Alishan High Mountain Black Tea Tasting Notes| Eco-Cha Tea Club
Eco-Cha Tea Club's batch #48 is Alishan High Mountain Black Tea. It has a very balanced, integrated flavor profile, and offers subtle notes of a Qing Xin Oolong. The brewed leaves still have a greenish hue, even though the stems are quite reddish, indicating nearly full oxidation. It is an interesting hybrid of tea types, but definitely acts more like a Black Tea made from the small leaf type Qing Xin strain.
The leaves were harvested from the bumper crop, following this year's spring harvest. They were allowed to mature enough to offer a substantial brew with a balanced character that is neither bitter nor astringent. It has brown sugar/oatmeal cookie profile with subtle notes of citrus (we taste bergamot), coffee, and cocoa. It's an amazingly integrated flavor profile that makes it hard to distinguish individual notes.
The brewed tea is a bright copper/red with beautiful transparency and luminescence. It's refined yet substantial character allows it to be brewed with less leaves to offer more complexity, but it can also handle a higher leaf:water ratio and still maintain a balanced character. We recommend starting at 1:20 leaf to water ratio and using above 90*C water, starting with a 40 second brew time, 30 seconds for the second brew, and adding 10 seconds per brew from there on...
It's been a while since we procured a High Mountain Small Leaf Type Black Tea, and we are thrilled to know that our source of Alishan High Mountain Oolong has hit the mark with this year's batch!
So please let us know what you think about this batch of Alishan High Mountain Black Tea, and also please post any questions you may have about this month's edition of the Eco-Cha Tea Club!
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This very small fall harvest of naturally cultivated Oolong leaves was painstakingly processed by a father and son team who are top representatives of their local tea industry. The most inspiring fact is that the son is wholeheartedly inheriting his family's tradition, and this small batch of tea is testimony to that.
The name "Hong Shui (Red Water) Oolong" has been a buzzword in Oolong circles in recent years. But the tea makers who have inherited their local tradition say that this is simply a new name for tea processed like their grandfathers taught them. It used to just be called "Oolong Tea"!
The prominent features of this batch of tea are the growing region, the farming methods, weather conditions on the day of harvest, and the degree of oxidation in the leaves in their processing. These factors offer us a premium quality High Mountain Oolong Tea.
The brewed tea offers a creamy, soft pine aroma with a smooth, savory/vegetal character that is very satisfying. It has a lingering, thick yet mild floral aftertaste, with a touch of heady spice. It's this integrated composition that we have come to appreciate most about High Mountain Oolongs. When there is sufficient complexity, combined with a thick, smooth constitution that actually shines the most after it has cooled down, it rates high on our Oolong score chart!