Winter LiShan from Mountain Tea

I’ve seen Mountain Tea’s LiShan name-dropped a few times on Steepster and r/tea due to its abnormally cheap price. With 5 ounces going for only $25, could it actually be any good? Well, judging by the reviews on Steepster and r/tea, people seem to be quite impressed.

Mountain Tea recently started selling a Spring LiShan that created a bit of a buzz on r/tea, which reminded me that I had a box of the Winter LiShan still sitting on my tea shelf. I figured it was about time that I got around to writing about it.

LiShan is probably my favorite type of oolong tea, so I couldn’t wait to try Mountain Tea’s version. LiShan is a mountain in central Taiwan. Its name translates to “Pear Mountain,” which conjures up lovely images of pear orchards and tea fields. And from what I read online, that image is quite accurate. LiShan is home to many pear and apple orchards, which require the cool mountain temperatures in order to thrive.

This is the last Mountain Tea I have to review, so there won’t be any more in the future….sorry if I’ve been reviewing too many of their products lately! For the next few weeks, I’ll be focusing on White2Tea’s newer offerings.

I drank this tea while constructing a tea table, so pardon any messiness or sawdust.

Dry Leaf

The dry leaf looks like a standard rolled oolong. Most of the leaves were a dark grey-green color, but there are also a few bright green leaves floating around. There are a few stems thrown into the mix.

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These leaves certainly smell like high quality LiShan. They give off a very grassy and floral aroma, but with a certain richness to it that is very hard to put into words. The closest thing I can think of is perhaps a roasted nut or coconut aroma.

Teaware

I got to break in my beautiful new teapot for this review. I just got this Ruyao Triad Teapot from White2Tea.

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I’ve had my eye on this teapot for several months since I’m such a huge sucker for ruyao teapots and it matches my ruyao teacup perfectly. After gushing about this teapot to all of my tea friends, I finally received it as a gift. There is a lesson to learn here. If you drop subtle hints about a teapot long enough, somebody will buy it for you (sarcasm).

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I used 9 grams of leaf for this 150 ml teapot.

Brewing

I started out brewing this tea at 190° F. The first steep is a light buttery yellow color with a touch of green.

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The upfront taste is light and extremely floral, somewhat similar to a Jin Xuan milk oolong. However, the herbal notes take over quite quickly and begin to dominate. The mouthfeel is very thick and pleasant, which is a feature that I really enjoy in high mountain oolongs.

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The aftertaste is very sweet and floral, and left my mouth feeling clean and refreshed.

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The second steep is a bit lighter in color. The mouthfeel is still very thick, but the flavor profile changes. The herbal flavor fades away and is replaced by a sweet and fruity flavor, perhaps pineapple as other reviewers have mentioned.

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I think I left the third steep to sit a bit too long, so it came out noticeably darker. This tea is still very pleasant when oversteeped.

I continued to drink this tea for about 7 or 8 infusions, so it can certainly last through a longer tea tasting session. After finishing this session, I felt extremely relaxed and calmed, perhaps even more so than I usually do after sitting down to drink tea. That’s a good sign I suppose!

Finished Leaf

The finished leaves were very large and full. It looks like there are more stems than I noticed before, so perhaps they were curled into the balls.

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Conclusion

This LiShan may not be quite as good as the super duper top-notch stuff you can find in high-end Taiwanese tea stores, but it is still a wonderful tea. I would definitely recommend grabbing a bag of this from Mountain Tea. As far as the quality to price ratio goes, you can’t do much better than this LiShan.

I am elated to have found this tea, because I can now drink quality LiShan on a regular basis without breaking the bank. This tea is cheap enough that I can drink it regularly without feeling guilty about the ridiculous amount of money I spend on tea every year. With 5 ounces of this tea only going for $25, I wouldn’t pass it up. I will definitely be buying this tea again, and I can’t wait to try the Spring LiShan to see how it compares.

For the next few weeks, I’ll be focusing on White2Tea’s newer offerings. It’s been a while since I’ve tried any new and interesting puerh teas, so I am looking forward to it!

http://mountaintea.com/collections/green-oolong/products/lishan-winter-1

Some people will tell you there is a great deal of poetry and fine sentiment in a chest of tea.~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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