Finally giving it some attention, I upped the grams to 7 and lowered the water volume to roughly 2-3oz in my clay shiboridashi at 195 F.

Here’s the intervals so far: 15, 20, 10, 15, 10, 10, 15, 20, 25, 10, flash steep, and 3 minutes and I’m continuing to drink it now as I write.

More flavor came through this time, leaning heavy into melon in the aroma and the taste in later steeps. Floral as ever, very heavy in the honeysuckle and plumeria territory. Unlike a lot of other lishans, this one leans more into a even steamed milk flavor than a fruity or floral forward one in longer steeps, but the shorter steeps do the tea a huge flavor with the ratio I’ve got right now. Earlier steeps in the session were also generally milkier and more soft white, yellow, and purple florals, but the vanilla character as well as the honeydew melon and pear are extremely pronounced in the second 10 second range of flash steeps, and push the temperature into the higher 190s.

The accidental three minute one was a little too bitter and spinachy, but retained the tropical florals and pushed the tea into a condensed milk profile mid-sip. It wasn’t perfect and a little too green that way, but the complexity wasn’t lost thankfully.

As of now, I am mostly getting melon. Aroma throughout this session has shifted and actually caramelized into a fesh sugariness you get from dried pineapple or fruit in the spell. Maybe sugarcane is a better descriptor, because the tea is still green and partly vegetal. Either way, I know I can keep brewing this one for at least two more brews before it loses lustre.

In terms of rating, I’m still undecided. I would have initially leaned more into the 80s at first, but the much stricter gong fu parameters and short steeps made a huge difference . The western style sessions have more balance/dimension than normal oolongs, and definitely more complex than some Jin Xuans or Four Seasons that have a similar grass creamer, distinctly Taiwanese oolong flavor. My pickiness stems more from the fact that I’ve had a lot of Taiwanese Lishans and have a little bit of prejudice towards certain teas and price ranges, but I really am enjoying this company, and I do think the tea is very smooth and good.

I can easily see people newly getting into higher priced Taiwanese oolong really liking it because it’s so balanced and sweet compared to other teas, and of course any oolong lover, though they might be more nit picking about flavor. Right now, I’m going to rate this one an 85 because I’m between liking and loving it.

Flavors: Apple, Butter, Cream, Creamy, Floral, Green, Lettuce, Melon, Milk, Pear, Plumeria, Soft, Spinach, Sugarcane, Vanilla

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First Off, Current Targets:

Whispering Pines Alice
Good Luxurious Work Teas
Wang Family’s Jasmine Shanlinxi
Spring, Winter Taiwan High Mountain Oolongs

Dislikes: Heavy Tannin, Astringency, Bitterness, or Fake Flavor, Overly herby herbal or aged teas

Picky with: Higher Oxidation Oolongs, Red Oolongs (Some I love, others give me headaches or are almost too sweet), Mint Teas

Currently, my stash is overflowing. Among my favorites are What-Cha’s Lishan Black, Amber Gaba Oolong, Lishan Oolong, Qilan Oolong, White Rhino, Kenya Silver Needle, Tong Mu Lapsang Black (Unsmoked); Whispering Pines Alice, Taiwanese Assam, Wang’s Shanlinxi, Cuifeng, Dayuling, Jasmine Shan Lin Xi; Beautiful Taiwan Tea Co.“Old Style” Dong Ding, Mandala Milk Oolong; Paru’s Milk Oolong


I am an MSU graduate, and current alternative ed. high school social studies and history teacher. I formerly minored in anthropology, and I love Egyptian and classical history. I love to read, write, draw, paint, sculpt, fence(with a sword), practice calisthenics on rings, lift weights, workout, relax, and drink a cuppa tea…or twenty.

I’ve been drinking green and black teas ever since I was little living in Hawaii. Eastern Asian influence was prominent with my friends and where I grew up, so I’ve been exposed to some tea culture at a young age. I’ve come a long way since I began on steepster and now drink most teas gong fu, especially oolong. Any tea that is naturally creamy, fruity, or sweet without a lot of added flavoring ranks as a must have for me. I also love black teas and dark oolongs with the elusive “cocoa” note. My favorites are lighter Earl Greys, some white teas like What-Cha’s Kenyan offerings, most Hong-Cha’s, darker Darjeelings, almost anything from Nepal, Green Shan Lin Xi’s, and Greener Dong Dings. I’m in the process of trying Alishan’s. I also tend to really enjoy Yunnan Black or Red teas and white teas. I’m pickier with other teas like chamomile, green teas, and Masalas among several.

I used to give ratings, but now I only rate teas that have a strong impression on me. If I really like it, I’ll write it down.

I’ll enjoy a tea almost no matter what, even if the purpose is more medicinal, for it is my truest vice and addiction.


Michigan, USA

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