Flavor: Savory, buttery, vegetal aroma. Smooth, substantial texture. Smooth, savory/pastry character. Refreshing, herbal finish.
Garden: We continue to be delighted with our source of Alishan Tea that we discovered years ago. It is a residential farm, run by a husband and wife team, with an onsite factory, and surrounded by pine and bamboo forest in the Alishan High Mountain Tea area of Taiwan. It embodies pretty much everything we aspire to support in the local industry, and represent to tea lovers around the world. This homestead farm is among the highest elevation farms in the valley, with only small neighboring plots of tea, but no residential development above it. We have a great feeling about the people and the environment that sustainably produce this quality High Mountain Tea from the Alishan region.
Harvest: Hand-picked, medium batch. From Ruili, Taiwan. Winter 2020.
Alishan High Mountain Oolong is a vibrant, fresh green oolong with a mild, subtly sweet character that makes a popular choice in this category. This batch is significantly oxidized, offering a fresh herbal bouquet and balanced brew. As with all quality High Mountain Oolong Tea from Taiwan, there is a smooth viscosity to the texture of the tea, while maintaining its clean, fresh character.
This batch of High Mountain WinterTea offers a smooth, savory herbal and pastry flavor profile. It has a delicate balance of sweet and astringent qualities that leave an especially clean mouth-feel combined with a lingering, fragrant finish in the nose. It's a refined and complex combination of herbal/floral and sweet qualities with the inherent bitter/astringent character of tea leaves that gives Alishan High Mountain Tea its claim to fame.
This batch of tea comes from Ruili Village in the Meishan Township of Chiayi County, Taiwan. We source our Alishan High Mountain Oolong from same farm. The neighboring villages of Ruifeng and Ruili have increasingly become popular sources of Alishan High Mountain Oolong in the last 10-15 years in the local industry. Originally, Alishan tea was originally made famous by the newly developed area on the south-western foothills of Alishan, with the most famous place name being Shizuo. This area is along the main tourist route leading to Alishan Scenic Area, and the local tea industry flourished and developed as a result. While quality tea is still produced in this area, it has become somewhat over-popularized and over-developed.
Zhangshuhu was the earliest "new hot spot" for Alishan High Mountain Tea, that became a popular resource 15-20 years ago. But at the same time, neighboring villages developed tea farms and sold their produce for a more reasonable price, yet offering competitive quality. Just a bit down the mountain, we've discovered that there are more family-run operations and smaller farms. We firmly believe that this makes a difference not only on a sustainable level, but also in terms of the quality of tea produced.
When farms are run privately, there is more care and responsibility that goes into the management of them. This, combined with smaller factories results in smaller quantities of tea leaves being processed on a daily and seasonal basis. This smaller batch factor allows for more customized processing, and is also typically done by the farmers/owners themselves, who take more pride in their processing methods and quality of their product.
Mug: 9g tea in 300ml 100°C water. Steep for 4 minutes. Re-steep. Adjust to taste.
Cold Brew: Use 5g of tea per liter of water. Brew tea at room temperature for 2-3 hours, and enjoy. Or you can put your cold brew bottle in the fridge to brew overnight and be ready to drink the next day.
Gong Fu: Cover the bottom of your Gongfu teapot with tea leaves (10g for a 150 ml pot). Use boiling temperature water and brew for about 50 seconds on the first brew, and 40 for the second brew. Increase brewing time 10-20 with each successive brew. The leaves can be brewed up to 6 times.