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Since I have been spending my time primarily focusing on Chinese oolongs lately, I figured I should shake things up a bit and try out a new Taiwanese oolong. More than anything, I wanted to give Beautiful Taiwan Tea Company’s Li Shan offerings another chance. I, personally, did not enjoy the last Li Shan tea I tried from them and wanted to see how another of their offerings from that area fared in comparison. I am happy to report that this tea was a smashing success in my eyes.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 195 F water for 10 seconds. This infusion was chased by 12 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 12 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, and 3 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted pronounced aromas of honeysuckle, gardenia, lilac, sweetgrass, cream, butter, and vanilla balanced by a hint of vegetables. After the rinse, I detected emergent scents of sweet cinnamon and magnolia balanced by green apple, watercress, and fresh pear. The first infusion produced a similar, albeit considerably more balanced bouquet with hints of petunia, lily, marigold, and fresh daylily shoots. In the mouth, I detected gentle, somewhat timid notes of vanilla frosting, cream, butter, freshly cut flowers, watercress, and sweetgrass. Subsequent infusions allowed the cinnamon, daylily shoot, green apple, and pear notes to shine, though I also began to catch hints of honeydew, white peach, oats, minerals, and leaf lettuce. The later infusions were increasingly mineral dominated with balancing notes of cream, vanilla, watercress, green apple, oats, pear, honeydew, sweet cinnamon, and flowers.

This was such a nice Li Shan oolong. I honestly was not expecting the floral intensity or the unique mix of aromas and flavors displayed by this tea. As far as I am concerned, this was a notable upgrade over Pear Mountain Premium. Check this one out if you haven’t already.

Flavors: Apple, Butter, Cinnamon, Cream, Floral, Frosting, Gardenias, Grass, Honeydew, Honeysuckle, Lettuce, Mineral, Oats, Peach, Pear, Vegetal

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
Daylon R Thomas

There were so few reviews of that one though I always wanted to try it. I think Andrew gave me some of that or the Alishan when I first joined steepster and thought that it was vegetal, thick, and flat. How does it compare to What-Cha’s Li Shan?

eastkyteaguy

The Alishan I found to be a little flat, but not bad. The Pear Mountain Premium I found to be rather average at best. I found it to be clean to the point of sterility and overly savory and vegetal. A lot of people liked that one too, which kind of left me wondering what I was missing. I won’t compare this tea to the Ali Shan because I find different nuances in Ali Shan and Li Shan teas. The former I always find floral, creamy, and buttery with pronounced cucumber, grass, and melon tones, while Li Shan oolongs almost always hit me with leaf vegetable and orchard fruit aromas and flavors. I like both, but I find that I generally prefer the Li Shan terroir. Compared to the Pear Mountain Premium, I found this Li Shan to be rich, thick, and vibrant with much more complex aroma and flavor profiles. To me, it had a depth the other tea was sorely lacking. If I were comparing it to What-Cha’s Li Shan, I would say that i find this tea to be more complex, but I find the other to be more approachable and versatile. I greatly enjoy both, but for regular consumption, the What-Cha Li Shan would edge this one out at this point.

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Daylon R Thomas

There were so few reviews of that one though I always wanted to try it. I think Andrew gave me some of that or the Alishan when I first joined steepster and thought that it was vegetal, thick, and flat. How does it compare to What-Cha’s Li Shan?

eastkyteaguy

The Alishan I found to be a little flat, but not bad. The Pear Mountain Premium I found to be rather average at best. I found it to be clean to the point of sterility and overly savory and vegetal. A lot of people liked that one too, which kind of left me wondering what I was missing. I won’t compare this tea to the Ali Shan because I find different nuances in Ali Shan and Li Shan teas. The former I always find floral, creamy, and buttery with pronounced cucumber, grass, and melon tones, while Li Shan oolongs almost always hit me with leaf vegetable and orchard fruit aromas and flavors. I like both, but I find that I generally prefer the Li Shan terroir. Compared to the Pear Mountain Premium, I found this Li Shan to be rich, thick, and vibrant with much more complex aroma and flavor profiles. To me, it had a depth the other tea was sorely lacking. If I were comparing it to What-Cha’s Li Shan, I would say that i find this tea to be more complex, but I find the other to be more approachable and versatile. I greatly enjoy both, but for regular consumption, the What-Cha Li Shan would edge this one out at this point.

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Bio

My grading criteria for tea is as follows:

90-100: Exceptional. I love this stuff. If I can get it, I will drink it pretty much every day.

80-89: Very good. I really like this stuff and wouldn’t mind keeping it around for regular consumption.

70-79: Good. I like this stuff, but may or may not reach for it regularly.

60-69: Solid. I rather like this stuff and think it’s a little bit better-than-average. I’ll drink it with no complaints, but am more likely to reach for something I find more enjoyable than revisit it with regularity.

50-59: Average. I find this stuff to be more or less okay, but it is highly doubtful that I will revisit it in the near future if at all.

40-49: A little below average. I don’t really care for this tea and likely won’t have it again.

39 and lower: Varying degrees of yucky.

Don’t be surprised if my average scores are a bit on the high side because I tend to know what I like and what I dislike and will steer clear of teas I am likely to find unappealing.

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KY

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