Taiwan Shan Lin Xi Black Tea

Tea type
Black Tea
Ingredients
Black Tea Leaves
Flavors
Almond, Black Raspberry, Bread, Brown Sugar, Butter, Caramel, Cherry, Cinnamon, Cream, Dark Chocolate, Earth, Elderberry, Elderflower, Ginger, Grapes, Honey, Lychee, Malt, Maple Syrup, Mineral, Molasses, Orange Zest, Peach, Peanut, Pear, Plum, Potato, Red Apple, Sweet Potatoes, Violet, Bark, Blackberry, Chili, Cocoa, Eucalyptus, Floral, Forest Floor, Geranium, Lemon, Lemongrass, Menthol, Muscatel, Nutmeg, Orange, Osmanthus, Pine, Rainforest, Raspberry, Rose, Smooth, Spicy, Spring Water, Sweet, Tangy, Tannin, Tea, Vanilla, Wood
Sold in
Bulk, Loose Leaf
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by derk
Average preparation
6 g 4 oz / 118 ml

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3 Tasting Notes View all

  • “This was one of my recent sipdowns, coming from around a month or two ago. I wasn’t planning on reviewing this tea just yet, but Mean Baby, the naughtiest tortie in recorded history, decided to...” Read full tasting note
    88
  • “derk wrote such a well-crafted, detailed, accurate tasting note for this, I definitely can’t improve on it, but a few additional observations: a) It holds up to my sloppy, ham-handed handling....” Read full tasting note
  • “One small western cup left so it’s time to write a note! July 2020 harvest. Off the bat, the dry leaf scent recalls a memory. Pulling English ivy down from eucalyptus trees growing on steep...” Read full tasting note
    90

From What-Cha

Another high mountain Taiwanese black, it has a smooth floral taste with sweet hints and balsam notes.

The tea is quite light compared to typical black teas with a pleasant sweetness and not any malt or astringency.

A limited edition tea produced in very small quantities, I’ve ordered 1kg this year and probably will not be able to order any more until 2021 due to the limited seasonal nature.

Tasting Notes:
- Very smooth texture
- Complex taste which evolves
- Floral quality with notes of citrus, fruit and nut which develop with subsequent steeps

Harvest: Summer, July 2020

Origin: Shan Lin Xi, Nantou, Taiwan

Altitude: 1400-1500m

Cultivar: Qing Xin

Sourced: Direct from a Taiwanese wholesaler

Brewing Advice:
- Heat water to roughly 90°C/194°F
- Use 2-3 teaspoons per cup/small teapot
- Brew for 3-4 minutes

Packaging: Resealable ziplock bag

About What-Cha View company

Company description not available.

3 Tasting Notes

88
1045 tasting notes

This was one of my recent sipdowns, coming from around a month or two ago. I wasn’t planning on reviewing this tea just yet, but Mean Baby, the naughtiest tortie in recorded history, decided to wallow my current review notebook and rip more pages out of it. She nearly shredded the page containing this review, so I am now typing it from loose pieces of notebook paper that have been pressed back together. Anyway, I had huge expectations for this tea after being floored by What-Cha’s absolutely incredible Li Shan black tea. In comparison, this Shan Lin Xi black was not quite as good, but it was still a high quality offering with a ton to offer.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick 5 second rinse, I steeped 6 grams of the loose tea leaves in 4 fluid ounces of 194 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased by 17 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, and 10 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted aromas of honey, plum, black raspberry, bread, sweet potato, black grape, and cinnamon. After the rinse, aromas of roasted almond, roasted peanut, and roasted potato appeared. The first infusion added aromas of brown sugar and violet. In the mouth, the tea liquor offered notes of honey, roasted almond, sweet potato, pear, bread, roasted potato, plum, cream, and butter that were balanced by hints of roasted peanut, black grape, and brown sugar. The bulk of the subsequent infusions added aromas of dark chocolate, red apple, molasses, orange zest, lychee, malt, peach, pear, elderflower, and maple syrup to the tea’s bouquet. Stronger and more immediately notable impressions of roasted peanut and black grape emerged in the mouth alongside notes of minerals, red apple, caramel, rose, dark chocolate, orange zest, lychee, violet, malt, and elderflower. Subtle hints of cinnamon, ginger, earth, molasses, black cherry, black raspberry, peach, elderberry, and maple syrup could also be detected here and there. As the tea faded, the liquor continued to emphasize notes of minerals, butter, cream, bread, malt, roasted almond, roasted peanut, roasted potato, dark chocolate, caramel, and orange zest that were chased by elusive hints of brown sugar, honey, pear, earth, sweet potato, red apple, lychee, and maple syrup.

This was an interesting and satisfying tea with tremendous poise, depth, and complexity. I greatly admired the harmonious and sophisticated layering of its aromas and flavors and adored the smooth, silky, creamy texture of its liquor. At the same time, I was hoping for a little more longevity and a more dynamic presence in the mouth. I wanted more intensity, but this tea was consistently mellow, relaxed, and gentle. Perhaps my expectations were unfair. I often find myself wanting a little more out of teas from Shan Lin Xi, even those that I find to be very enjoyable, such as this one. Definitely try it if you are looking for an elegant Taiwanese black tea.

Flavors: Almond, Black Raspberry, Bread, Brown Sugar, Butter, Caramel, Cherry, Cinnamon, Cream, Dark Chocolate, Earth, Elderberry, Elderflower, Ginger, Grapes, Honey, Lychee, Malt, Maple Syrup, Mineral, Molasses, Orange Zest, Peach, Peanut, Pear, Plum, Potato, Red Apple, Sweet Potatoes, Violet

Preparation
6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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2647 tasting notes

derk wrote such a well-crafted, detailed, accurate tasting note for this, I definitely can’t improve on it, but a few additional observations:

a) It holds up to my sloppy, ham-handed handling. That’s saying something for a (borrowed phrase) “snoot tea” :)

b) I would never associate menthol or cooling properties to an unflavored black tea, but it has and it does.

c) It just flat smells lovely.

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90
1314 tasting notes

One small western cup left so it’s time to write a note! July 2020 harvest.

Off the bat, the dry leaf scent recalls a memory. Pulling English ivy down from eucalyptus trees growing on steep slopes in one of the coolest and dampest forested areas in San Francisco. A gem of a place, unvisited beyond a handful of local residents and the homeless who carved caves out of the Himalayan blackberry that had overgrown the lower slope of the area.

Do yourself a favor and brew this gongfu. Western steeps for me were too fickle. Some days they’d be a little too ‘tea’-like. Another time was one of the richest, sweetest cups I’d ever had. Every other time I was like, “This is some good tea, but it’s missing something?”

Gongfu is more consistent and offers a more explosive ginger/chili/menthol heating-cooling and intense honey-brown sugar returning sweetness. I find the aroma is more complex than the taste, especially so when it comes to the retronasal activity of the aftertaste, but not to any detriment. It all works together very well. There’s a ton of bug-bitten (is the elevation too high for this to happen?) juicy richness to this tea being a summer harvest, along with some classic baking spice-cinnamon. Plenty of rosewood and a hint of smooth malt in the bottom notes and rose florality higher up. Enough tannins to keep the flavor from being a sugar bomb. The aftertaste really blooms with those spiced honey notes and fruity muscatel-grape must tones. The session ends on a bright note with plenty of lemon pulp and malt-wood to the taste. I feel like I’m drinking an actual tea bush from the misty slopes of Shanlinxi (there goes my imagination again). This tea has terroir. Sorry for using a tea snoot word, but it’s true.

Dang. Taiwan puts out some amazing black teas.

Flavors: Bark, Blackberry, Brown Sugar, Cherry, Chili, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Eucalyptus, Floral, Forest Floor, Geranium, Ginger, Honey, Lemon, Lemongrass, Malt, Menthol, Mineral, Muscatel, Nutmeg, Orange, Osmanthus, Pine, Rainforest, Raspberry, Rose, Smooth, Spicy, Spring Water, Sweet, Tangy, Tannin, Tea, Vanilla, Wood

Leafhopper

You’ve made me want to try my 25 g package of this tea!

gmathis

This does sound nice.

derk

Hope you enjoy, Leafhopper :)

Daylon R Thomas

Now you’ve encouraged me to write about this one too. I’ve been avoiding it because of the fickleness and I’m not sure how to write about it without it being boring. I personally liked the Li Shan Black more since this feels more like an early fall kindof tea than an everyday one. The tannins are a little too strong or drying for me western if I over leaf it, but works out okay if I am careful with the leaf when I tumbler it for 4 g. Gong fu was a lot more complex-I would get a mix of blackberry, honey, spices, wood and a weird “orange and purple” vibe with it-like there’s a mix of orange and purple fruits in the taste that I couldn’t peg down exactly. Either way, your note nails it and was fun to read!

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