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2017 Winter Shan Lin Xi

Doug Palas 2017 High Mountain oolong tea Taiwan

The small island nation of Taiwan is dotted with several tea-producing mountains. During the 1970s and ‘80s, Taiwan’s tea growers experimented with the relationship between cultivar, process, and elevation. Elevations over 1000 meters above sea level certain varieties of tea to develop incredibly complex floral aromas and flavors that are attributed to slowed growth. Light oxidation, combined with light baking, further accentuates these incredible nuances in flavor and aroma.

This is our second offering this year from Shan Lin Xi. We also offered a spring harvested version of this tea. Comparatively the spring is lighter in body, and a bit more floral. Winter is more umami, and has a longer lingering aftertaste. Each is an excellent representation of the growing, but the differences demonstrate the subtle differences between harvests.

Winter Shan Lin Xi takes its name from the Shan Lin Xi growing area located in Nantou County, Taiwan. It sits at an elevation of 1200-1500 masl. Red, iron-rich soil develops very floral taste components. Geranium, orchid, and pine are pretty complex aromas on their own, but when they meld together they become even more nuanced. This golden amber infusion is loaded with flavors of umami, tropical fruit, and the fresh, floral flavors that contribute to the aroma.

Steeping Tips

The complexity of this tea is brought out best by using a gaiwan. Rinse 6 grams. Steep the first infusion for 60 seconds to allow the leaves to fully open using 210°F water. Steep the second and third infusions for 45 seconds apiece. Steep a fourth for 60 seconds.

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