The photo above is from a cupping of summer Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Oolong, fall Alishan High Mountain Jin Xuan Oolong, and fall Alishan High Mountain Oolong Tea. Click on the YouTube tasting video at the bottom of this blogpost for the full scoop!
Taiwan High Mountain Oolong Teas are typically harvested 3 or 4 times a year. Between the most popular spring and winter harvests, there are usually summer and/or fall crops. In recent years, we've been dedicated to sourcing these "in between" harvests as much as possible. We do this for two reasons.
One is that climate change has affected seasonal weather patterns by making them much less consistently reliable than in the past. It has become more of a season by season assessment. It's also just fun and interesting to experience consecutive harvests of the year from the same source. It offers a deeper understanding of this specialty product, and makes our experience of tea appreciation more meaningful.
The other reason is that the marketing strategy that developed decades ago with the popularization of High Mountain Tea in Taiwan made spring and winter crops far more valuable than summer and fall crops. This made sense 20-30 years ago, as the seasonal weather patterns were far more distinct than they are now. The quality and character of produce from each season were also much more distinguishable. This is still generally true, but less predictably and less significantly. So we are dedicated to transparently share the produce from summer and/or fall harvests in addition to spring and winter — in order to provide a more substantial experience of Taiwan's tea culture. In doing so, we are also able to offer a much more economical price for batches of tea that come from the same sources — just harvested a few months apart from the primary spring/winter produce.
Watch the tasting video below for our take on the 3 selections of summer/fall High Mountain Oolong Tea that we currently have in stock. They are all worth experiencing, especially because you will deepen your understanding of seasonal variations from the same source! And — they are a great deal!
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