Shan Lin Xi means “Pine Forest Stream”, named for the region this tea is grown. I learned this after doing a little research online. Not surprisingly, I already had this image in my mind, as the aroma and taste of this tea evokes thoughts of pine trees damp with mountain rain.
The aroma seems to me an infusion of pine and rose. On the first couple steepings, the flavor starts with sweet rose and pine notes then gradates to a malty taste, then finally it finishes in a very peculiar aftertaste that is slightly astringent and I’d even say a little salty. It really lingers on your tongue. By third steeping the flavor has deepened away from the heady floral notes and down to a more fruity pear-like taste. The transition to the more malty taste is less pronounced and overall the flavor is more mellow, less astringent, and the aftertaste has become a bit tangy.
This tea is incredibly calming and definitely brings to mind thoughts of the outdoors, so for that alone this tea has value to me. It’s like a fine incense that transports you out of the confines of your dwelling and into the open air of nature. I am very impressed by the changing flavor and the complexity and highly recommend this Wulong. My only regret is that I didn’t think to use my aroma cup sets that are typically used to enjoy Taiwanese Wulong. Luckily Steepster Select sends two samples.
As for brewing, I decided to ignore the recommended brewing strategy on the sample and brewed it the way I brew most rolled green Wulongs, so I brewed this in a porcelain gaiwan for just 1’00, adding 0’30 for each additional infusion. I used 4.5g of leaf per 100ml of water and 194F/90C water.