Our source of Tsui Yu Jade Oolong (台茶13號) had an interesting story to tell when we asked him about spring harvest.
Due to the late arrival of spring proper in Taiwan, and colder, dryer weather at the beginning of growing season, the farmer trimmed his first growth on his plants that amounted to sparse shoots on the plants early in the season. This will allow him to harvest a more even growth that proceeded with the arrival of more typical weather a few weeks later. So what normally would have been harvested weeks ago at 400m elevation will start to be harvested in the next week for our Tsui Yu source. We look forward to tasting this "alternative" spring harvest.
The summer batch is noticeably less oxidized than the spring batch, and has maintained its fresh green character that Lishan tea is most renowned for. The leaves were sufficiently oxidized in order to remove the green grassy character that is inherently in the leaves. This is what distinguishes Oolong from Green Tea. Just a minimal amount of oxidation resulting from gently shuffling the leaves intermittently over long periods of wilting transforms the chemical compounds in the leaves, offering a more complex and substantial flavor profile. This batch of tea offers a buttery, savory aroma — especially upon moistening the leaves, but also throughout subsequent brews. The flavor profile is mildly sweet fresh cream, with herbal notes. The finish is clean, soft, yet lingering and subtly heady, with floral undertones.
he climate in the Lishan region is strikingly different from other tea producing regions. At 2000m elevation, and a valley situated in a direction that allows the north-easterly wind patterns to offer drastic diurnal temperature variations — tea leaves produced here are of a different caliber. We are thrilled to be sharing a batch of tea from the area that really is most impressive in terms of its "high mountain" character!
Taiwan's Tea Research and Extension Service (TRES) recently hosted a seminar that showcased the tea making skills of 15 champion prize winning tea masters from throughout Taiwan. Each shared his skill in making a particular type of tea. Here we give a behind-the-scenes look at what went down at this one of a kind event.