Taiwanese High Mountain "Gaoshan" Oolong Tea
Taiwan is known around the world for its outstanding oolongs. Locally, teas grown over 1000m elevation are classified as "High Mountain" or Gao Shan and are extremely prized. Due to thin air at high altitudes, the growth is slower and the yield is lower, but the result is truly exceptional.
During my travels to Taiwan, I was welcomed in by a family in Alishan that has been producing high mountain oolong for over 30 years. From picking and withering, to tossing, frying and rolling, the family let me witness and experience the entire 48 hour process. With a picturesque "sea of clouds" or Yunhai rolling in at various times throughout the day, bringing moisture to the tea plants, the scene was ever-evolving in the Alishan tea hills. The taste and depth of this handcrafted Oolong reflects this complex and beautiful ecosystem.
We've selected a lighter roast level to showcase the fresh, high mountain taste. For those who enjoy savory green teas, this is one to try! Taste the vegetal, roasted notes that are typical of a green tea, but the depth of an Oolong and a clean finish that is characteristically high mountain. We love to drink this tea in the afternoon when craving a healthy, savory snack - think kale chips and wok-fried greens.
Awarded a 4.5/5 rating on Canadian tea blog Tea in Spoons. Read Connie's review of our High Mountain here.
PICKED Nov 2018 (Winter harvest)
ORIGIN Alishan, Taiwan | 1350m Elevation | The Deng Family
LEAF Qingxin Varietal | 1 bud 3-4 leaves
CRAFT Picked, withered, tossed, fried, ball-rolled & lightly charcoal-baked
NOTES Vegetal, Roasted Chestnut, Clean Finish
BENEFITS Rich in minerals and vitamins
We recommend brewing in a Gaiwan for this tea, but it can also be enjoyed Western style.
Chinese Brew (Gaiwan): 4g | 150ml | 95°C | 1 min | +20 sec for additional brews | Can steep ~ 6 times
Western Brew (Mug / Teapot): 5g | 350ml | 95°C | 2 min | + 1 min for additional brews | Can steep ~ 3 times
Cold-Brew (Pitcher): 12g | 750ml | Room temp | 8 hours in fridge | Strain & serve with ice
The tea master behind this High Mountain Oolong, Mr. Deng, and his wife, son and daughter were incredibly hospitable and proud to share their craft. Mr Deng is self taught and learned the art of tea making 30 years ago, and is now training his son and daughter how to master the craft.
Watching them carry out the steps, they would often "Aoye" together, working into late hours of the night, since producing Oolong is very time-sensitive and everything is done in small batches by hand. A true testament to their passion, pride and hard work.
The family also owns a small guesthouse, or Minsu as they are known in Taiwan, dedicated to teaching guests around the world about the craft of Taiwanese High Mountain Oolong. And sharing the natural beauty of the Alishan tea hills.
Due to its high elevation, high mountain oolong is said to contain a high degree of minerals and vitamins, providing wonderful health benefits.
Harvested only twice a year, the winter harvest (November) is celebrated for more body and aftertaste, while the spring harvest (April) is more about the aroma. See if you can notice the subtle differences in season. A fun way to test your taste palette!