Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Concubine Oolong

Tea type
Oolong Tea
Oolong Tea Leaves
Apple, Cannabis, Caramel, Cinnamon, Toast, Wood, Cream, Flowers, Nuts
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Loose Leaf
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Edit tea info Last updated by Tea Pet
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 30 sec 5 g 8 oz / 225 ml

Available from 1 seller.

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13 Tasting Notes View all

From Eco-Cha Artisan Teas

Our tea mentors happened upon this batch of tea while tasting a farmer friend’s Shan Lin Xi high mountain spring tea. The farmer mentioned in passing that he had a batch of tea from the winter prior’s harvest that had been affected by this bug due to an oversight in not spraying a small section of his self-run farm. It is very rare to find winter tea produced in this fashion from a high elevation farm.

Flavor: Floral, heady aroma. Bold, rich, honey notes. Flowery, dry finish.

Garden: These leaves were cultivated by the same artisan who produced our Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Oolong. It’s a relatively small farm, managed by a husband and wife team who transformed their plot of virgin high mountain bamboo forest into a tea garden just ten years ago.

Harvest: Hand Picked. Small Batch. Winter 2011

Elevation: 1600m

About Eco-Cha Artisan Teas View company

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13 Tasting Notes

4833 tasting notes


Correction – I had written a tasting note for the Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Oolong … and put it under this listing: the Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Concubine Oolong. Oops! Since I don’t see a place where I can delete this tasting note, I’ll just submit this correction and write my thoughts on the Concubine now that I’ve tried it:

And even though the teas sound as though they are probably pretty similar in “name” they do taste different. This tea smells more vegetal, and the flavor is delicate, sweet, and tastes of vanilla, orchid and offers hints of vegetative taste. I taste notes of pine and delicious nutty flavors.

The concubine seems less astringent than the “non-concubine.”

Both are good, both are worthy a try, and I think that Oolong enthusiasts would love either of them.

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142 tasting notes

For 2014, this is a different tea, and I’m placing it here because the “High Mountain Concubine Oolong” description notes "This farm is located just across the valley and to the south of our Shan Lin Xi source, at about the same elevation. " It seems to be this year’s substitute offering. I was absolutely nutty over last year’s Shan Lin Xi version, and despite knowing full well that concubine tea is inherently a craps shoot year to year, I jumped in an ordered 150 grams (it worked out to about $60USD after discounts and shipping). I just have to say that was a mistake this year. I’ll certainly drink it, and not unhappily – it does have that character – but…the price is simply too much for something that doesn’t knock my socks off. It’s a pretty pale version of last year’s and not particularly special. I suppose it just adds to the suspense over next year’s batch, which I will absolutely still buy. No disrespect to Eco-Cha – I’d rather have a tea that really reflects the conditions on the ground than any sort of technologically standardized version. Not every year can be a winner.

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516 tasting notes

This is not the first time I’ve had this tea, but it’s the first time I’ve written a tasting note.

It’s really good. Sweet. A little floral. A touch almost nutty, but not really. Delicious.

I love oolong at work when things are awful here, because a good cup can keep me company all day. It provides comfort. Multiple infusions.

I’m doing this one western style today because I just don’t have time to deal with even my pseudo gongfu. It works. It works well.

But I think I will take this tea home so I can try it with my cute oolong clay pot. (My tea kitty also wants to drink some of this delicious tea.)

217 tasting notes

This is my second bug-bitten oolong, and since Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Oolong form Eco-Cha is one of my favorite teas, I’m excited to try this. After the rinse I get aromas of toast, apples, and cannabis. The main difference here from the other concubine oolong I had is that this one has been roasted more so I’m getting more toasted notes.

The taste is sweet and mellow, a wonderful honey and apple flavor with notes of toast. This tea is so sweet and tastes like candied apples with a bit of spice. It’s a real treat so far. The second steeping seems to release more spice-like notes of cinnamon to combine with the sweet apple tones. There are subtle woodsy tones in the background, but this tea is much less foresty all-around than the original Shan Lin Xi Oolong from Eco-Cha. The third and fourth steepings are similar and build on the richness of this tea.

Overall this is a very lovely tea. It doesn’t have the bright floral notes of a lot of similar oolongs, so it stays very mellow, rich and sweet. I really love this tea! I think it would make a really wonderful tea to drink in Autumn.

Steeped in a gaiwan: 15 seconds + 15 for repeat infusions, 194F/90C, 4.5g tea per 100ml water

Flavors: Apple, Cannabis, Caramel, Cinnamon, Toast, Wood

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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127 tasting notes

No time for a long log today so real quick review

Eco cha is my new favorite company enough said, this oolong was produced with incredible care every single leaf in my gaiwan was whole after brewing and some leaf sets had 4 leaves!! Literally never seen an entire unbroken leaf set come out of my gaiwan, ever. With all that being said it was on the lighter side taste wise I had purchased the summer harvest though but this being my first concubine i am not sure what to expect. Definite Gao Shan tea drunk in effect, threw the leaves in a cup of water in the fridge because didnt have time to finish the session so maybe I can get a grasp on the main flavor note after tasted it cold brewed. I look forward to experimenting with this one.

Tasting the light sweetness of carrots and roastiness of almonds with a hint of creaminess not as buttery or full bodied as their jin xuan but I was not in the mood for a “milk” oolong today anyways.

Flavors: Cream, Flowers, Nuts

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

The leaves sound gorgeous!

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253 tasting notes

I have grown weary of floral Oolongs so this is one of my last few that I have left to review. I’ll be back to you flowery ones someday, just exploring others for now lol.
That being said,,,,,this is a very good one!!!!!!!
The rolled green dry leaf is very toasty-smelling and it really entices you.
The liquor is golden colored and has a lovely floral scent.
The flavor has a lot going on!! There are flowers, cream, astringent notes, parsnip, a touch of roasted nut maybe a brazil nut? The floral and astringent notes are prominent though making this a nice, cleansing tea.
Very nice floral Oolong.

Flavors: Cream, Flowers

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 5 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

One of my all time favorites. This one inspires cravings.

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1122 tasting notes

A lovely, I can’t wait for spring tea! So much floral going on here, actually a whole yellow bouquet of orchid, osmanthus and tulip. Along with that, bit of a nutty earthy flavor and an interesting light astringency sweet creamy peachy taste. Totally a tea for a floral oolong lover!

Huge leaf too, very high quality tea! In fact, I had a HOLY HOOTS that’s a big leaf moment!

Full review and photos on my blog, The Oolong Owl

Boiling 7 g

Your big leaf moment cracked me up so much.

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1 tasting notes

Very nice. Smooth roasted pine nut notes on the first few steeps. Lots of subtle honey sweet flower flavors as the steeping continues. Hints of summer forest and manzanita flowers. Lovely yellow green liquor.

5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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593 tasting notes

I had quite the scare Friday night, I dropped my external hard drive and broke the casing, snapping the usb port off, meaning no access to my external hard drive. That is where I keep all my photos, because my computer has this weird quirk that if I try to edit, upload, or look at photos that are not on my external hard drive it causes my browser to crash. It drove me crazy, taking sometimes an hour just to add photos to a blog post, but there was an easy fix. I thought I would be able to get a replacement casing the next morning but Ben was too busy to take me to the store, and was not sure when he would have time. I was panicking because I wanted to update my blog, but he found time today and got me a spare casing in case of emergency. Hooray!

Today’s tea has a delightfully long name, Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Concubine Oolong by Eco-Cha Artisan Teas. This tea has a fascinating story behind it, its production depends on a small insect (a leaf hopper to be exact) biting the leaves of the tea causing the plant to have an immune response giving the tea a unique taste. This tea is slightly different than the other version of bug bitten tea, Oriental Beauty, by having the leaves tightly rolled rather than curled. The aroma is honey sweet with roasted almonds, sesame seeds, and pine nuts. It reminds me of a snack, specifically those delightful candies made from sesame seeds and honey that might be one of my favorite treats ever. This oolong is a great blend of sweetness and nuttiness, there is also a mild hint of peanut butter on the finish.

Brewing the leaves the aroma is still richly sweet but there are now sharp notes of fruit and osmanthus flowers with roasted nuts and a faint hint of lettuce. The liquid once poured off the leaves and out of the gaiwan after its short little steeping has floral notes and stewed veggies, specifically spinach though there is also notes of lettuce (though not stewed since who stews lettuce?) and the roasted nut aroma that has been present throughout.

The first steeping’s taste is quite rich with a creamy, almost oily mouthfeel. The taste is an intensely floral blend on osmanthus and gardenia. The floral tastes fades to roasted pine nuts and sorrel in the middle, that fades to a wildflower honey taste that lingers in the mouth.

The second steeping’s leaves have an incredibly floral aroma blending osmanthus and gardenia (so glad I bought osmanthus flower a while ago so I know what that smell is, it is very distinct!) The liquid is honey sweet with notes of osmanthus and roasted pine notes. The taste is intense! The mouth feel is dry in comparison to the first steep, the floral note is mostly osmanthus now, but the roasted nuts taste is the most prevalent. It fades to sorrel and ends on a faintly sweet note.

The third steeping has a crisp aroma of osmanthus and pine nuts, the liquid smells much the same as the leaves but with a touch more sweetness. The taste starts off with the roasted nuts and sorrel taste which fades to an osmanthus midtaste. There is an interesting finish blending honey sweet and slight sourness, similar to a citrus sourness but without the citrus taste. This tea is quite fascinating and complex, I have had many oolongs that have nutty, floral, or vegetal qualities, but never all of them at once and so distinct. Looks like being nibbled on by bugs really does make for a unique taste, this does not mean I will let mosquitoes bite me during the summer though.

Photos and Blog:

Flavors: Flowers, Nuts


You gotta love those leaf hoppers!


Leaf hoppers are so where it’s at!!

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

Agree! And so cute too :)

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