Tea: Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Black Tea

A Black Tea from Eco-Cha

This tea has been retired/discontinued.

Picture of Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Black Tea
Style:Black Tea
Region:Nantou, Taiwan
# Ratings:2 View All

Review of Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Black Tea

6 of 103 of 52 of 560 of 100

A complex, strange, evolving tea, both unexpected and a bit inaccessible. Try as I might, I cannot mentally perceive this as a black tea...it still screams oolong to me. I find I enjoy it much more if I think of it like an oolong. But, thinking about it like an oolong, it tasted too much like a Bai Hao (Oriental Beauty) oolong, a style of tea that I'm not a big fan of, although I liked it much better than most Bai Hao.

Dry leaf looks like an oolong, and smells like an oolong, with a little roast evident.

Upon brewing, smells very slightly more like a black tea, but is peculiar, singular. The dominant aroma is of young, sappy wood, like the green inner bark of a freshly cut twig during the growing season. The aroma has a bready quality, and tones of canned peaches, honey, and caramel. It smells delightful until I sip it, but then there's a weird smell, like candle wax or burned leather, that I strongly dislike. This dissipates into a pleasantly toasty finish.

Mouthfeel and body are very thin. Sweet, honey-like. Like many of Eco-Cha's teas, there is a sour aftertaste. The caramel aroma and syrupy mouthfeel remind me of a Bai Hao oolong.

I found this an odd tea, and hard to appreciate. It grew on me though, but I found myself wanting to brew it stronger, but limited in doing so by the sourness, which became more concentrated in stronger brewing...never overwhelming but always present more than I'd like. I liked it with longer steeps though; this brought out a sort of burnt molasses aroma that I found pleasant.

One-of-a-kind? Intriguing? Absolutely, but it's not very well-suited to my tastes. Price is prohibitive given that I didn't find this as enjoyable. I liked the aroma, but wanted more bitterness, more body, and less sourness. Among Taiwanese blacks, I prefer the ones that actually resemble black tea, something like a Hong Yue (Ruby Black). If I were going to have something like this tea, I'd strongly prefer an oolong.

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