Nonpareil Taiwan Li Shan Oolong Tea

Tea type
Oolong Tea
Oolong Tea Leaves
Broth, Floral, Nuts, Nutty, Salt, Seaweed, Umami, Chestnut, Flowers, Honeysuckle, Nectar, Orchid, Butter, Vegetal, Roasted
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Edit tea info Last updated by TeaVivre
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 7 g 11 oz / 331 ml

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From Teavivre

Origin: Fushoushan (福寿山) Farm at an altitude of 2000 meters on Lishan (梨山) Mountain in Taichung, Taiwan.

Ingredients: one bud with two or three leaves

Taste: obvious floral fragrance, strong sweetness in the throat; brisk and smooth aftertaste with long-lasting sweet scent in the mouth

Speaking on Taiwan tea, Li Shan Oolong Tea is the top level Taiwan Gao Leng oolong tea. The special phrase Gao Leng, 高冷(gāo lěng) in Chinese, means high and cold, refers to the environment at high altitudes and in low temperature. Li Shan tea trees are grown in this high and cold environment, making the tea leaf soft, thick with high content of pectin substances. This unique feature cannot be found on the teas grown in low altitude areas.

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25 Tasting Notes

3260 tasting notes

This is another Teavivre sample from Sil. I love samples from Teavivre, they are always so generous, & the quality is excellent. This one is no exception. The tea is in nuggets, & once steeped it is an iridescent green. Although I don’t love ‘green’ oolongs as much as I love the more roasty ones, I do enjoy them from time to time. This one has a buttery floral aroma, with a light floral taste. The flavor is also both sweet & savory, with a thick sensation. A pleasant afternoon cup.

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2188 tasting notes

Sipdown, 115. Thanks to Teavivre for sending along this sample.

This one totally surprised me. I think the only other Li Shan oolong I’ve had was a pretty typical super green, super fresh variety without any roasting. This one wasn’t quite roasty, but it did have a bakey, nutty flavor that was unexpected. Floral and buttery as well, this was a very tasty oolong. I didn’t fall in love with it but I would happily drink this one again.

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676 tasting notes

Thank you Angel and Teavivre for this sample tea!

The Snow Queen has stretched her Wintry White Robe across most of North America.

Most of us Steepsterites hunker down with copious amounts of tea, hoping to melt the chill from her icy fingers. Burr!

I’ve been drinking Chai, Black Tea and Puerh by the buckets-full! My own additions of cinnamon or ginger to the Puerh warm me head to toe in no time.

Now and then, a reminder of Spring gladdens my heart, and it’s tea that’s able to take me to that golden, glowing place in no time.

While I prefer dark, roasty Oolongs that are cinder-fired and tightly rolled…I love those rare, buttery, floral/savory Oolongs that remind me of the awakening Earth in Spring.

Li Shan is such an Oolong.

Buttery and thickening as it cools, sweet, slightly floral and savory.

I’m not very fond of light Oolongs, but this is perfectly delicious. Not too light and or strong but just right with an aroma sweet enough to make you hunger for vanilla cake.

Winter may be upon us now, but we can remember warm, golden-hued Spring now, thanks to such a tea as this one.

Beethoven’s 6th Symphony


Tea and music that bring spring to mind…lovely review and lovely symphony…
But spring never seemed so far away, I just took the dog out and I almost lost my house! It disappeared in the snow storm and I was only a few feet away, lol!
Remember that picture I posted a few weeks ago? Just imagine now!!! We are 100% sure to have a white x-mas :-)

Terri HarpLady

Thanks for the music, Bonnie! It’s been awhile since I listened to this one!


We only had about 4 inches last week but the temperature has been freezing cold! It looks like daytime will get warmer the rest of the week as high as 41F. Sunny and dry mountain weather! I wouldn’t mind an inch or two of snow on Christmas day because my son Aaron is coming out from California. I’m pretty sure you get worse snows than I do. Drink lot’s of tea!!!


I cannot agree with you more that drinking lot’s of tea is in heaven when cold season comes. This will definitely warm our heart this cold season.


From your description of the oolongs you like, I suggest Tender Branch from Five Mountain Tea. Its darker but very artisan, nice almost roasted coconut flavor.

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871 tasting notes

This is a very light and smooth oolong. It is very floral, but not too strong, its light. Mid and end sip there is an almost woody taste. It is slightly sweet. Just a tad astringent after the sip. Green oolongs are not my favorite, but this one is pretty good. I think because it is floral but not overly floral.

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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131 tasting notes

A very nice smooth Oolong with nice subtlety and gentle flavor and aroma. Slight nutty and floral tones blend nicely for a well rounded brew.

205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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160 tasting notes

Brewing this up using the western method tonight.
First steep is floral, nutty, and has a smooth, pleasant mouthfeel that reminds me of milk oolong.
Second steep is pretty similar, although it is starting to get slightly more vegetal tasting.

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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49 tasting notes

I’m a fan. One of my favorite oolongs. I don’t have much to say in regards to a description. I just shut down my critical mind I was so taken by this tea.

I’m almost exclusively a green tea guy. But this fall and winter I’ve found myself losing the taste a bit and longing for something different. I enjoy oolongs every now and then, along with some black teas and pu-erh, but I was looking for a departure, without going too far from green.

This tea gives me much of what I enjoy about greens while bringing a more overt profile. It has a complexity and some light spice notes along with floral qualities that don’t overwhelm. The liquor has a lovely, golden hue and the substantial, almost meaty leaves steep for many a forgiving infusion (starting at about 1 min, thereafter increasing the time by roughly 1/2 − 1, 1 1/2, 2 1/4, 3 3/8, etc). The mouthfeel is viscous and yet light; strangely paradoxical.

OK… maybe I had a thing of two to say. Maybe I’ll have more to say… I’m off to Teavivre to stock up before this find is a thing of the past.

Tea brewed in my double wall glass Finum. Nice balanced stimulating effect. Not sure of the theanine content of this guy, but I’m guessing the mouthfeel is a result of amino acids. Hoping that includes theanine. It feels like it to me.

Boiling 1 min, 0 sec

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525 tasting notes

The smell of green oolong will always remind me of that time I was unemployed for half a year. It was when I really started to get into teas, and this was the kind of tea that first drew me in. I started each day with a lovely green oolong session as the sun flooded my kitchen with light. This Li Shan is exactly my favorite kind of tea. The scent alone forces you to slow down and appreciate the freshly bruised green aroma. Then you get the velvety smooth liquid in your mouth and it’s like swallowing spring flowers. It tastes like new life.

These days I take great tea for granted. Time to slow down and focus on the good things in life. Lately world news seems to get more depressing everyday. Need more tea breaks.

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559 tasting notes

My first tea from the Teavivre oolong tasting. Thanks a bunch, Angel!

The dry leaf is tightly rolled and dark green. Before the water hits it, the tea smells vegetal and faintly like the sea. There’s also a hint of nuttiness. I’m a little intimidated, but curious. I’ve been very impressed with Teavivre’s oolongs in the past, so I am prepared to be surprised.

I steeped this in a glass teapot and took a minute to watch the leaves bounce up and down, slowly expanding and unfurling. The water transitioned to a pleasant yellowy green. After three minutes, I stopped them. By that point, I could see that many of the leaves were whole from stem to pointed tip. Beautiful.

The aroma of the finished tea is on the pungent side. However, the flavor is much more tame. The first thing I notice is umami. It’s brothy with a tiny note of seaweed. I’m also tasting salt… that’s a new one for me. But all that is balanced with floral, springlike flavors, and oolong’s nuttiness. It’s a very satisfying tea with a lot going on!

Flavors: Broth, Floral, Nuts, Nutty, Salt, Seaweed, Umami

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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921 tasting notes

Time to rejoin the real world, with much regret. I have been an overstuffed, lazy, derping in front of the TV watching stuff or gaming, lump. In order to celebrate my return to normalcy post holiday, I decided to play with rocks! I went through my mom’s (she gave me a few really pretty pieces, including a very dirty Savannah River Agate) and I collected a few of my old gemstones I had left with her for safe keeping. I then spent several hours researching the Carolina Bay’s geology and formation, spoilers, it is really cool.

So, enough about my nerding out about rocks (though don’t be surprised if they start showing up in my photos) it is time for some Oolong! Today’s tea is Teavivre’s Nonpareil Taiwan Li Shan Oolong Tea, one of Taiwan’s Gao Shan (high mountain) teas grown at an altitude of 2,000ft on Li Shan. This specific tea is called a Gao Leng (woo, I learned a new tea phrase!) meaning high (I knew that much) and cold, referring to the environment the tea is grown in, this in theory makes the tea sweeter and more valuable. The about section on the website has a lot of neat info about Taiwanese teas, including which ones are grown at different heights, difference between high and low mountain Oolong, and so forth. Li Shan is not the highest grown tea, but it is certainly up there. The aroma, well, often I find myself going ga-ga over the roasted oolongs, but wow, when I have a dance with a Gao Shan I wonder, why did I ever get seduced by roasted tea? It is so sweet and so very floral, like a bouquet of honeysuckles, hyacinth, orchids, and lilies, it is intensely floral and at the same time very delicate, no worry of being blasted in the face by a perfume shop. There are also notes of chestnut and cream with a very sweet nectar finish.

I should point out that I am still not on the best terms with the gaiwan I am using for this tea review, it is a great gaiwan from a functionality standpoint (or I would have smashed it) but it is so not ok visually, grumble grumble. May I will give it a full review tomorrow, spoilers, it won’t be pretty…but I digress. The aroma of the steeped leaves is so immensely sweet, I want to hug it with my nose but that would be just odd. Again with the flowers, it is a blend of honeysuckle as the dominant, hyacinth, lilac, and spicebush. This transitions to a bit of creaminess and honey with a finish of chestnut. The aroma of the liquid (hehe, my notes in my notebook are crooked, always a good sign) is as expected very sweet, a delicate blend of flowers, primarily honeysuckle, osmanthus, and spicebush, this transitions to a sweet finish of chestnut.

First steeping sipping time! First steeps always excite me, they are liking starting a story or journey, you get an idea of how things are going to go, but there is room to grow and evolve. The mouthfeel is quite smooth, it coats the mouth and fills it with floral, sweet, happiness. This steep is pretty mellow, a nice sweet nectar start that blooms into hyacinth, orchids, and honeysuckles. The finish is a delicate honey sweetness with a lingering floral note.

The road goes ever on and on, ok, no…Gao Shan is not really a hobbit tea, it is more a tea you would expect the Sindar who dwelt in Gondolin to sip while writing poetry about how they are better than everyone else. The aroma is again, quite yum, the floral aroma has ramped itself up from delicate to intense, there are notes of spicebush, honeysuckle, orchid, osmanthus, hyacinth. So many flowers! There are also notes of chestnuts and a touch of creaminess. And yeah, the taste is sweet and floral, as expected, where the previous steep was flower nectar, this is full on flower essence and creamy chestnut sweetness. You also get a little bit of green fresh vegetation. The aftertaste is floral honey that lingers for quite a while.

Ok, quick question, have any of you ever licked the condensation of the lid of a gaiwan after steeping tea, if you have not, really I suggest doing it because it will be the best thing ever. So super sweet and like the essence of tea distilled into tiny droplets. The aroma is so much flowers, really it smells like a pile of springtime air while visiting a fancy garden, it is so sweet and full of flower nectar that I swear I can smell spring time. The taste is crazy mellow, very smooth and floral with lots of honey and chestnut, this transitions to a touch of mineral and a finish of spicebush that lingers for a while.

For photos and blog:

Flavors: Chestnut, Flowers, Honeysuckle, Nectar, Orchid

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