Longan Charcoal Roast Shan Lin Xi

$28.00

A rare high mountain oolong that has undergone extensive roasting to develop robust aromas and a smooth, rich flavour that will surprise your taste buds.

Flavour
Complex roasted character with syrupy and fruity undertones and a tangy, mild peat finish

Harvest
Qing Xin cultivar, Spring

Processing
Hand picked in small batches; 40% oxidation; 8 separate roasts (50 hours of roasting time); 3 times roasted in conventional oven at a low temperature to provide a base roasting level; 5 times roasted over charcoal ash made from longan fruitwood with heat gradually increasing; leaves are spread on a screen above the ash with no exposure to smoke

Elevation
1,500 metres

Charcoal roasted tea that is done well is unique and exudes the qualities of being a handmade artisan tea. Over several months the specialised tea roaster used charcoal made from longan fruitwood, giving a syrupy sweet note to the deep roasted flavour.

The wet leaves and liquor deceive you into expecting the tea will taste smoky, but what your palate hasn’t discovered yet is the depth of flavour that slowly reveals itself. Flavours of wood, roasted nuts and a gentle sweetness reminiscent of molasses all come together to create the complex roasted character with a hint of longan fruit and a mild earthy finish. Be sure to appreciate the brewed leaves as even after secondand third infusions and extensive roasting, the leaves are flexible and retain some of their original character, which shows the quality of the roasting.

We paired Longan Charcoal Roast Shan Lin Xi with Potomac – a pure 85% bean-to- bar chocolate from Costa Rica – and Laphroaig 10 – a singe malt whisky that’s famous for its peat notes. The peat flavour was replaced with rich cocoa and ripe fruit notes and if WOW factor was a taste, we’d include this too.

Brewing methods

3g per 250 mls (1 cup)

First infusion: rinse leaves with 90oC water for 10 seconds and discard water; infuse for 3 minutes at 90oC

Additional infusion: gradually increase steeping time for second infusion.

7g (2 tsps) in 100ml Gaiwan

First infusion: rinse leaves with 90oC water for 10 seconds and discard water; infuse 20-30 seconds at 90oC

Second and third infusions: infuse 20-30 seconds at 90oC

Additional infusions: double infusion time with each additional infusion

3g per 250mls (1 cup) of room temperature water

Brew in a tea flask at room temperature for up to 2 hours. Taste as it's brewing and strain the tea when you like the flavour. Be cautious of ambient brewing a roasted tea, as the smoke flavour could dominate.

Learn more about the origin and terroir

At 1,500 metres, this Longan Charcoal Roast Shan Lin Xi comes from a prime high mountain oolong region. Tea grown at this elevation typically has more substance and balance of the natural constituents in the tea leaf..

In Taiwan, the elevations for the tea growing regions are:

  • High altitude (high mountain) teas are grown from 1,000m – 2600m (3,000 – 8,530 feet)
  • Low altitude teas are grown below 800m (2,624 feet)

Tea plants struggle in the mountains because of the significant difference in day and night time temperatures. Sometimes there’s also minimal rainfall and the spring growth is delayed because the plants grow slowly. This stressful environment pushes the plants to work harder and concentrates the flavours in the leaves. Similar to people the more the plants struggle, the more character the tea will have.

To provide the best conditions for processing, the freshly picked leaves were processed at a lower elevation to ensure there was less fog and more sunshine for solar withering. In preparation for heavy roasting, the leaves were oxidized more than a standard high mountain oolong to ensure the best possible results.