No. 80 Ali Shan Oolong

Tea type
Oolong Tea
Oolong Tea Leaves
Apricot, Cantaloupe, Cream, Custard, Floral, Fruity, Grass, Honey, Honeydew, Lettuce, Mango, Mineral, Nectar, Peach, Sweet
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Loose Leaf, Sachet
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Edit tea info Last updated by eastkyteaguy
Average preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 6 g 4 oz / 118 ml

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From Steven Smith Teamaker

This full leaf tea is produced in early fall in the Ali Shan mountains of Taiwan from the Gold Lily tea cultivar. This lightly oxidized oolong is prized for its buttery mouth feel, soft tropical, floral and stone fruit undertones and a candied finish. This tea can be steeped several times and is enjoyed with both a traditional brew process or a gong fu preparation. Also offered as loose tea in a loose pack.

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3 Tasting Notes

1470 tasting notes

Why do oolongs always open up a month after you open the bag? Seriously, every gaoshan oolong becomes 10% better after I first try it.

Anyway, I grandpa styled this at my placement school last week and the fruit and floral notes were heavy amidst crisp lettuce ones. Basically, the rating would go from a 75-80 based on how it lushly improved. It also gave me a little bit of a caffiene rush, especially considering the earlier Fog Cutter cuppa joe pumpin’ through my veins…I’m a student teacher, don’t judge me.

Evol Ving Ness

I’m a student teacher, don’t judge me.

:) :)


I used to be a student teacher. Feel free to judge me. :)

Daylon R Thomas

Lol Mr. English. Mr. Proust was also a teacher. There are so many of us on this site. We put the “tea” in “teacher”.


Daylon, the funny thing is I actually mostly taught social studies. I went into education via the alternative certification route (M.A.T. instead of M. Ed.) and I was eligible to teach social studies because I had 30+ hours of general social science coursework as an undergraduate. I was bored with English at the time and wanted a change, so I decided to do my primary certification in middle and secondary grades social studies instead.


I also graduated from MSU, just not your MSU. For clarity’s sake, it was Morehead State University. Go Eagles, I guess…

Daylon R Thomas

That is not surprising, actually lol. A lot of us are social studies on here. So do you have the full MAT as your master’s, and how many years did you teach? My MSU only gives me 9 credits for a graduate degree…I have many critiques though there are aspects that I like about the program.

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1031 tasting notes

Earlier in the year, I was both surprised and delighted that Steven Smith Teamaker was again dabbling in oolong and pu-erh teas. Normally, I think of this particular vendor when I think of high quality black teas and black tea blends, although I also have a soft spot for some of the tisanes, green teas, and white teas they offer. This year, they have three oolongs and one pu-erh available. This Taiwanese high mountain oolong is the only one of the bunch to come from anywhere outside of mainland China. It is produced from the Golden Lily tea cultivar, which I tend to associate with the creamy, buttery Jin Xuan oolongs I tend to love.

I prepared this tea using a slight variation of the gongfu method I used to prepare the Jade Oolong from Tealyra. I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 190 F water for 20 seconds following a quick rinse. I kept this session short. I only performed 5 additional infusions at 22, 24, 26, 28, and 30 seconds.

The first thing I noticed about this tea was that the aroma of the wet leaves really betrayed that this oolong was prepared from the Golden Lily cultivar. The aroma was very light, but emphasized a combination of cream and butter underscored by sweetgrass and a melange of fruits. In the mouth, the first couple of infusions offered light, airy notes of white peach, papaya, mango, apricot, cantaloupe, honeydew, honey, cream, custard, sweetgrass, and something very much resembling flower nectar. The middle infusions offered a more balanced array of aromas and flavors. On the nose, I picked up a slightly heavier fruit presence to balance out the cream and custard aromas. I also noted a slightly more pronounced vegetal scent, as well as a hint of very light minerality. In the mouth, I noted light notes of cream and custard balanced by fruit, nectar, and honey with more pronounced notes of sweetgrass, as well as leaf lettuce and minerals toward the finish. The last two infusions offered a milder and more vegetal nose with a more pronounced mineral aroma. In the mouth, I picked up on extremely delicate, fragile notes of sweetgrass, lettuce, and minerals underpinned by incredibly light floral, nectar, melon, peach, and honey notes.

I kind of liked this oolong, but I do have to say that I have had better. For me, the aromas and flavors were a bit too timid and delicate. I enjoyed the range of aromas and flavors displayed by this tea, but I would have liked to see greater depth. I was also slightly disappointed that the aromas and flavors faded so quickly, as I was kind of hoping for (but not entirely expecting) a slightly longer session. Still, I could see this being a good introduction to contemporary Taiwanese high mountain oolongs and would not really hesitate to recommend this tea to someone looking to get into them.

Flavors: Apricot, Cantaloupe, Cream, Custard, Floral, Fruity, Grass, Honey, Honeydew, Lettuce, Mango, Mineral, Nectar, Peach, Sweet

190 °F / 87 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
Daylon R Thomas

Did you try it Western? They do sell it in sachets and I’ve always been curious to try it. Then again, a Ali Shan Jin Xuan as a sachet sounds cool anyway.


I did try this one Western. The results were hit or miss. Of course, I am not the hugest fan of Ali Shan oolongs, so that may have had something to do with my perception of this tea.

Daylon R Thomas

I like sweet and fruity Alishans, but they can be weak. The one I had from Golden Tea Leaf company was hit or miss. The florals and texture were impressive, but it lacked significant flavor in its body. It was almost like rice milk.

Daylon R Thomas

When I do find an Alishan I like, I go crazy over it.

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