We took this photo last spring when we slept out at this spot in order to catch the early morning harvest. It gives you a sense of the environment and the extent of farm development in this area of the Alishan High Mountain Tea producing region. It is one of the reasons we've chosen this farm as our source. This area was already developed as a rural farming community before the onset of modern tea production in Taiwan. The family farms were simply repurposed to grow tea when High Mountain Tea became popular. So, the development of tea production in this area has had less environmental impact than most other High Mountain Tea producing regions in Taiwan.
This is the plot of land from which our winter batch of Alishan High Mountain Oolong Tea was harvested. The new leaf growth shown in this photo is last spring's crop, however. The growing season of the recent winter crop was very dry, which resulted in a minimal yield. The daily harvests of hand-picked leaves were only 1/4 to 1/3 of the norm, and they only harvested for two days instead of 3 or 4! So we feel particularly grateful for the batch of tea that our ongoing source of Alishan tea was wiling to offer us. This is another real factor in cultivating sustainable relationships with farmers. Determining the ideal source based on many and varied factors, then sticking with that source to demonstrate substantial support builds a committed relationship.
Watch the tasting video below comparing the previous fall batch with the current winter batch or grab some of the current batch here!
Our Alishan High Mountain Jin Xuan Oolong Tea is from the same source. Jin Xuan is the name given to a hybrid cultivar that was engineered by Taiwan's Tea Research and Extension Station in the 1980's. It's the second most commonly grown cultivar in Taiwan, after the Qing Xin Oolong cultivar that has it's origins in mainland China. Jin Xuan is a hardier plant that can tolerate less than ideal growing conditions, and still produce a decent yield. The day's harvest of our winter Jin Xuan was exactly twice as much as the harvest of Qing Xin Oolong!
We are very pleased with the overall character of our winter batch of Alishan High Mountain Jin Xuan Oolong, and you can learn about the full details by watching the tasting video below. Get your share of this tea here!
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