Tea type
Oolong Tea
Oolong Tea Leaves
Citrus Fruits, Creamy, Pear
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Loose Leaf
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Kelly
Average preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 10 oz / 310 ml

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20 Tasting Notes View all

From Harney & Sons

This is one of Taiwan’s highest mountain teas. The tea plants must battle cold (sometimes even snow) and frequent mists. This makes a haunting brew with echoes of honey and cream.

Li Shan is one of the most recent High Mountain (Gao Shan) tea growing areas. It is located in the middle of Taiwan’s central mountain region. The tea is rolled into balls using special machines. In the old days, they used the feet of strong teamen to bend the leaf. This is considered one of the best oolongs in the world.

About Harney & Sons View company

Since 1983 Harney & Sons has been the source for fine teas. We travel the globe to find the best teas and accept only the exceptional. We put our years of experience to work to bring you the best Single-Estate teas, and blends beyond compare.

20 Tasting Notes

2816 tasting notes

Thanks to Russel at Harney & Sons for sending me this freebie sample to try!

I got it today in the mail and immediately wanted to try it. It’s just what I was in the mood for today.

I was not able to gong fu this, so am trying with regular infuser mug method for 2 minutes. I got a very light greenish infusion and the wet leaves smell very fresh and yummy.

I do like these types of taiwanese high mountain oolongs in the afternoon, they seem relaxing and refreshing. I’m getting a light butteriness in my cup, along with a delicate floral – perhaps orchid? The description on their website says honey and cream, I’m not getting much honey but it is a bit creamy. A mild sweetness lingers in the back of your throat. Very nice!

Second steep: I used a little less water this time and got different results. Tea is a bit darker in color and less buttery but more floral.

Third steep: it is amazing how much these leaves have opened up! Sticking my nose near the cup, I’m reminded of a meadow with flowers. The flavor has more subtlety than some other Li Shans I’ve had, but it’s still very nice.

Green oolongs are my favorite thing to cold brew so I already decided I’m going to make a cold brew batch of this for tomorrow – I can hardly wait!

180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 15 sec

Amy, you said this Li Shan was more subtle. What is your most memorable Li Shans?? Do you cold brew steeped leaves or add the rest of the sample to them??


the one that sticks out in my mind is Naivetea’s version, but this is still pretty good. I normally cold steep with dry leaves and occasionally with leftover tea leaves.

Charles Thomas Draper

If I only get 2 or 3 steeps the leaves are going in the mix.

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6770 tasting notes

HOLY Spinach Leaves BATMAN!

So…I’m trying this one for the first time and there are ‘regular’ looking “Shan-Type Leaves” all balled up and ready to be infused…ok…cool…I said to my self. I added the water and walked away. About 4-5 minutes later came back and the leaves are SO HUGE I thought they were going to spread over the top of my IngenuTEA and over the counter and start crawling thru my house by itself! WOWZA! These leaves are OUT OF CONTROL!!!!!

Yeah…they look like Baby Spinach leaves post infusion…so…now that my Twilight Zone Freak-Out Session is over…on to the actual review and tasting notes…

This has a slight vegetal scent leaning more toward the sweeter side of things. It’s a light brownish yellow sitting there in my cup.

It seems to be struggling between earthy and semi-sweet tasting interrupted by a slight pepper taste as well.

This tastes pretty good but I think not only did I over infuse the amount of loose leaf but also a bit long. There isn’t anything wrong with the taste but I am going to infuse less for less next time to see the difference. I guess I had no idea the leaves were going to be THAT huge! LOL

Regardless – I like the way this one tastes and will for sure try it again!


Haha! Baby spinach tea leaves. I love it. I’m imagining them busting out of a too-small infuser like the Incredible Hulk.


Yup!!!! That’s a very close mental image indeed!

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525 tasting notes

Oh my, I thought I had logged this one! Well I was feeling kinda like I was in a tea funk. Everything I’ve been making lately hasn’t been tasting as good. My Rose Congou was a bit bitter and not rosy enough. My matcha latte was also bitter and I had to make myself finish it. Maybe it was the new soy milk I was trying out… So I thought I should get back to basics and go back to an old love. Green oolong, I’m sorry I abandoned you.

Lovely scent and beautiful pale yellow-green liquor. Floral first steep. Smooth brothy texture. Second steep, cooked bok choi. Creamed dark green veggies. Soothing. Just like summer. I do still love tea!

Now, for something as expensive as this tea, (about $11.80/oz), you’d hope this tea would blow your mind with fantasticness. And while I wouldn’t say my mind is blown, I would say that this is very tasty. Not tasty enough to pay full price though because I can find equally tasty Taiwan green oolongs for less.

I’m getting something like fresh apple skin now. This is why I love green oolongs. Some flavors you know to expect. Others just creep out and surprise you.

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4847 tasting notes

Thank you Russel Allyn for sending me some of this Oolong – it is delightful!

The aroma wafting from my cup at the moment is captivating, smelling sweet with hints of fruit, flower and honey. The early infusions also offered a very creamy element to the flavor and texture, with the creaminess waning by about the fourth infusion.

A really delicious Oolong – I love it.

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818 tasting notes

Tried this one out today. I have a bunch of oolong samples I got from Harney’s that I’ve been saving for an afternoon at home. Gotta have my black teas in the morning, ya know!

This oolong is pretty good. I love the creamy, buttery texture. Very thick! I mostly get vegetal and floral notes, but can’t quite discern them. Very relaxing for the afternoon. I think it’s a little similar to other oolongs I’ve had and nothing in particular stands out. Because of that and because it’s pretty darn pricy, I probably won’t order more, but I will enjoy the remainder of my little sample bag. :)


The cheaper Ali Shan that they sell is really excellent IMO! Maybe give that one a try. It is on my next order list.


I got that in a sample size too! Tried it once, but wasn’t sure, so I will try it again and see what I think. I think I have more of an educated palate now that I’ve tried some other oolongs!

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162 tasting notes

I almost decided not to add a tasting note to this, but I am going to despite the fact it may make me look bad. I don’t have a lot of experience with Oolongs but I am incredibly intrigued by them and have been meaning to spend more intimate time with them. I recently sent off a sample of this in a swap and realized I hadn’t tried it myself so what better time than now?

I pulled out my favorite gaiwan and warmed it up with hot water. While I did that I focused on the aroma of the dry leaves and found they smelled sweet and slightly buttery, almost creamy. I covered the bottom of the gaiwan with leaves and poured almost boiling water over them. Covered it up and began counting to 45 which was the amount of time I decided to start with for the 1st steep. Somewhere around 23 I wandered off to the back of the house to help my dog find her ball. If you have an obsessive pet then you know that results could be dire if they don’t get what they need right then. Found the ball in a shoe and we played fetch for a couple of rounds.

All of a sudden I remembered my Oolong steeping away. I figured it had more than likely been between 2 and 3 minutes since I had added the water and so I drank it. I can’t say that I enjoyed it. It was incredibly bitter. So much so that I couldn’t taste anything else. I managed to drink the whole cup, which really wasn’t a whole lot, because I wanted to try and find something exciting about this tea.

I steeped it again for 35 secs focusing intensely on counting and found a much more enjoyable cup. Sweet and creamy describes it well with a hint of something floral in there. I steeped it again for 45 secs and this time found more of a sweet floral taste and less creaminess. I am gonna have to spend more time with this one and try not to get distracted. I have a feeling Oolongs are not a tea you should walk away from during preparation.


Your dog is exactly like mine. Terrier?


She is a Papillon but she does act like a terrier sometimes, lol.


Hahah I always forget I have tea brewing, then I drink it and it’s so terrible, oye!

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3155 tasting notes

I have a ridiculous amount of teas to backlog, so apologies. I suspect I’ll miss some too, as I can’t even remember them all at this point!

Anyhow, thanks to Mercuryhime for sending me a sample of this delicious oolong! I really should have done a side-by-side comparison, but for some reason, I’m inclined to think that I enjoyed this oolong better than the Ali Shan from H&S. I couldn’t really tell you the differences, but I think this one was perhaps creamier. Either way, this was delicious, and I’ll probably be finishing it off soon.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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355 tasting notes

I probably steeped this too long (close to 2 minutes), so it’s a lot more vegetal than I expected. That’s not a bad thing; this has a very smooth mouthfeel and even with the more floral tastes coming out, I smiled after my first sip. I am tasting some creaminess, as well, though. I like this.

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8 tasting notes

When I first got this sampler pack from Harney, I thought “oh it looks and smells just like Tie Kuan Yin” I am a bit of a noob to oolongs so bear with me. But when I took some out in the palm of my hand, I instantly knew that I was very wrong. These leaves are HUGE. I would go as far to say as almost twice the size of some of the Tie Kuan Yin I have had.

So first steeping, just from the smell of the steeping tea, it smells much more vegetal than Tie Kuan Yin and not as floral. I am still getting used to the vetegal taste, but the moment I sipped it, I didn’t get that at all. It is soo good. It is smooth, buttery and light. Where I was wondering where the floral-ness was, it definitely came out in nice and mellow in the taste. And then right on the end of the taste you get a sharp taste of grass, but it is still subtle.

I just think that it is very interesting that when I taste and smell the tea at the same time, they are really different to me. I can’t wait to do another steeping, but I can’t bring myself to chug this. This is meant to be enjoyed. I am definitely going to get this again.

Second steeping:
The leaves themselves smell more floral than before, and the vegetal smell has reduced a bit. And I think that the color of the tea is more yellow, and when before it seemed to be a light yellow-green tint. The taste is more grassy, and while the butteriness is toned down a bit. However, this is still very smooth. It just tastes fresh. This is like a taste of spring in my cup.

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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15 tasting notes

Update: the first time Harney’s has let me down, and with my fave no less, Li Shan. Yes, they are pricey, and that in itself can be a good source of complaint. However, this year’s Li Shan is a shade of its former self. That is the cause of my despair and lowering of their rating. 6/28/13

The gold standard. Pay a bit more but count on consistency. This is the only Li shan I have tasted that blossoms after the floral notes to reveal amazing base notes of lychee and citrus. Bliss.

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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