Shan Lin Xi Hong Shui Oolong

Shan Lin Xi Hong Shui Oolong is an expressive high mountain red oolong from the famous Shan Lin Xi terroir. This batch features a Mi Xiang honey aroma and a lightly roasted taste. The sweet and tangy fruity flavour has malty mineral notes with a long honey aftertaste.

Brewing guide: 2.5g in 250ml water at 90°C for 2-3 minutes



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Origin:Shan Lin Xi, Nantou County, Taiwan
Elevation:Shan Lin Xi (Sun Link Sea), 1,200-1,300m
Cultivar:Qing Xin 'Green Heart' (青心)
Harvest time:April 2023
Sourcing:From the farmer via Taiwanese Tea Master


Shan Lin Xi ‘Mi Xiang’ Hong Shui Oolong (杉林溪蜜香紅水烏龍) is an expressive high mountain red oolong from the fantastic Shan Lin Xi (Sun Link Sea) terroir in Taiwan grown at an altitude of 1,200-1,300 metres. This oolong was handpicked and oxidised to about 70-80%, after which it was gently roasted. The roasting helps to bring out the natural mi xiang honey aroma and taste. The complex falvour is sweet and fruity with a lasting honey aftertaste. It is grown by Mr Chen and this batch is from the April 2023 harvest. We source it from Mr Chen via our Tea Master in Taiwan.

Shan Lin Xi (杉林溪) is an exceptional terroir located high in the mountains of Nantou Province. Although Alishan as a terroir may be more famous, it is without doubt that Shan Lin Xi produces high mountain (Gao Shan) oolong teas that are also considered to amongst the best from Taiwan. Shan Lin Xi can be literally translated as Pine Forest Stream from Chinese. However it is also commonly known as Sun Link Sea, an English phonetic approximation of the Chinese Shan Lin Xi, a process referred to as phono-semantic matching in linguistics. So both Sun Link Sea Oolong and Shan Lin Xi Oolong refer to teas from the same terroir. The gardens of Sun Link Sea terroir range in altitude between approximately 1,000 and 2,000 metres. The picturesque mountainous landscape is also home to Shanlinxi Forest Recreation Area, a popular destination for nature hiking that is known for its giant forest trees and waterfalls.

The distinct mi xiang aroma found here is similar to other beauty teas. These are unique teas favoured for their honey-like profile that occurs due to presence of little green leaf hoppers (Jacobiasca formosana) that nibble the tea leaves during growth. The tea plants react to this attack by producing more polyphenols, which during processing give the unique ‘beauty tea’ flavour. These tea jassids are an essential aspect in production of some Taiwanese teas.

This Shan Lin Xi ‘Mi Xiang’ Hong Shui Oolong comes in dark tightly rolled leaves. It produces a medium colour liquor with a honey mi xiang aroma. The gentle baking has also imparted some lightly toasted notes to the scent of the leaves as well as the taste. However since the baking was light, it is finely balanced with other flavours and actually helps to bring out more of the honeyed flavour and aroma. The notes range from sweet, tangy and honeyed fruity flavour to a slightly darker malty and mineral edge. We found it a little reminiscent of a fruity bubble tea based on roasted oolongs! This is a really approachable tea that is a real delight.

We suggest brewing this tea at 90°C for 3 minutes according to your taste. It can be brewed 3+ times depending on your taste preferences. To get the most out this tea, consider using a gaiwan or a traditional clay pot to benefit from the complexity of flavours from repeated multiple infusions. For gong fu brewing we suggest using 6g per 100ml at 95c. Optional 2-3 second rinse, 1st infusion 25s, add 5s to each further infusion. Gong fu style brewing should get many, many infusions from this lovely tea!

This Shan Lin Xi Hong Shui Oolong tea was first featured in our February 2024 Curious Tea Subscription Boxes.