it also has a distant floral note that took me forever to pin down, at first I thought maybe the spring flowers outside my window were playing with my sense of smell so I took the tea elsewhere to sniff where I was able to determine it has a subtle peony and plumeria notes. The taste also has a hint of that floral quality, it is almost ghostly dancing in and out of taste. The fruity and creamy cocoa notes stay strong, and woody notes become a little more pronounced, along with a mineral quality to the finish. The aftertaste is not quite as long lasting as the first steep, but it was still long lasting.

The third steep’s aroma has a stronger floral note, definitely picking up on that peony and plumeria, though it is woodier this steep, the cocoa notes are also more prominent. Wow, the mouthfeel on this steep is super smooth, which goes well with its nectar like sweetness. The tropical fruit notes are not as strong this steep, mostly the lychee note sticks around, it is joined by strong creamy cocoa and coconut water and a woody finish. The aftertaste is still strong but not as strong as previous steeps. And perfect timing, as I wrap this post up Mortal Kombat Top 8 is starting, so I shall take my tea and stare at the stream happily. Happy weekend everyone!

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2016/04/eco-cha-tea-club-batch-5-shanlinxi.html

Daylon R Thomas

Sounds so good.

TeaNecromancer

It is, I wish they had it in their shop because I am going to cry when I drink it all…and it will be soon since it is so yummy!

Daylon R Thomas

Good black teas are to be savored. I’d be upset as hell too. I even hesitate whenever I drink Mandala’s Milk. I could drink it all the time, but it is so expensive. I’ve been so tempted to join one of their clubs solely for their Alishan, Shan Lin Xi, and Lishan blacks. Plus I’m curious about their greener oolongs-which Luckyme will send a sample of to try.

TeaNecromancer

I really need to try more of Mandala’s teas, all I have had is their puerhs

Daylon R Thomas

There’s a reason why Mandala’s Milk Oolong is one of the top teas on here. It’s probably the best Milk that I’ve had thus far because of how naturally thick and sweet it is.

Daylon R Thomas

It’s just pricey-which is a given. The re-steep value makes up for it though.

Matt Warren

I just got this for my first Eco-Cha tea club shipment. At first I was like, what the hell? A black tea from my Taiwan Tea Club? Then I brewed it up. Outrageous. I can’t wait until next month.

TeaNecromancer

I know!! I hope we get more black teas, Taiwan’s black teas are a thing of magic :D Though of course I will be quite happy with all the oolongs too!

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