This tea tastes like it was poured out of a very delicate porcelain teapot by an expert. It’s a delicate green pollen, pooling in your cup, soothing you during difficult times. It’s classic; it’s timeless; it’s fancy. It’s exactly what I’d expect to taste at a non-matcha tea ceremony.
When I was in Phildelphia’s Shofuso Japanese House and Garden, I actually accidentally walked into a class where they were teaching tea ceremonies. I didn’t realize it was a class. There was no note. There was just a person speaking to some other people, sitting on a mat. I thought it was a tour guide or something and got — unceremoniously — thrown out.
I think that, if I had stayed, I would have learned the art of distributing this tea to my companions with grace. These leaves deserve fine treatment after, as Harney’s site claims, “battl[ing] cold (sometimes even snow) and frequent mists,” resulting in a “rare and haunting” quality. I could have poured this pale yellow tea with a delicate wrist motion. People would have sipped it out of clay cups like these.
Alas, I’m drinking it out of a mug I got from Hot Topic for $5. I guess I’ll never be as classy as my tastes.
Want to Know More About This Tea?
Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Harney and Sons
Li Shan, considered to be among the best oolong teas in the world, comes from one of Taiwans highest mountain areas. The tea plants must battle cold (sometimes even snow) and frequent mists. This makes a rare and haunting brew, with echoes of honey and cream.