Li Shan Black Tea

Tea type
Black Tea
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Baked Bread, Malt, Sweet, Brown Sugar, Burnt Sugar, Cinnamon, Dried Fruit, Floral, Sweet Potatoes, Flowers, Honey, Honeysuckle, Peach, Stonefruits, Wood, Fruity
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Loose Leaf
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Edit tea info Last updated by Green Terrace Teas
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 15 sec 3 g 8 oz / 249 ml

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From Green Terrace Teas

Our founder’s favorite tea – this is a rare and unique cultivar available only in Taiwan. Grown at elevations of over 2,000 meters, our spring harvest is both exquisite and complex in character. Non-astringent and mildly sweet, this black tea has floral and fruity undertones with notes of peach and honey. Its aroma of sweet, ripe fruit is strong and noticeable instantly after the leaves come in contact with hot water. If you’ve never had a quality black tea before, this variety is a must try. Best brewed with multiple, short infusions.

Chinese Name: 梨山紅茶

Origin/ Harvest: Lishan, Heping District, Taichong City, Taiwan 台灣台中市和平區梨山村 / Spring 2014

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31 Tasting Notes

289 tasting notes

Oh this is delicious! It’s light, malty, bready and sweet. I love it. I could see this being a go to black tea.

This deserves a better tasting note, but I just want to say how fabulous it is so I remember to try it again sooooon!

Flavors: Baked Bread, Malt, Sweet

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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28 tasting notes

Nice cup of tea. I like it better than the Honey Black tea made by the same company. A little bit more complex.

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1290 tasting notes

Queued post, written July 19th 2014

Here is the second of the three teas that Green Terrace Teas shared with me in exchange for reviews. This one I shared with Husband, so I’ve used almost the entire sample. There’s a bit left, and I’m a little concerned about whether it would have been better to use the whole thing. I think it’s only enough for half of one of my one-cup pots. Oh well. I’m sure I can burn that particular bridge when I cross it.

In an effort to not waste any, I poured the entire pot into two mugs. In other words I did something that I haven’t actually done in a good while. I poured an Ang. Hurray surface tension. And saucers.

Given how strong the honey black was, I thought this was probably the same story. Other people’s posts only confirmed this, so I decided it must be a suitable choice for the first tea of the day. My nose now tells me I was correct.

I can smell a lot of things in here. It strikes me as quite a complicated aroma. There is raisin and something dairy-y right at first. I mean, it doesn’t smell like dairy, but rather like there might have been dairy added to it. Milk or cream, pick your preference (mine is neither, or if anything, milk). Next layer has grain and wood in it, reminding me strongly of all my favourite Chinese blacks, and then finally I feel like I’m catching a small whiff of something cocoa-y and a bit tart, like fruit that isn’t ripe yet. This last layer, though, I’m not certain if it’s really there or if I’m looking too hard. Either way, there is a LOT going on here.

First note I find in the flavour is wood. If you remember my post about the honey black I tried to describe the look of the wood it reminded me of, but I didn’t know what sort of tree made wood that looks like that. I still don’t know anything about that, but this wood note is the same kind of wood. This is the primary note at the first sip.

If I slurp when I drink, I also get that dairy-y feeling a bit and at the back of my throat a feeling like the one cocoa notes usually give me. I don’t actually taste cocoa, so that fits well with how uncertain I was about it in the aroma.

As I drink, a grain note becomes more and more apparent. It’s even a little bit smoky, reminding me of keemun. That’s one of my favourite things, so this makes me happy.

The raisins and the unripe fruit show up a little later. This is one of those teas that you shouldn’t drink quickly because it keeps evolving in the cup as it cools. It has already changed this much and I’m only a centimeter down in the cup. The vast majority of the tea is yet to be drunk. This is going to be a very long post if this keeps up. Lots of teas do this, actually, to a smaller or larger degree. That’s why I don’t like those ‘keep warm’ things with tea-candles under the pot. It messes with this process and keeps the tea warm in an uneven way. A thick cork mat under the pot and a thick cozy over it suits me much better. Far less effective, yes, but also less intrusive.

Having cooled a little more, the tea has now become an explosion of honey. Such a very thick honey note, it even more honey-y than the honey black and I thought that was pretty honey-y. The notes of grain and raisins are pretty much gone at this point, and the wood note has gone from a front seat position to being bundled into the boot. I still have the dairy-y feeling though. I think it might be the honey note that makes it feel a bit thickened. From this point on, it seems the flavour has settled, and I’m not noticing any more big changes, apart from the very last bottom sip which was all cocoa all the way.

Others are also talking about peaches and other stone-fruits, but try as I might I just can’t find any of that in here. I suppose I did have the bit of unripe fruit, but I feel that note has passed now.

I enjoyed this very much indeed. It has all the characteristics that I love in my black tea. It’s complicated, interesting and life-giving.


Excellent review!



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608 tasting notes

Miss mj was nice enough to send me a sample of this tea in our swap! I felt oh-so left out when I didn’t choose it as one of my free samples from Green Terrace, as it seemed to be everyone’s favorite. Doh! So hooray, now I get the chance to try it! I was planning on ordering a sample soon, but they seem to have done away with their samples sizes, which makes me sad. The leaves have that “creepy tree branch” look about them, they’re very dark and thin and twisty. I think my sample may have been contaminated a bit by the sample of Crio Bru’s Cavalla that mj also sent, because it smells super chocolately! Like, on a Golden Orchid level of chocolately. No that I’m complaining, it smells delicious! :P

Once brewed, the tea smells like heavenly sweet potatoes with brown sugar and cinnamon over the top. Om nom nom. Mm, that sweet potato goodness carries over to the taste as well, and so do the caramelized brown sugar and cinnamon notes. I also get some dark chewy bread, which goes well with the sweet potato. There’s a little touch of dried fruit flavor as well, more of a suggestion than anything, and not specific enough for me to call it by name. Lastly, near the end, a light floral note starts to pop up and say “hello”. It’s inoffensive, not soapy or heady, more of a light ethereal floral taste that just serves to lighten up the whole thing. Yum!

Flavors: Baked Bread, Brown Sugar, Burnt Sugar, Cinnamon, Dried Fruit, Floral, Sweet Potatoes

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

I’m glad you liked it and that I could split my sample with you. It’s way lame that they did away with their sample sizes.
I think I double bagged the Crio Bru, but that stuff has quite the chocolatey aroma so I guess it wasn’t enough.


I noticed recently that Norbu did away with their sample sizes as well. :(

Cameron B.

mj, I don’t mind! Now it smells delicious, lol. It didn’t seem to affect the taste.

And yes, super lame about the samples. :(


I was about to remark on that…because this tea sounds divine. But I don’t want to spend 20 on it just in case…

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532 tasting notes

This is the other tea I got from Green Terrace. It’s thick, fruity and bready with a little spice in the finish. Like sweet potatoes with cinnamon. It’s delicious.

It is similar to the Honey Black but different enough to be worth having both on hand. The Honey Black is way sweeter. I think if I could only keep one around it would be the Honey Black but this is an amazingly good tea.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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97 tasting notes
This has a lot of flavor and smooth richness, a high quality black tea. It has a dense layering of flavors, ripe peach, some honey and malt, and breadiness and a medium, not dark, broth. If only it had a little less of a perfumey bergamot-like note in the mix. If the rest of the description sounds good and you like bergamot, you will probably have found a true favorite in this tea, because it is really delightful. I enjoyed it even though I dislike strong bergamot, so that says a lot for this tea!

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1452 tasting notes

Thank you so much for the samples,! This one has similar long dark leaves to the Honey Black but the flavor is definitely different. As the Honey black is syrupy and fruity, this one is just like sweet potato. All sweet potato, 100% sweet potato, so I don’t even have much else to say about it. But I love this tea. Even the brew color is a nice light orange, so it’s a very light cup. It’s funny that these leaves have such a light brew, I guess because they aren’t chopped up into small pieces. I also used two and half teaspoons to compensate for the longer leaf. The second steep was just as nice, complete sweet potato. Similar to whichever Teavivre tea is like sweet potato. At first glance, both of the black teas on offer at Green Terrace seem similar but I love each of them for their own characteristics.
Steep #1 // 2 1/2 teaspoons // 10 min after boiling // 2-3 min steep
Steep #2 // few minutes after boiling // 4 min

Flavors: Sweet Potatoes

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1169 tasting notes

I received three generous samples from Green Terrace Teas a while back, and this was one of the two blacks. I’m not really sure why I did not select any oolongs, but I am definitely happy to have the opportunity to experience this delicious Li Shan Black tea!

Other reviewers have noted the similarity of this Taiwanese black to some of the China haute black teas, and I have to agree. The bready richness is here and a touch of sweetness, too. I hasten to add, however, that the sweetness is rather subdued, at least compared to something like Golden Monkey. In any case, this is a very tasty brew—the sort which I would never consider adulterating, and I’m a big fan of cream in lesser black teas, especially blends.

I just finished the second infusion, and it was just as good as the first. This tea tastes and looks and smells very familiar to me, and now I believe that it may be similar to the only other Taiwanese black tea that I ever tried before.

Flavors: Baked Bread

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

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537 tasting notes

The first thing I notice about this tea is that it smells like others I’ve had before. That’s not a bad thing, it just smells familiar, like I’ve had it before…. fruity and like sweet bread? The start of the sip tastes like raisins in honey and finishes with a touch of holiday spices. There is a shadow of molasses in the background, but not nearly as much as in the Honey Black. Following sips give me notes of baking chocolate and very light flowers, bordering on the soapy side of things.

This is a lovely cup with lots of different flavors going on at once. I think this one is a great choice, but I personally like the Honey Black a bit more. Thank you so much, Green Terrace Teas for a sample.

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1498 tasting notes

Another tea I ordered with the free shipping coupon.

OMG. I think I’m with Sil. This one is better than the Honey Black. Dry, it smells like Terra Chips. Seriously. SO sweet and carby. Just what I want right now.

The depth of flavour is just… more. Way more. The Honey Black was good, but not special enough to me. I’ve had similar teas before. This one is in a league of its own. And the fact I’m craving comfort foods (I am sooo grumpy!) means that this one wins. Haha.

The flavour is sweet, with lots of fried sweet potato (but more like Terra Chips instead of french fries), and a lingering richness. It kind of reminds me of Butiki’s PTA, due to the sweetness. I think. Or another Butiki tea I had in the past but don’t remember. The richness is almost maybe a touch smokey. I think this tea would be excellent with maple syrup or sugar… I’ll have to package up a little maple sugar for The Box when I finally know where to send it. All these samples will be going in there for everyone to have a little taste of as well.

So good. Highly recommend.

(The leaves are quite large, so I used 2 loose tsp in my 12 oz mug. Definitely a tea to resteep, as well. The leaves haven’t reached full potential after a 3 minute steep.)

Flavours: sweet potatoes, fries, wood, roasted plums, buckwheat honey. (Haha. Not all are options, so I’m just putting them here.)

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

That is also a pricey tea. Hmm. I think I’ll still end up with 50g at some point.


Of the ones I tasted this would be the one I would buy too.

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