Spring Tea is the most popular among Taiwan's High Mountain Tea fans. Generally speaking, spring harvest offers the most aromatic and fresh flavor profile. In the end, however, each batch of tea has its own unique character. So we are going to take this opportunity to taste all three of our spring High Mountain Oolong Teas simultaneously, and while doing so, offer some background information about each growing region and how they differ from each other.
The above photo is our source of Alishan High Mountain Oolong Tea. This image captures the milder climate and geographical features of this tea growing region. It is sunnier and more rolling hills than rugged, deep mountain terrain. This is reflected in the especially accessible flavor profile of Alishan High Mountain Tea. Regarding terroir and micro-climate conditions, it really is reflected in the character of the teas! Below is the view from the home of our Alishan source.
Alishan is the southernmost High Mountain Tea growing region on the island of Taiwan. The Tropic of Cancer runs through it, and it differs significantly from the regions further north. Below is a shot from a Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Tea farm overlooking Long Feng Xia (Dragon Phoenix Gorge). You can just feel the difference in the terrain. It is higher elevation, but it's also more rugged geography and cooler climate conditions.
The tea farms on the Long Feng Xia side of Shan Lin Xi are higher up the mountain, but facing south mostly. Our source of Shan Lin Xi High Mountain shown below Tea is lower down, but facing northeast, which exposes it to more substantial wind patterns, and provides it with consistent daily afternoon fog.
Heading further north and deeper into the central mountain range of Taiwan is the Li Shan High Mountain Tea growing region. This is the highest elevation tea producing region, with the most temperate climate (as opposed to sub-tropical). It really looks and feels different in Li Shan than any other developed area on the island.
Li Shan is the smallest of these three most renowned High Mountain Tea producing regions, it is also the most prestigious and pricey. The diurnal temperature variation is the greatest, which is very conducive to producing leaves with the most substantial and complex composition.
Above is the view from our source of Li Shan High Mountain Oolong Tea. It is at a relatively lower elevation, further down the main valley, but it is situated on a ridge that is directly above a large reservoir. This spot, in combination with the daily wind patterns, provide this farm with consistent afternoon fog and temperature variation — similar to our Shan Lin Xi source in terms of daily weather patterns.
Above is the view from the highest tea factory in Li Shan, and all of Taiwan. The image offers a sense of the well above 2000m elevation and topography. It's impressive territory. And the tea that grows here is literally on another level!
So, there's a summary of the geographical and climate characteristics of these three most famous Taiwan High Mountain Tea growing regions. Now, you can check out the tasting video to hear about how this spring's batches from each of these regions compare with each other!
Watch the tasting video where we compare all three teas!
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