Our friend's mom and aunties picked thousands of Osmanthus blooms by hand last month in order to make special batches of flower blended tea. He related how decades ago, when Taiwan High Mountain Tea first became popular, it was often described as having an Osmanthus flower fragrance. Whether it is "the good old days" syndrome, climate change, or other factors, old skool Oolong heads all agree that High Mountain Tea is not was it once was. So our friend wanted to bring back that character of High Mountain Tea by subtly infusing Alishan High Mountain Tea leaves with Osmanthus flower essence.
It's a very delicate flower that wilts quickly. So our friend blended the flowers with tea leaves immediately after being picked. He layered the fresh blooms between layers of already cured and dried tea leaves, and allowed the tea leaves to absorb the moisture and the aromatic essence of these wonderfully fragrant blooms. After about 20 hours, his sifted the blooms out of the tea leaves, and then baked the leaves at low temperature (70-80°C) for a few hours to deplete them of the moisture they absorb from the flowers.
Harvesting the Osmanthus blooms is incredibly tedious work, and this is why Osmanthus tea blends have become rare. It's really a labor of love! And the blending has to be done while the flowers are still fresh. So when our friend told us of his plan to harvest this year's bountiful bloom to make a High Mountain Tea blend, we put our dibs in immediately!
We get to kick off the seventh year of the Eco-Cha Tea Club with this unique batch of painstakingly prepared tea. The Alishan Tea growing region produces the best quality Jin Xuan (milky oolong) tea in the world. Jin Xuan is the most popular hybrid cultivar in Taiwan. It has a pronounced buttery, creamy character that is very well received around the world. This distinctive tea combined with soft, subtle Osmanthus flower notes makes it unique. It's a delicious treat, and we are proud to be sharing it with our dedicated Tea Club members!
Find out all about the tasting notes of this tea in our blog post here.
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