Shan Ling Shi is a consistently excellent tea produced on the same mountain as Long Feng Sha. Shan Ling Shi mountain is located in central Taiwan, and the gardens are 1500 – 1700 meters in elevation. The air at this altitude is cool year round, with many foggy days, providing for a long growing season. The tea develops slowly due to the high altitude and low temperatures, which makes the tea wonderful.
Shan Ling Shi offers a variety of wonderful citrus notes blended with a sweet, floral bouquet. It starts out sweeter and more buttery, with later steeps bringing forth a unique smokiness which lasts long after the tea is finished. The sweetness is balanced by a tart beginning from which the sweetness rebounds. This ‘bitter into sweet’ is known as Hui Gan in Mandarin, and it’s this unfolding that is sought after in the best high mountain oolongs. Sometimes this tea is so fragrant that you simply can’t stop smelling it.
One friend who is very fond of Shan Ling Shi mentioned to us that the tea tastes slightly sweeter when the weather is drier. We’ve also noticed this but the effect is difficult to isolate since the subtle flavor of these high mountain teas is heavily influenced by what you eat and drink up to two hours beforehand. For the best flavor, avoid sweet drinks and foods for at least an hour before enjoying any high mountain teas.
This Spring 2012 Shan Ling Shi is our pick for the best tea from the season. One sniff from the bag will convince you: there is simply nothing else like this available anywhere.
75 gram bag – $18