The photo above shows all three Li Shan High Mountain Oolong harvests of 2022. Our spring batch is on the left, late summer in the middle, and winter on the right. It was an educational as much as an enjoyable experience to brew each of our Li Shan 2022 batches side by side. Tasting each one brought to mind the growing seasons and harvest conditions of each, and simultaneously brewing them distinguished their differences.
Spring harvest provided the most balanced and full-flavored profile. This is no big surprise, as spring classically is the most popular crop of the year. Summer harvest was the most oxidized, and offered a more substantial, fruity character that is less aromatic but with more legs in the profile. Winter tea was the lightest and most aromatic of the three. Winter harvest unquestionably is the most fragrant, and most representative of a classic Li Shan High Mountain Oolong. This is partially due to the fact that the leaves were harvested relatively immature, just before a week of rain brought on by a passing typhoon. The tender, young leaf material along with lighter oxidation provide the delicate, yet vibrantly fragrant profile for which the highest elevation tea growing regions have become renowned.
We brewed 9g of tea leaves in 150mL tea judging cups for one minute, twice. The winter tea on the right produced the most transparent and limpid brew. Visually, it wins the High Mountain Tea visual exam. It also wins the aromatic profile. It's a lighter brew, but refined and vibrant. In sum, we've determined our current winter batch to be the most representative of a classic Li Shan/Da Yu Ling, i.e. — highest elevation tea flavor profile that we've offered over the last few years. Check out the product page for details on our source of Li Shan High Mountain Oolong!
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