Alishan vs. Lishan


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Alishan vs. Lishan

Postby tatsumi09 » Nov 30th, '09, 23:02

A while back I had a friend who got me 50 grams of oolong from Taiwan (which he said was very expensive...I don't blame him since he's used to supermarket prices >.>). To date it was the best tea I have ever tasted. It was one of the few teas that I tried where each infusion had a very noticeable difference, with the third being the most heavenly.

Now I thought it was Alishan oolong...but then I noticed that there is also Lishan oolong. I know I gave the tin to a friend who loved the design on it (I'll try to track him down, which may be difficult, so I can get the actual name)

So does anyone know what the difference is between alishan and lishan?
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Re: Alishan vs. Lishan

Postby Maitre_Tea » Nov 30th, '09, 23:18

Well, first off there's a geographic difference. Ali Shan is located in NanTou county (the only landlocked county in Taiwan), where as Li Shan is located in Taichung County. It's been argued that teas from Li Shan represent some of the finest that you can find in high mountain teas, and the coveted Da Yu Ling comes from Li Shan. I think teas from Li Shan are more or less of higher elevation than Ali Shan.

Personally, it's a matter of terroir and different things you like about that region. I would look through Shiuwen's blog on Floating Leaves to see if she's written on the differences, or maybe even email her about them.
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Re: Alishan vs. Lishan

Postby Victoria » Dec 1st, '09, 00:03

As Maitre_Tea says they are both just mountain regions in Taiwan. "Shan" means mountain so either Li or Ali Mountain.

AliShan and LiShan are two of my favorite Oolongs. I usually do prefer the AliShan, but this year, Spring '09 the LiShan seemed better. The afore mentioned DaYuLing was better than both. Being that it is late in the season now, some of the premo stuff is getting hard to find. I guess it all depends on your palate and your wallet.

Camellia Sinensis still has AliShan and it is premo (IMHO):
http://camellia-sinensis.com/tea/fiche/ ... an+Mr.Chen
and they still have DaYuLing:
http://camellia-sinensis.com/tea/fiche/?id=Da+Yu+Lin

Unfortunately Floating Leaves Tea is sold out of the LiShan and the DaYuLing, which was ever so slightly better.

If you just want a jumping off point, you can try Adagio's AliShan. It's a good every day drinker, if you are not too spoiled. :)
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Re: Alishan vs. Lishan

Postby marvell » Dec 1st, '09, 04:10

The difference between these two words is not just a capital letter.

As Vitoria said, "shan" in Chineses stands for mountain, Ali is the name of a hero in legends, and Li means pear.

As I am a new tea drinker, I can only explain from the words meaning :roll:
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Re: Alishan vs. Lishan

Postby Victoria » Dec 1st, '09, 13:29

Thanks Marvell and Welcome!!

Here's some Eye Candy via Camellia Sinensis:
AliShan:
Image
LiShan:
Image
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Re: Alishan vs. Lishan

Postby beecrofter » Dec 1st, '09, 18:22

DaYuLing, Li Shan, Shan Lin Xi, and Alishan are four high mountain tea production regions in Taiwan. DaYuLing, located 2,300 to 2,600 meter above sea level, it is the highest among the four. Followed by Li Shan, which is 2,200 to 2,400 meter above sea level. Shan Lin Xi is at 1,100 to 1,800 meter above sea level, and Alishan is at over 1,000 meter above sea level.

(ripped from the teahub website)
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Re: Alishan vs. Lishan

Postby tatsumi09 » Dec 3rd, '09, 07:01

From the teafromtaiwain website, "Da Yu Ling is located on Mount Li (Li Shan or Pear Mountain)". So I guess both Da Yu Ling and Li Shan come from the same mountain, but different elevations. I also noticed that the Da Yu Ling liquor is darker and more brown than Li Shan, so I'm assuming they use different fermentation levels.

"Two of the most famous of the Alishan tea areas are Zhong Shu Hu and Shi Zuo." So are those two considered to be the same as Alishan Oolong, but with more technical names, maybe referring to the exact plantation area within the region or fermentation level? Many vendors list "alishan oolong", but there is no "alishan" on the teafromtaiwan website (although they have Zhong Shu Hu and Shi Zuo)

Similarly, "Tsuei Luan" comes from the Li Shan region, so is it the same as "Li Shan Oolong" that other vendors sell?

I also just noticed that Alishan and Li Shan are quite far apart. For some reason I thought they were next to each other.
Image
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Re: Alishan vs. Lishan

Postby Victoria » Dec 3rd, '09, 13:05

Well growers as well as vendors names tea however they want. Which adds to the confusion. And then of course the grower can also roast at what ever level they choose. But in order to compete with some of the high prices commanded for greener high mountain oolongs they usually keep in line.
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Re: Alishan vs. Lishan

Postby Victoria » Dec 3rd, '09, 14:12

Speaking of ... I found some AliShan from Seven Cups in my stash at work. It is from 2008 yet still full of life and quite enjoyable. The name is Alishan Gao Shan Cha. It is nice, clear and sparkling still. It has a nice full mouth feel, a lovely floral aroma and a distinct cinnamon note. Surprisingly nice for its age.

LiShan maybe more highly acclaimed but IMHO the best AliShan will beat the best LiShan hands down. But it's all according to your own preference.
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Re: Alishan vs. Lishan

Postby Tead Off » Dec 3rd, '09, 23:24

Victoria wrote:Speaking of ... I found some AliShan from Seven Cups in my stash at work. It is from 2008 yet still full of life and quite enjoyable. The name is Alishan Gao Shan Cha. It is nice, clear and sparkling still. It has a nice full mouth feel, a lovely floral aroma and a distinct cinnamon note. Surprisingly nice for its age.

LiShan maybe more highly acclaimed but IMHO the best AliShan will beat the best LiShan hands down. But it's all according to your own preference.


Whoa! I will respectfully refute that statement. Of course, personal preference will always come first, but, for me, the great teas have been from Li shan and shan lin xi.
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Re: Alishan vs. Lishan

Postby Maitre_Tea » Dec 4th, '09, 00:44

Tead Off wrote:
Victoria wrote:Speaking of ... I found some AliShan from Seven Cups in my stash at work. It is from 2008 yet still full of life and quite enjoyable. The name is Alishan Gao Shan Cha. It is nice, clear and sparkling still. It has a nice full mouth feel, a lovely floral aroma and a distinct cinnamon note. Surprisingly nice for its age.

LiShan maybe more highly acclaimed but IMHO the best AliShan will beat the best LiShan hands down. But it's all according to your own preference.


Whoa! I will respectfully refute that statement. Of course, personal preference will always come first, but, for me, the great teas have been from Li shan and shan lin xi.


+1, also with respect and personal preference and all...
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Re: Alishan vs. Lishan

Postby tatsumi09 » Dec 4th, '09, 03:19

Haha, this is getting me way too excited. I guess I should do Alishan vs. Li Shan tasting session in the near future.

I also remember some members mention that the tastes differ by year, where one year may make a certain better than another (which makes sense since there really is way too many variables that affect the final outcome of a tea).
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Re: Alishan vs. Lishan

Postby Victoria » Dec 4th, '09, 13:48

tatsumi09 wrote:Haha, this is getting me way too excited. I guess I should do Alishan vs. Li Shan tasting session in the near future.

I also remember some members mention that the tastes differ by year, where one year may make a certain better than another (which makes sense since there really is way too many variables that affect the final outcome of a tea).


Yes, different years, different growers, different levels of roasting. Even hand harvested vs. machine. But the good news is - they are both excellent teas, so if you buy quality leaf, you will be happy. :)
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Re: Alishan vs. Lishan

Postby rhondabee » Dec 5th, '09, 13:35

I have only tried a sample of Alishan from TC Formosa teas, and it was okay, but the leaves seemed to be a bit broken and smaller - and the taste not that outstanding. I tried a sampling of high mountain oolongs from Floating Leaves and I really loved the DaYu Ling - it tasted so savory/buttery with an almost lemony taste to me, and the color was a very bright lemon yellow. Sooo good and fragrant. I also really enjoyed the Shan Lin Xi and the Li Shan, both of which tasted very similar. Very savory smelling/tasting with a bit of floral scent and buttery. The smell of the wet leaves is so addicting to me - I can't stop sniffing it - just a very savory smell, which I can't describe. I decided price-wise to get more of the Shan Lin Xi. But I definitely want to get more of the Da yu ling when it becomes available again. I also want to try some more Ali shan. Trying all the different kinds of oolongs and comparing them is what makes tea drinking so enjoyable to me.
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Re: Alishan vs. Lishan

Postby tatsumi09 » Dec 6th, '09, 06:21

rhondabee wrote:The smell of the wet leaves is so addicting to me - I can't stop sniffing it - just a very savory smell, which I can't describe.

I don't know why I completely forgot about that fact since it did have such a unique smell. God, I can't wait till my Li Shan tea arrives!
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