Taiwanese High Mountain "Gaoshan" Oolong Tea
In Taiwan, teas grown over 1000m elevation are classified as Gao Shan Cha or "High Mountain Tea" and are extremely prized. Due to the thin air at high altitudes, the growth is slower but the result is very rewarding.
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. Mr Deng (the tea master), his wife, and their son and daughter in-tea-training were incredibly hospitable and proud to share their craft. From picking and withering, to tossing, frying and rolling, they let me witness and experience the entire 48 hour process. The family would often Aoye, working into late hours of the night, since producing Oolong is very time-sensitive and they do everything by hand in small batches. A true testament to the family's passion, pride and hard work.
Not to mention, the view above those hills was to die for! With the Yunhai or "sea of clouds" rolling in every so often to bring moisture to the plants, the view was ever-evolving. The taste and depth of their Oolong reflects this complex and beautiful ecosystem.
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, wok-fried greens and the likes.
Gao Shan Cha is produced in two harvest seasons. 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! We've also chosen a lighter-roast level to showcase the fresh, high mountain taste.
PICKED Nov 2018 (Winter harvest)
ORIGIN Alishan, Taiwan | 1350m Elevation | The Deng Family
LEAF Qingxin (Green Heart) Varietal | 1 bud 3-4 leaves
CRAFT Picked, withered, tossed, fried, ball-rolled & lightly charcoal-baked
TASTING NOTES Vegetal, Roasted Chestnut, Clean Finish
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