Preface: This summer I tried a variety of gao shan samples from Origin Tea via a sampling round hosted by Tea Chat. Recently, I received a sampling round of similar specimens from Teavivre, so I decided to post the notes on Origin’s teas first to determine a baseline.

I am the biggest fan of this Shan Lin Xi. I found its aroma the most interesting, with this undertone that reminded me of apple skins. To me, it had a most interesting huigan, although its aftertaste was outmatched by the Lishan samples. I also loved the Shan Lin Xi’s buttery textures that lasted throughout the entire session, and its multi-faceted textural form, rapidly evolving from opening to finish.

The dry leaves are very sweet-smelling and highly floral. Sizes are varied and all leaves are rolled somewhat loosely, with some leaf fuzz on a few, a high gloss, and each stem clearly apparent. Wet leaf aroma is powerful and wafting, with a certain vegetal pungency and stone fruit sweetness. In contrast, the liquor has a faint aroma, nearly absent. Liquor is bright and has excellent clarity. The mouthfeel is buttery smooth and presents a long-lasting, sweet aftertaste right from the start. The empty cup scent is subtle, with a low roasty, sugary scent.

The form is complex and entirely unique. It begins with a sweet, floral smoothness, proceeding with a deeper smoothness and gao shan characteristic complexity, with deep, vegetal sweetness. Towards the end of the development, greener qualities shine through, with a faint tartness in the rear of throat. Each sip finishes with a very sweet-tasting and cool-feeling mouthfeel, which quickly transforms into a stone-fruit, gao shan aftertaste with potent huigan.

205 °F / 96 °C

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I’m fanatic about all things tea-related. Lately, I’ve been fascinated with Wuyi yancha, aged Taiwanese oolongs, and sheng pu’ercha. Nearly all of my sessions as of late are performed gong fu, with pu’er tastings comprising probably eighty percent of them. My collection of pu’ercha is small, but growing steadily. Much of the specimens I drink daily are various samples, although I dig into a cake every so often.

I love trying new teas and I am always learning all I can about the world of tea. Hence, I spend a majority of the time I devote to tea either drinking, writing notes in my journal, or reading. But mostly drinking, as I think it should be. Since I have handwritten logs of everything I drink, I cannot usually find the extra time to log my notes here, and unfortunately my online log is underrepresented.

When drinking, I look for a tea that presents a unique experience, something that involves every sense and provides intrigue in every aspect throughout steeps. I search for teas with balanced complexity and something that makes me keep reaching for my cup. I yearn to find all the positives a tea possesses and every subtle nuance hiding among the leaves. I try to be detailed in my notes and deliver a more comprehensive view of the tea, paying attention to things other than simply flavors and qualitative aspects of aroma, such as the form of the liquor and its development in the mouth. Things like this are much easier to compare between teas, as I find them to be more consistent between sessions, and also make distinctions between a good and mediocre tea easier to make.

Adagio UtiliTEA electric kettle.
For gong fu, a 100 mL porcelain gaiwan and a 100mL Yixing di cao qing xi shi pot dedicated to mostly young sheng pu’er.
I drink all green teas in small (maybe 450mL) glass tumblers in the traditional style, with off-boiling water.


Fort Myers, Florida

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