87

I was thrilled when Floating Leaves moved their store to Taiwan, as it meant I could afford to have their teas shipped to Canada. I took advantage of their opening sale to get a free 50 g bag of this tea, then bought another 60 g bag because I anticipated the tea would be amazing based on previous SLX I’d had from this company. After some unpleasantness with DHL over import fees, which the vendor generously helped to clear up, I tore into this tea and was slightly disappointed by how vegetal it was.

I steeped 6 g of leaf in a 120 ml porcelain pot using boiling water for 25, 20, 25, 30, 30, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, and 240 seconds.

The dry aroma is of coconut, pineapple, honeydew melon, orchids, and bok choy. The first steep has notes of orchid, butter, cookie, coconut, honeydew, and lettuce. I get some slight minerality, though that could be due to the vendor description, and the tea is already somewhat vegetal, especially on the swallow. The next steep highlights coconut, pineapple, passion fruit, and honeydew, with orchids, honeysuckle, and lilacs in the background. The bottom of the cup smells like coconut fruit punch. The honeysuckle and other florals become more prominent in the third steep, as does the passion fruit, pineapple, and especially the coconut. However, this is mainly in the aroma, and the taste is becoming quite spinachy underneath all the fruity florals. Coconut and spinach are the dominant notes in the next steep, backed up by pineapple, honeysuckle, spinach, bok choy, and grass.

The coconut continues into the fifth steep, though the tea is losing some of its complexity. I still get lots of florals plus the vegetal/grassy note. In the next steep, I notice a bit of the sappy character I associate with Shan Lin Xi. By steep seven, the tea is spinach mixed with faint florals, and it becomes even more vegetal by the end of the session.

This is a very enjoyable Shan Lin Xi that still doesn’t quite measure up to the company’s previous offerings, which I believe I rated in the nineties. I love the abundance of coconut and other tropical flavours, but wish that more of them translated from the aroma to the taste and that the tea was a little less vegetal. I also wish it had more longevity, though this is typical for high mountain oolongs. Nonetheless, I’ve almost finished my first 50 g bag and won’t have trouble finishing the rest.

Flavors: Bok Choy, Butter, Coconut, Cookie, Floral, Grass, Honeydew, Honeysuckle, Lettuce, Mineral, Orchid, Passion Fruit, Pineapple, Sap, Spinach, Vegetal

Preparation
Boiling 6 g 4 OZ / 120 ML
derk

After reading yours and Lucky Me’s recent notes of 2021 Taiwanese oolong, I wonder how much an effect the drought had on the quality of spring harvest.

Leafhopper

I wonder about that as well. People are saying that oolongs harvested later in the season are better than those harvested earlier. (To my knowledge, this one was picked in early April, which is near the start of the season.) However, I had Wang Family Tea’s Shanlin Xi Wild Garden, which was picked around the same time, and it was excellent. As always, it seems to be a matter of luck.

Daylon R Thomas

I’ve been wondering about that too and I’ve kinda hesitated with some of the 2021 oolongs. Most of the 2020 ones I’ve had were actually really good, but then again, a lot of them were a bit more experimental with the varietals. I’ve only had one 2021 Long Feng so far, and it was really good, but it had a softer profile compared to what I’ve usually had from this terroir. I’m going to write about it soon. I’m really curious to see what everyone else says since a lot of the sellers are going to be promoting their teas despite harsh conditions for this year.

Leafhopper

I’ve only had two 2021 oolongs so far, though I have a bunch more waiting in the wings. I hope my experience is better than LuckyMe’s.

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derk

After reading yours and Lucky Me’s recent notes of 2021 Taiwanese oolong, I wonder how much an effect the drought had on the quality of spring harvest.

Leafhopper

I wonder about that as well. People are saying that oolongs harvested later in the season are better than those harvested earlier. (To my knowledge, this one was picked in early April, which is near the start of the season.) However, I had Wang Family Tea’s Shanlin Xi Wild Garden, which was picked around the same time, and it was excellent. As always, it seems to be a matter of luck.

Daylon R Thomas

I’ve been wondering about that too and I’ve kinda hesitated with some of the 2021 oolongs. Most of the 2020 ones I’ve had were actually really good, but then again, a lot of them were a bit more experimental with the varietals. I’ve only had one 2021 Long Feng so far, and it was really good, but it had a softer profile compared to what I’ve usually had from this terroir. I’m going to write about it soon. I’m really curious to see what everyone else says since a lot of the sellers are going to be promoting their teas despite harsh conditions for this year.

Leafhopper

I’ve only had two 2021 oolongs so far, though I have a bunch more waiting in the wings. I hope my experience is better than LuckyMe’s.

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Since I discovered Teavana’s Monkey Picked Oolong four years ago, I’ve been fascinated by loose-leaf tea. I’m glad to say that my oolong tastes have evolved, and that I now like nearly every tea that comes from Taiwan, oolong or not, particularly the bug-bitten varieties. I also find myself drinking Yunnan blacks and Darjeelings from time to time, as well as a few other curiosities.

However, while online reviews might make me feel like an expert, I know that I still have some work to do to actually pick up those flavours myself. I hope that by making me describe what I’m tasting, Steepster can improve my appreciation of teas I already enjoy and make me more open to new possibilities (maybe even puerh!).

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Toronto

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