High Mountain Oolong Tea is known as GaoShanCha in Taiwan. GaoShanCha is grown high in the mountains of rural Taiwan. They are balled Oolong teas and are generally grown on small family farms. They are medium oxidized teas but are closer to Green tea than Black tea. Here are the differences in the GaoShanCha that we carry:
FOUR SEASON and GOLDEN LILY
The lowest elevation teas (still high at 500-1000M) are our least expensive teas. They are distinguished as being two different cultivars of the tea plant. Four Season is called "Sijichun" and Golden Lily is called "Jinxuan", it's impossible to pronounce so don't even try :) These teas are more floral. Lighter bodied but still can be creamy depending on the season/year. Spring teas are our favorite for these two. This is where beginners to GaoShanCha should start as a baseline to start exploring other varieties. Our selections are sourced from the same farmer in Shanlinxi which is an area in Central Taiwan very high in the mountains.
MISTY MOUNTAIN and ALISHAN SUNRISE
Moving higher in elevation (around 1000 -1800M) we carry two outstanding selections. Both are of the varietal called "Qingxin" (pronounced something like ching shing). This is what's properly known as GaoShanCha. The difference in our selections is that our Misty Mountain is grown in Shanlinxi and Alishan Sunrise is grown on Alishan Mountain, a famous natural area in South Central Taiwan. Similar in profile. Medium bodied, smoother, not as floral, deeper color, clean energy. Valued in Taiwan and considered luxury teas all over Japan and China.
LISHAN and SHANLINXI PREMIUM
Still higher in elevation (around 1800-2200M) we come to the Premium teas. These teas are prized because they are grown at colder elevations and the leaves grow slower resulting in a very smooth, heavier bodied tea experience. Only two crops are available each year (Spring/Winter) so they are not as available as the Four Season for instance that comes on four times per year.