Free global shipping on orders $35 or more!

Spring Harvest Report 2014 #11- Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Oolong

May 15, 2014

Last weekend we procured our spring batch of Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Oolong from our favorite farmer in the area. This farm also produced our current stock of High Mountain Concubine Oolong.

Waiting for the harvest to be completed and the farmer to rest a couple days, I visited their home 3 days after their final day of harvest on May 8. The farmer brewed leaves from five separate days of harvest simultaneously for me to sample and compare. Due some intermittent rain, the harvest was spread out over 10 days. When the tea leaves are at their peak growing stage, this amount of time can be quite significant in producing different characteristics in the tea - based on the maturity of the leaves. The second most significant factor is the weather on the day of harvest. We discussed these main points and other details as I tasted and compared the brewed teas.

Generally, I prefer a more oxidized and fully-matured leaf that results in a mellower, more full-bodied brew. Yet as I compared these five distinctly different brews from five days of harvest, I was instantly sold on the first day of harvest made from the youngest leaves. What initially impressed me on the first steeping was the full flowery bouquet of aroma the leaves emitted as they brewed. This was by far the most fragrant brew - fresh green herbs with a subtle floral aroma - heady, yet delicate and not overwhelming.

The second harvest was also fresh and fragrant, but not as complex in its aroma - a more standard green high mountain oolong, which is quite popular here in Taiwan. The farmer noted that this was due to high clouds during the outdoor withering stage as opposed to sunny skies on the first day. The third day, harvested a full week later, was considerably more oxidized and hence more balanced and full-bodied.The later harvests were oxidized to a level that is suitable for making roasted oolongs.

Typically, the floral complexity of a younger, greener tea is compromised for a fuller, more subtle and balanced composition in a more oxidized tea leaf. I liked the third day a lot - smooth, delicious, with a lingering aftertaste. But this time, the aromatic bouquet of the first day won. So this spring's Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Oolong is a fine compliment to the leaves these same plants produced last summer in the form of our current High Mountain Concubine Oolong - a balanced, full-bodied, heartier brew.

This photo was taken about a week before spring harvest began:





Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in News

Pure caffeine
How Much Caffeine is in Taiwan Oolong Tea

February 17, 2019 2 Comments

How much caffeine is in Oolong Tea or tea leaves in general isn't as cut and dry as many articles out there would have you believe. The majority of articles simply state how many milligrams of caffeine are in a cup of tea and ignore important factors like brewing temperature, ratio of water to leaves, brewing method, and the specific type of tea. Here, we look at the factors that affect how much caffeine there is Oolong Teas with a look at Taiwan Oolong Teas in particular.

View full article →

Eco-Cha Tea Club: Qing Xin Oolong Black Tea Tasting Notes
Eco-Cha Tea Club: Qing Xin Oolong Black Tea Tasting Notes

February 07, 2019 1 Comment

In addition to the name of the tea strain, this batch of tea was made by an artisan of Dong Ding Oolong Tea with his family plot of heirloom tea trees. He incorporated Oolong Tea methods in the very first step of solar withering, and the very last step of tightly rolling the tea leaves. So the raw material of the summer crop of heirloom Qing Xin Oolong tea leaves, processed by an Oolong Tea maker by trade offers us this superior quality Black Tea.

View full article →

Processing a batch of Qing Xin Oolong Black Tea
Eco-Cha Tea Club: Qing Xin Oolong Black Tea

February 04, 2019 2 Comments

We  chose the name "Qing Xin Oolong Black Tea" in accordance with the local terminology, which would be simply "Oolong Black Tea" (烏龍紅茶). But because in English, Oolong is the name given to partially oxidized teas, we added the Chinese pinyin of this traditional strain of tea plant that originated in mainland China. Qing Xin literally means "green heart" which describes the appearance of the stem of the leaf.

View full article →