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Flavor: Fresh, Fir forest aroma. Light, clean, mildly sweet character. Refreshing, floral finish.
Garden: This farm is managed by an innovative farmer who inherited his family farm, and has continued to expand his farm management to other plots of tea in the Shanlinxi region. Mr. Chen has been a professional tea judge for over 20 years, and continues to hone his skills as both a farmer and professional representative of specialty Oolong tea.
In recent years, he has focused on cultivating tea, and works in cooperation with a local colleague with whom he contracts the processing of his tea. We also know this colleague – Mr. Zhang, who is younger, but very skilled and sought after as a contracted tea maker. A great deal of the tea that he supervises the processing of is procured for entry into the Lugu Farmers' Association's Dong Ding Oolong Tea Competition. Mr. Zhang is also a professional tea judge who is highly motivated in his career.
Mr. Chen employs a registered traceability program where he keeps a record of all his farm management activity, including all specs on fertilizers and pesticides that are administered. This program also conducts an annual inspection of the harvested tea leaves for trace chemical residue, and the results are consistently a fraction of the accepted levels. In addition to this, the factory that processes his tea is annually inspected by a government authorized sanitation program that includes testing of the tea leaves being processed at the time of inspection.
Harvest: Hand picked in medium batches, winter 2016. Shan Lin Xi, Nantou, Taiwan.
One of the prominent qualities of Taiwanese high mountain oolong is the fragrance that exudes from the freshly brewed leaves. Especially after the first and second brews, hold the un-lidded teapot near your nose and inhale slowly to experience the volatile aromatic oils that are being released from the freshly moistened and heated leaves. From there you can enjoy the evolving aroma of each successive brew. The fragrance is the most intriguing and subtle quality of a fine high mountain tea.
This tea carries distinct qualities of adequate oxidation of the leaves during processing. This is evident in its sweeter, mellowed aroma and smooth, balanced flavor. Its aroma is slightly less floral and more fruity or pastry-like. Oxidation offers a more substantial, less green brew that is complex, yet balanced and smooth on the palate. This batch is another exemplary high mountain tea from the Shan Lin Xi area.
This winter batch is noticeably different than the previous summer and fall harvest in that the growing season was not as hot. This results in a more optimal balance of compounds in the leaf, so that they can be oxidized slightly less, which produces a more fresh, floral character in the tea. We find this batch to be a classic representative of Shanlinxi High Mountain Tea in that it has a distinct aroma that exudes from the brewed leaves that is reminiscent of a Fir forest. The flavor is mild, yet substantial and balanced. The aftertaste leaves a pleasant, lingering floral note that is refreshing and uplifting.