Shan Lin Xi Winter Sprout

Tea type
Oolong Tea
Ingredients
Oolong Tea Leaves
Flavors
Cotton Candy, Brown Sugar, Caramel, Kettle Corn, Broccoli, Cinnamon, Ginger, Grass, Lime, Menthol, Orange Zest, Spices, Spinach, Camphor, Creamy, Flowers, Honey, Passion Fruits, Pecan, Pine
Sold in
Loose Leaf
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Pithy
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec 5 g 11 oz / 327 ml

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5 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Among my favorites, this winter sprout tastes unmistakably like cotton candy. Not that it’s super sweet; it’s literally the flavor of cotton candy. And it’s very forgiving of temperature, even...” Read full tasting note
    80
  • “This tea was sweet like a baked good, hits you in the face with wonderful notes of brown sugar, cornbread, caramel, etc. The downside is it only survives 2 or 3 infusions. I can see why it has a...” Read full tasting note
    83
  • “This is the winter sprout from 2014 (I need to note this as Song currently has their 2015 winter sprout available). Subtle oolong flavor with a slight sweetness to it, almost berry-like. I suppose...” Read full tasting note
    89
  • “Arguably one of the most sophisticated teas I have had the pleasure to try. I received this as a gift and decided to try it in three steepings, per the previous review. It did not disappoint,...” Read full tasting note
    96

From Song Tea & Ceramics

Winter Sprout was picked from a garden 1500m above sea level. Crafted of leaves that sprouted during a warm snap in winter, and subsequently matured very slowly under cold and harsh conditions. Notes of caramelized ginger, kettle corn and cotton candy.

6g / 150ml / 205F / 1 min

About Song Tea & Ceramics View company

Company description not available.

5 Tasting Notes

80
39 tasting notes

Among my favorites, this winter sprout tastes unmistakably like cotton candy. Not that it’s super sweet; it’s literally the flavor of cotton candy. And it’s very forgiving of temperature, even given how green it is. I used to be very careful with cooling the water to 205, but I’ve found you can just throw boiling water on and get what are arguably more interesting experiences out of it.

Flavors: Cotton Candy

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec 6 g 5 OZ / 160 ML

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83
203 tasting notes

This tea was sweet like a baked good, hits you in the face with wonderful notes of brown sugar, cornbread, caramel, etc. The downside is it only survives 2 or 3 infusions. I can see why it has a cult following, especially among Westerners with more of a sweet tooth. (2016 harvest)

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Caramel, Kettle Corn

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89
136 tasting notes

This is the winter sprout from 2014 (I need to note this as Song currently has their 2015 winter sprout available). Subtle oolong flavor with a slight sweetness to it, almost berry-like. I suppose this is the kettle corn flavor they mention in their notes, but it’s coming across as more of a fruity sweetness to me. Very mild, delicate flavor, and the scent of the dry leaves is lovely. I had several steepings, I think maybe five or six, and the flavor held up well, not transforming really, but just intensifying a little with each steep. Could be because I kept increasing brewing time.

Preparation
4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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96
14 tasting notes

Arguably one of the most sophisticated teas I have had the pleasure to try. I received this as a gift and decided to try it in three steepings, per the previous review. It did not disappoint, although I had drastically different, pleasant notes!

On the first steeping, I noticed tingly, mentholated noted alongside the pine and grassy flavors of the oolong, less creaminess and more of a citrus-forward scent and flavor, with notes of tangerine, yuzu, kefir lime, and green grass on the nose. The flavor was abuzz and left my tongue on fire with a panoply of flavors that lasted on the palate for a while. Per the instructions, I steeped this for one minute with 6g at 205 degrees.

I steeped my second round for two minutes and noticed more gentle flavors that aligned more with the tasting notes on the package- spun sugar, light pickled ginger at the forefront with a slight herbaceous flavor on the back palate and a hint of Asian spices. Still strong on the second steeping although I was conservative with my measurements as this is a tea I wish to savor.

The third steeping was more aggressively saline than the last two. It loses most of the sweetness from the first two steepings but retains the light vegetal flavors characteristic of the leaves- spinach, broccoli, and a light brown sugar note. Each sip is round and full. I don’t know if using a slightly more modified concentration of water to tea would accommodate for more steepings, but for this amount it was a highly pleasurable experience. This is a tea I will enjoy for a long time to come- a definite bucket list steep.

Flavors: Broccoli, Brown Sugar, Cinnamon, Ginger, Grass, Lime, Menthol, Orange Zest, Spices, Spinach

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec 6 g 32 OZ / 946 ML

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97
306 tasting notes

The scent of these large rolled tea leaves is fruity, nutty, and creamy. Shan Lin Xi is my favorite region for rolled oolong, so I’m excited to try this winter picked variety. An initial infusion really opens up the aroma of the leaves, and it’s incredibly fragrant, with plentiful bouquets of flower scents and a very forward plum aroma.

The first infusion is very rich and sweet, the predominant fruit note being of nectarine with a long lingering passion fruit flavor. At the front of the sip is also a creamy nutty taste that reminds me of pecan.

The second infusion has more of the evergreen forest notes I usually pick up in Shan Lin Xi, while the taste is still creamy and quite floral now. The aftertaste is peachy. The aroma is floral and camphor.

The third infusion is much more mellowed, with a honeyed taste and a bit of a camphor or clove note in the back of the throat. This infusion is a really enjoyable an subtle wind-down from the bursting and fragrant second infusion.

The fourth infusion has receded to a much more subtle creamy flavor with a lingering floral aftertaste. The fifth is even more subtle, and sweeter.

I don’t see this tea pushing out many more infusions with substantial flavor, but every one of them has been top notch. It tastes so clean. This is one of the best rolled oolong teas I’ve had!

Flavors: Camphor, Creamy, Flowers, Honey, Passion Fruits, Pecan, Pine

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 45 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Red Fennekin

Sounds amazing :O

Single Origin Teas

Glad you enjoyed it!

Lion

This tea also taught me what a difference a brewing vessel can make. I brewed this the first time in a 80ml sized white jade porcelain gaiwan, almost eggshell thin. When I tried some more of this tea in a small 100ml gongfu teapot with slightly thicker walls, it came out with really muddled flavors and a dryer texture. The overall effect is sort of just “nutty, vegetal” with a bit of astringency in the finish. Had I brewed it this way to begin with, I’d have thought it wasn’t very good tea. Don’t let anyone tell you Gongfu brewing is easy! It can really produce very different results depending on your approach.

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