Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Oolong Summer Harvest

July 20, 2021 0 Comments

Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Oolong spring and summer harvest comparison

We brewed our spring batch of Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Oolong Tea alongside the freshly picked summer batch to observe the differences between these two consecutive harvests from the same source. These two batches exhibited the classic seasonal traits of spring and summer high mountain tea.

Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Oolong spring and summer crops brewed side by sidee

The color of the brewed tea shows that the summer crop was oxidized noticeably more than spring tea. The spring tea has a lighter, brighter, golden green hue. While the summer tea has a deeper golden hue with a bit more substance. The tea maker purposely pushes the summer leaf material further along in the oxidation process because of the higher concentration of catechins in the leaves due to hotter weather during the growing season. Higher concentrations of these chemical compounds in the leaves can result in more astringency in the brewed tea if they are not oxidized weill enough. At higher elevations, it's still possible to make a lightly oxidized Oolong Tea. At low and mid-elevations, summer and fall crops are made into a heavily oxidized Hongshui Oolong, Hong Oolong, or fully oxidized Black Tea.

The flavor profiles of these two batches also represent the classic seasonal differences between spring and summer crops. Spring tea is more complex and floral in character. Summer tea is mellower, with herbal, vegetal, and fruity qualities. The flavor profiles are a result of the raw material produced by the weather conditions in the growing seasons, the annual cycles in the plant's activity, and consequently the way in which the tea master will treat the leaves to bring them to the fullest potential.

Tea master in the factory

Above is the guy who supervises the processing of our Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Tea. After several years of visiting the factory while the tea is being made, we've come to regard him as one of the most skilled high mountain tea makers we've known. He really does embody the role of a master in that he does very little! But he is fully present at the crucial stages of the overall processing, often visibly in deep concentration. Here he is just standing before the two bamboo tumblers as the leaves get tumbled inside them. He puts his nose to the woven baskets to smell the aroma wafting up from the leaves to decide when to stop.

Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Tea making

In addition to paying close attention at the pivotal stages, he also does not skimp on hiring manual labor. This work could be done by 3 people, but he always has 5 pairs of hands to enhance the flow and thoroughness of shuffling and stacking the leaves. It is precisely this type of finesse that goes into manipulation of  the freshly picked leaves to produce quality tea — starting with the initial phase of solar withering as the leaves come in from the field.

Check out our tasting video for the full commentary on a taste comparison of spring and summer harvests of Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Oolong. Oh, and it should be noted that summer/fall harvests are quite a bit cheaper than spring and winter harvests. So if you are a High Mountain Oolong lover, and you are looking for a more economical everyday drinking tea, this definitely fits the bill!

LET US KNOW!

Please leave a comment in the comments section below or leave any questions you may have about our teas.

SUBSCRIBE!

If you enjoyed this post and would like to hear more about the specialty tea industry here in Taiwan, follow us on YouTubeFacebook, and Instagram and please subscribe to our newsletter. Subscribe now and get $5 off your first order!

 






Also in News

Traditional Dong Ding Oolong | Eco-Cha Tea Club
Traditional Dong Ding Oolong | Eco-Cha Tea Club

May 16, 2022 0 Comments

The figure in the foreground of the photo above is the matriarch of this family of Traditional Dong Ding Oolong Tea makers. This pic was snapped a few years ago, and she is now in her late eighties, so she is not the tea picking queen she once was, but she is as talkative and friendly as ever!

View full article →

Taiwan Dong Ding Oolong Spring 2022 | Eco-Cha Teas
Taiwan Dong Ding Oolong Spring 2022 | Eco-Cha Teas

May 12, 2022 0 Comments

With the arrival of our spring batch of Taiwan Dong Ding Oolong Tea, we were inspired to brew it alongside our Traditional Dong Ding Oolong as well as our current edition of the Eco-Cha Tea Club — which also happens to be a Traditional Dong Ding Oolong. All three teas were harvested this spring from the same community in Lugu, Taiwan.

View full article →

Shan Lin Xi Taiwan  High Mountain Oolong Tea Spring 2022 | Eco-Cha Teas
Shan Lin Xi Taiwan High Mountain Oolong Tea Spring 2022 | Eco-Cha Teas

May 05, 2022 0 Comments

Spring 2022 Taiwan high mountain tea harvest is slowly but steadily working its way up the mountain! Lower and mid-elevations were harvested by mid-April. Alishan High Mountain Oolong was mostly harvested by the last week in April, as Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Tea picking began.

View full article →