Shan Lin Xi Qing Xin Autumn Oolong (杉林溪秋天烏龍) is a lightly oxidised high mountain oolong from the famous Shan Lin Xi (Sun Link Sea) tea growing area located in Nantou County of Taiwan. It features an attractive floral provide with fresh verdant notes. This oolong is made from hand-picked leaves of Qing Xin ‘Green Heart’ (青心) cultivar plants that are grown at an altitude of 1,100-1,200 metres. It is grown by Mr Chen and was picked and carefully processed in September 2023, when a particularly fine batch was produced. 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 vast majority of oolong teas grown at high altitude in Taiwan are made from the Qing Xin ‘Green Heart’ (青心) cultivar plants. This is true of most Sun Link Sea oolong teas as well. This particular Shan Lin Xi Qing Xin Oolong is also made from hand-picked leaves of Green Heart cultivar plants. This particular batch was picked in September 2023 when the weather conditions contributed to a particularly good batch. The oxidation level is approximately 20% and this tea does not undergo any baking. This results in a beautiful floral aroma and character that Taiwanese high mountain oolong teas are famous for.
This Shan Lin Xi Qing Xin Autumn Oolong comes in tightly rolled leaves, which are mostly large but also vary in size. The dark green leaves have a wonderfully floral aroma. When brewed they unfurl into large leaves consisting of a tip and the top 1-3 leaves. The produced liquor is clear and bright, with a pale golden colour and a highly aromatic floral scent. The refreshing bright and clean flavours are predominantly floral with a pleasant sweetness running through. There are further verdant notes with a buttery and herbaceous undertone that adds pleasant complexity. Finally, the aftertaste is lasting, with a mouth coating silky smoothness. This tea is a fantastic example of a classy Sun Link Sea oolong displaying the best bright and floral characteristics.
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!