Preface: This summer I tried a variety of gao shan samples from Origin Tea via a sampling round hosted by Tea Chat. Recently, I received a sampling round of similar specimens from Teavivre, so I decided to post the notes on Origin’s teas first to determine a baseline.
I am the biggest fan of this Shan Lin Xi. I found its aroma the most interesting, with this undertone that reminded me of apple skins. To me, it had a most interesting huigan, although its aftertaste was outmatched by the Lishan samples. I also loved the Shan Lin Xi’s buttery textures that lasted throughout the entire session, and its multi-faceted textural form, rapidly evolving from opening to finish.
The dry leaves are very sweet-smelling and highly floral. Sizes are varied and all leaves are rolled somewhat loosely, with some leaf fuzz on a few, a high gloss, and each stem clearly apparent. Wet leaf aroma is powerful and wafting, with a certain vegetal pungency and stone fruit sweetness. In contrast, the liquor has a faint aroma, nearly absent. Liquor is bright and has excellent clarity. The mouthfeel is buttery smooth and presents a long-lasting, sweet aftertaste right from the start. The empty cup scent is subtle, with a low roasty, sugary scent.
The form is complex and entirely unique. It begins with a sweet, floral smoothness, proceeding with a deeper smoothness and gao shan characteristic complexity, with deep, vegetal sweetness. Towards the end of the development, greener qualities shine through, with a faint tartness in the rear of throat. Each sip finishes with a very sweet-tasting and cool-feeling mouthfeel, which quickly transforms into a stone-fruit, gao shan aftertaste with potent huigan.