Taiwan Wild 'Shan Cha' Black Tea

Tea type
Black Tea
Ingredients
Black Tea Leaves
Flavors
Bark, Black Currant, Blackberry, Butter, Caramel, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Drying, Floral, Fruity, Geranium, Ginger, Green Wood, Lemon, Malt, Maple Syrup, Menthol, Mineral, Muscatel, Pine, Plum, Rainforest, Squash, Strawberry, Tangy, Almond, Blueberry, Bread, Candy, Cream, Earth, Grapes, Honey, Lemon Zest, Nutmeg, Orange, Peanut, Pear, Raspberry, Sweet Potatoes, Sweet, Yams, Fruit Tree Flowers, Sage, Thick
Sold in
Loose Leaf
Caffeine
High
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Shae
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec 4 g 7 oz / 221 ml

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12 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Shae! Thank you so much for the sample! The hotel ran out of hot water in the breakfast area. I didn’t feel like waiting so I just put cold water in. Even cold steeped the notes come out fairly...” Read full tasting note
    95
  • “July 2020 harvest This tea would be a delight for flavor-focused drinkers, new and seasoned alike. It has all the right malty-but-not-heavy, fruity and baking spice notes, along with a strong...” Read full tasting note
    78
  • “(Moving a note to the correct tea. I got my shan’s mixed up.) The scent of this long-leafed delectation alone is swoon-worthy. There. I used a big word. Now back to my regular wonky vocabulary. It...” Read full tasting note
  • “This was another of my sipdowns from either March or April. As a matter of fact, I am pretty certain that I finished and reviewed this tea immediately after the China Fujian Non-Smoky Lapsang...” Read full tasting note
    93

From What-Cha

A sweet blackberry aroma coupled with a smooth honey sweet taste and spicy blackberry notes.

A most unique tea which is indigenous to Taiwan and still grows wild in certain areas. It is rarely sold as the plant loses it’s distinct characteristics when cultivated and so the only tea production is from the surviving wild growing bushes.

Tasting Notes:
- Sweet aroma with notes of blackberry
- Smooth honey sweet taste with spicy blackberry notes

Origin: Yuchi Township, Nantou County, Taiwan
Altitude: 500-600m
Producer: Mr. Pong
Sourced: Specialist Taiwanese tea wholesaler

Cultivar: Shan Cha (wild growing tea bush indigenous to Taiwan)
Picking: Hand

Brewing Advice:
- Heat water to roughly 90°C/194°F
- Use 2 teaspoons per cup/small teapot
- Brew for 2-3 minutes

https://what-cha.com/products/taiwan-wild-shan-cha-black-tea

About What-Cha View company

Company description not available.

12 Tasting Notes

95
853 tasting notes

Shae! Thank you so much for the sample! The hotel ran out of hot water in the breakfast area. I didn’t feel like waiting so I just put cold water in. Even cold steeped the notes come out fairly quickly. Chocolate notes, baked vegetal notes, squash, slight woodsy notes. This very much reminds me of the New Zealand black. The aroma of the wet leaf PEPPER! Sorry. I smelled it a second time just now and it reminded me of raw orange and yellow peppers. Also a mic of earth, wet twigs, and something herbacous I can’t quite put my finger on… Can’t wait to see how this one unfolds when it’s hot.

Shae

I haven’t tried this one yet – it sounds really complex!

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78
1251 tasting notes

July 2020 harvest

This tea would be a delight for flavor-focused drinkers, new and seasoned alike. It has all the right malty-but-not-heavy, fruity and baking spice notes, along with a strong florality that melds with those notes so well that it may be imperceptible. While the tea itself doesn’t have a lot of flavor beyond tanginess, the aromatics absolutely coat every surface of the mouth and into nose. That’s where the beauty of this tea lies. I swallow and the vibrant, complex aroma just lingers forever, transforming wildly over the minutes.

I’ve drank this tea both western and gongfu and my experience says western doesn’t do this tea justice. It still has all the notes, however a bit muddled and it must be steeped with more leaf than you’d think based on the aroma of the dry leaf alone. Either method doesn’t seem to amplify the body of the tea, though. It is always medium-bodied. This tea can take boiling water. Wait until it cools for a bit like an Assam black tea to be able to fully taste what it has to offer.

The one thing that keeps me from repurchasing this tea is that I am, without fail, grumpy after drinking it; that or I drink it when I’m unaware that I’m in a foul mood and having a cup of tea brings brings it to light. Either way, I don’t think it complements my constitution. It is a fairly cooling tea, and the feel and flavor profile speak to me as an early fall brew when warm days can still surprise.

I’ve had the Camellia formosensis species processed as an oolong that was not much to my tastes. If this Wild ‘Shan Cha’ is of the same species, I’m inclined to say that black tea processing does the species a great favor.

Flavors: Bark, Black Currant, Blackberry, Butter, Caramel, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Drying, Floral, Fruity, Geranium, Ginger, Green Wood, Lemon, Malt, Maple Syrup, Menthol, Mineral, Muscatel, Pine, Plum, Rainforest, Squash, Strawberry, Tangy

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2593 tasting notes

(Moving a note to the correct tea. I got my shan’s mixed up.)

The scent of this long-leafed delectation alone is swoon-worthy. There. I used a big word. Now back to my regular wonky vocabulary. It smelled like fresh-baked pumpkin bread or gingerbread as it steeped. The sweet bread vibe continues in the cup, with something deliciously rich and fruity going on. Essence of stewed sweet black cherries, maybe, that stays in your mouth long after each sip.

Dearest derk, thank you for a tea to think about!

Evol Ving Ness

Wow, this one sounds very lovely.

gmathis

Other reviews don’t mention precisely the same flavor tones that I do, but “fruity” does seem to be a common denominator.

CrowKettle

Mmm, Wild Shan Cha’s are usually wonderful.

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93
1031 tasting notes

This was another of my sipdowns from either March or April. As a matter of fact, I am pretty certain that I finished and reviewed this tea immediately after the China Fujian Non-Smoky Lapsang Souchong, but I could be wrong about that. Anyway, I found this to be an excellent Taiwanese black tea. To be honest, I am rarely if ever truly disappointed with this type of tea, but this one still struck me as being a great offering.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a brief rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 194 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased by 19 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 9 seconds, 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, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, and 20 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves presented aromas of honey, baked bread, sweet potato, cinnamon, blueberry, blackberry, and strawberry. After the rinse, I detected new aromas of roasted peanut, roasted almond, cream, and butter. The first infusion introduced aromas of candied orange, raspberry, geranium, and black grape. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of candied orange, butter, cream, baked bread, and roasted peanut that were balanced by hints of roasted almond, blackberry, raspberry, sweet potato, Asian pear, blueberry, green wood, and plum. The bulk of the subsequent infusions coaxed out aromas of Asian pear, caramel, green wood, menthol, and plum. Notes of honey and black grape appeared in the mouth alongside stronger and more immediately evident notes of roasted almond, blackberry, sweet potato, Asian pear, green wood, and plum. I also detected notes of minerals, caramel, malt, lemon zest, and menthol as well as hints of earth, cocoa, cinnamon, geranium, strawberry, and nutmeg. As the tea faded, the liquor emphasized lingering notes of minerals, candied orange, plum, black grape, green wood, butter, and lemon zest that were chased by hints of caramel, malt, baked bread, roasted almond, Asian pear, cocoa, blackberry and earth, as well as a slight touch of menthol after the swallow.

This was a very complex yet approachable Taiwanese black tea. The tea liquor produced great body and texture in the mouth. Throughout my lengthy gongfu session, it also remained more or less perfectly balanced. While I do wish that some of the fruitier aromas and flavors had been a little clearer and more assertive in places, that is a fairly minor complaint as this was a fantastic offering overall.

Flavors: Almond, Blackberry, Blueberry, Bread, Butter, Candy, Caramel, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Cream, Earth, Geranium, Grapes, Green Wood, Honey, Lemon Zest, Malt, Menthol, Mineral, Nutmeg, Orange, Peanut, Pear, Raspberry, Strawberry, Sweet Potatoes

Preparation
6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
Nattie

I love Taiwanese blacks. This one sounds fantastic!

Kawaii433

Omgosh, this one sounds lovely.

eastkyteaguy

This one is a truly great tea and seems to be consistent in quality from year to year. In terms of look, aroma, flavor and mouthfeel, I find that it sits comfortably between a Yu Chi Assam and a Yu Chi Red Jade. It’s not as heavy and minty as a typical Red Jade black tea, but it also is not quite as bready and malty as a Taiwanese Assam.

Nattie

Okay, I’ve added it to my wishlist. Quit selling it to me already :P

eastkyteaguy

Well, now I have to figure out a way to keep selling it.

eastkyteaguy

Oh, the tea liquor is very attractive too. It’s a very rich, clear amber. It looks almost like wildflower honey.

Nattie

Lol, I am too weak to hear this.

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66 tasting notes

Bought this for the blackberry note, but the yam and honey taste was the most prevalent thing in the liquor. It has a lingering sweetness that sticks in your throat after you swallow and that pleasantly funky flavor and aroma that all Taiwan blacks seem to have. Almost like the old paper in an ancient book that aged out of the musty stage. Starting to think that Taiwan blacks aren’t for me because of this note, but that’s alright, this one was a pleasant experience.

Flavors: Honey, Sweet, Yams

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec 2 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

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306 tasting notes

I bought this tea as a curio due to it being a wild cultivar and described as having a strong blackberry note. Brewing this gongfu style, after the first infusion the wet leaves smell unmistakably fruity, like blackberries, black plums, and figs. The color of the first infusion is a rich amber color and I’m really looking forward to tasting it.

The flavor of the first infusion is really unique. The brewed tea tastes kind of leafy (almost in the way that shiso or mint leaves taste, but without the distinct flavors of shiso or mint, if that makes sense). It’s mellow, sweet, and smooth, with a mulberry-like flavor (rather than blackberry). The aftertaste is sweet and reminds me of spices (cinnamon, clove). Second infusion is more of the same with a much more rich flavor. This tea has a bit of a dry finish to it, but it’s still very pleasant. Later infusions have a bit of that autumn leaf pile quality that some good white peony teas have.

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94
358 tasting notes

Black tea is not necessarily a regular in my tea consumption schedule, but I’ve been trying to explore more lately and I am really glad that this is one of the ones that I decided to try out, because it is fantastic.

The leaves of this tea have the sweet aroma of maple syrup and blueberries, which grows even more welcoming once steeped. And the taste itself does not betray the aroma. It’s sweet, smooth and fruity, with a hint of malt in the finish.

I liked this one so much that I made it a point to stock up on more while I could, and it is now my main go-to when I’m in the mood for a black tea.

Flavors: Blueberry, Fruity, Malt, Maple Syrup, Sweet

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92
21 tasting notes

You know all those time you read tea reviews and tasting notes, and find that the flavours descriptions are all exaggerated. Yeah well, this is not one of those times! Yams and blueberries. I honestly had a hard time believing this wasn’t a flavored and sweetened tea. I felt like someone had thrown in a spoonful of blueberry jam while I wasn’t looking.

This is very light for a black tea and a whole different animal from what I was expecting. 3g in 250ml for 3 minutes, followed by 4 minutes and then 5 minutes. Will definitely order again.

Flavors: Blueberry, Fruit Tree Flowers, Yams

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 g 8 OZ / 250 ML
Fjellrev

Oh wow, you’ve sold me on this one. Onto the wish list it goes.

Sqt

You know what makes it even better? This particular tea is 25% off this month. I plan to order another 200g.

Fjellrev

I see that! Told myself not to make more orders but this is hard to resist.

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94
1513 tasting notes

I’m not surprised I’m upping the rating. I accidentally over steeped it for about 3 minutes and 15 sec in my French Press, and the result was a sticky and sweet blackberry concoction of slightly spicy notes. How they sang from the body was incredible, making this 22-year-old virgin silently mouth carnal exclamations that he could only imagine. Go two and three did not have the same honey sweet ecstasy, though number two’s blackberry sage notes rose back up as the liquor cooled. Number three was a pale ghost of the black tea that it was – even after eight minutes steeping. Yet the memory of the first experience remained as an unfortunate reminder that it was a one morning stand. Perhaps we could meet again in the future, but what could a student teacher really afford at this time? Til the next sippin’…

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92
338 tasting notes

I really didnt want any black tea, malt is not my thing at all. so much tea with ‘golden’ in the title lying around not being finished I try not to buy any more. But this one came recommended from Alistair, and I liked the description so I went for some – & really glad I did.

Possibly one of the nicest black teas I have tried. It has a fruity blackberry taste & aroma, with honey-sweet smoothness, & an slight oily leaf taste reminiscent of wuyi yancha running through it. In fact it has the taste of a steeped wuyi, you know when the roast has gone and you are left with the leafy taste (in a good way?) it kinda has that, under the bolder black tea taste. It also has a nice tongue-whetting aspect from the sweetness.

If you like the other smoother black teas that what-cha have/had (the georgian one springs to mind) or just want something slightly different from the usual golden malty blacks, you should consider trying this, the blackberry fruit really lifts it into special territory.

I have been drinking it gongfu, but I’m pretty sure a well made cup of this would sing at the right times.

Flavors: Blackberry, Green Wood, Honey

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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