drank Shan Lin Xi by Seattle Best Tea
19 tasting notes

I’ve had a fair number of Taiwanese oolongs, and I have never had a tea I liked more than this. Nothing even close. It’s a green, small-leafed beaded oolong, and doesn’t have a remarkable dry leaf odor, but after steeping- ooooh, after steeping. It’s almost-but-not-quite creamy, with a slight astringency and pretty, goldenrod liquor. But more than anything, it’s so incredibly floral, like perfume, but if perfume were actually nice. I shared it with a relative, who insisted it must be scented with gardenia, which it is not. It’s a pleasure to breathe in and even better to drink. The mouthfeel is smooth, and the cup smells lovely after you’ve sipped the tea from it. It is, however, really easy to brew it not-quite-right and end up with a good, but not mindblowing cup aof tea. I sort of enjoy this, however, as it gives me a goal of perfection to work towards. I’m incredibly cheap about tea, but this is one I’ll shamelessly spend too much money on, because it’s just exactly what I want.

180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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I live with my paternal family on a small, family-owned alpaca farm in the Pacific Northwest. I’ve been drinking tea, not considering tisanes, since I was relatively small and first allowed caffeine. Here, we are lucky enough to have two lovely, non-chlorinated wells, so I have relatively unlimited access to nice water that doesn’t influence the taste of my tea, and it certainly feels like a privilege. I prepare tea gong fu style, sometimes with an Yixing pot, and sometimes with a small porcelain pot or gaiwan, as that works best for many of my greener oolongs. I love learning, talking about and making tea.
One of my favorite things about making gaoshan oolongs is the focus and care that takes to make them truly shine. If I’m having a rough day, I can sit down and just focus on the time, temperature of the teaware, etc, and it is completely distracting from whatever is upsetting me.
I think that, however, the most fun is in trying new teas (particularly oolongs; they’re just too wonderful) and working with them to learn how to make them taste their best.
I had a job at the island’s tea shop for a while, and enjoyed the opportunity to learn and teach about teas, and to taste anything I wanted of the stock.


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