Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Oolong Tea
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Flavor: Heady floral/fruity aroma. Smooth mouth feel. Notes of cane sugar, arugula and radicchio. Clean, bitter/sweet finish.
Garden: This plot of tea is located in the renowned Long Feng Xia (Dragon Phoenix Gorge) area of the Shan Lin Xi growing region. There are only a handful of tea gardens above this area, which is situated on a ridge overlooking a vast, deep gorge to the south, offering abundant sunlight combined with daily afternoon fog rising up from the valley floor.
Harvest: Hand-picked, medium batch, winter 2022. Shan Lin Xi, Taiwan.
This winter crop from the upper slopes of the Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Tea growing region offers a substantial brew with a vibrant complexity. The aroma of the brewing leaves is a thick floral/fruity bouquet that is both soothing and stimulating. The tea has a smooth mouthfeel, with notes of savory herbs and fresh vegetables that offer just enough bitter quality to make the subtle flavors pop! It's a very satisfying and refreshing brew that can endure several steepings.
This young professional is our neighbor in Zhushan Township (home of Shan Lin Xi) who we've watched come into his own over the last five years. After six years of working the circuit of High Mountain Oolong production, he embarked on his own tea production four years ago by leasing plots of tea at the highest elevations in his hometown. He put in six years of hands-on training before investing in his own operation. At 30 years old, he now has a solid understanding of both farming and tea processing that are putting him at the top of his game.
The most distinguishing aspect of his farm management is his pioneering efforts in using innovative fertilizers that both reduce labor and cost, while producing extraordinary results in terms of seasonal yield. The most impressive part is that he is using all natural products for his fertilization, and less of them! His whole approach was initially inspired by his personal experience in nutritional supplements and dieting. His ideas were supported by a local friend who is a distributor of farm products and shares his ideology.
So our young aspiring tea pro found a supplier who wanted to explore the same unprecedented farm practice through the use of natural food extracts that are more controllable in their administration, and do not require the supplemental use of chemical fertilizers — as do the unrefined nutrients such as dehydrated soy bean mash and peanut shells. In just three years time, his cutting edge fertilizing methods are being followed by 15 other tea farmers, as well as vegetable farmers who are reporting very positive results. Our friend told us today that his acreage vs. yield is double that of neighboring farms! So, suffice it to say that we are intrigued by this younger generation of innovative farming that could bring tea production to the next level for local farmers!
Mug: 8g tea in 300ml 100°C water. Steep for 4 minutes. Re-steep. Adjust to taste.
Cold Brew: Use 6g 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: tart with a 1:15 leaf to water ratio, e.g. 10g of tea leaves for a 150mL teapot. Use boiling temperature water and brew for about 50 seconds. Increase brewing time with each successive brew. The leaves can be brewed 6 times. Adjust to taste.