Li Shan Black Tea

Tea type
Black Tea
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Earth, Fruity, Grapes, Baked Bread, Malt, Sweet, Cinnamon, Coriander, Honey, Nutmeg, Smooth, Sweet Potatoes, Brown Sugar, Butter, Butternut Squash, Burnt Sugar, Dried Fruit, Floral, Flowers, Honeysuckle, Peach, Stonefruits, Wood
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Edit tea info Last updated by green-terrace-teas
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec 3 g 8 oz / 238 ml

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42 Tasting Notes View all

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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42 Tasting Notes

637 tasting notes

Thanks to Marzipan for this sample!
So, I think I might have steeped this a minute or so over, because it’s super strong.
It’s pretty earthy, And reminds me a lot of grapes. It’s earthy, but also fruity.
It reminds me of another tea…one from Teavivre that I really didn’t like, but I am totally blanking on the name. But yeah, it’s not really my kind of tea. Definitely liked the Honey Black better!
Glad to have tried it though! Thanks again for the sample, Marzipan! :D

Flavors: Earth, Fruity, Grapes


these teas are really shine gongfu. this one i like more than Honey Black ;)


I tried this one with a short steep, and found it absolutely amazing. No earth or grapes, just malt and bread and sweetness. I preferred this to the Honey Black :)


That sounds like a better and an entirely different tea, Anlina! :P Maybe in the future I’ll try this one again, and do a shorter steep.

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4825 tasting notes


An amazingly good black tea. This reminds me a lot of Dawn from Simple Leaf. Maybe even better than Dawn, if that’s possible. It’s an exceptional black tea.

Sweet, rich, chocolate-y, stone fruit notes and a honeyed caramel sweetness. Notes of flower in the distance.

The chocolate notes are what astound me. I can even taste some berry-esque notes that I would pick up if I were eating a bar of high quality dark chocolate. So good. Dreamy.

Here’s my full-length review of more gushing praise of this tea: Seriously, it deserves the praise. It’s that good.

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838 tasting notes

I don’t usually resteep leaves, but this is so delicious and I have precious little left, and I like it enough to drink two cups in the same day.

And omg, so glad that I did.

Second steep is all squash baked with butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Amazing!

I never thought that a western style resteep would grab me this much but damn, this makes me want to order more even more than I already do.

This steep has a lighter body and feels a bit thinner than the first, but the flavour is still outstanding.

Edit: Okay, I just placed the association this cup has been giving me. I’m not sure exactly why or what it is about this, but this cup tastes like shopping at IKEA. I’m fairly certain that doesn’t make any sense to anyone but me, but there it is.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Butter, Butternut Squash, Cinnamon, Nutmeg

205 °F / 96 °C 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

As someone who often finds certain teas to remind me of things I’m pretty sure no one else ever thinks of, shopping at IKEA takes the cake! :)


I once bought tea from Ikea, years ago, but don’t remember if it was any good. They occasionally sell it along with coffee.


Shopping at IKEA! I love it. :) (it has been ages since I’ve even been in an IKEA, so I can’t really relate, but love the description)


I totally know what you mean about IKEA. That distinct mixture of wood and cinnamon buns.


That is such an awesome association! And I do agree with Fjellrev. :)


I find that humorous. I live very near an IKEA. My idea of shopping at IKEA is to see how quickly I can get in and out. My record is under 15 minutes on a Saturday afternoon. (I was looking for tea tins. I had no idea where they’d be. I found them after wandering through the marketplace for several minutes, and I even bought something else. That 15 minutes also includes the parking lot. It was amazing.)

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32 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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1317 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.

972 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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613 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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121 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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1633 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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1696 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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