Shan Lin Shi Hong Cha – Part 1

Shan Lin Shi Hong Cha - dry leaves

This was yet another tea that was included as a free sample in a recent order I placed over at House of Tea.

As the name suggests, this is a black tea, or Hong Cha / Red Tea.

The raw material is of the Chin Shin varietal, which is more commonly used as a base for Taiwanese High Mountain Oolongs.

I’ll cut to the chase – as far as I can remember this is only the second time that a sample has made such a favourable impression on me that as soon as possible I’ve ordered a full sized cargo. That, co-incidentally, was also a Taiwanese black tea.

Just looking at those pretty leaves I had high hopes for the mini-session I was about to have with them. I followed House of Tea’s included brewing instructions to the letter…

Steeping method
Water Used: Imsdal
Weight of dry leaf: 3 grams
Infusion style: Western
Steeping vessel: 200 ml ceramic teapot
Water temperature: 100°C
No. & duration: 3 infusions @ 40, 60, and 90 seconds

Right from the off I knew that a short Western style session using a small 3 gram sample was never going to do justice to this tea.

Shan Lin Shi Hong Cha - a cup of

The liquor was beautiful, lychee sweet with not the merest hint of bitterness, and packed a creamy, lip smacking body.

But there was clearly more, much more, lurking in those adorable spindly twists, something that was obviously only going to be teased out over multiple gong-fu sessions.

This was clearly another of those cases where processing a cultivar in another, non-traditional way had gifted the leaves with new levels of complexity, and this session was, if anything, a trailer, a teaser, a hint of what delights would be there for the steeping if you only had enough of this leaf to get to know it a littler better. Simply put, I couldn’t resist.

Shan Lin Shi Hong Cha - used leaves

Because I ordered on a Friday my tea-mail won’t arrive until Monday afternoon, but I just know for a fact that it will be more than worth the wait.

Part 2 of this post will, mais naturellement, include a full write-up of my gong-fu shenanigans with this tea.

Watch this space, etc.

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2 Responses to Shan Lin Shi Hong Cha – Part 1

  1. Pingback: Nepal Golden Meadow Second Flush | Diary of a Northern Teaist

  2. Pingback: Shan Lin Shi Hong Cha – Part 2 | Diary of a Northern Teaist

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