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Our Alishan High Mountain Oolong comes from Alishan mountain, probably the most famous tea growing region in all of Taiwan.
It's quite a magical place if you ask me, especially around the National Park area. Alishan holds a very special place for me because my first taste of Taiwanese High Mountain Oolong was an excellent Alishan while I was living just down the mountain in Chiayi City. I've been brewing them ever since!
Recently over the last few years I've spent quite a lot of time there meeting with Alishan farmers. We work directly with two Alishan farmers and indirectly with a third who is an amazing roaster. At present we are offering tea from the Xiding growing area. This area has a cool and moist climate where the necessary mist and sunshine take turns on the leaves transforming them into what can only be called proper Taiwanese Gaoshancha or High Mountain Tea.
You can drink this Alishan for hours and not get tired of it. It’s clean, refreshing and invigorating.
Note: Because of its reputation, Alishan tea is faked all over the internet and in China. Ours is farm direct and guaranteed authentic ;)
Note2: Winter crop leaves and stems are a bit thicker with better drinking texture and storage potential. Spring crop is more floral and delicate with more top notes. Both are good!
Location: Alishan (Xiding area)
Harvest: Winter 2023
Picking: Hand plucked, bud with four leaves
Standard Gaiwan (about 130ml or half a cup of liquid)
Warm up your gaiwan with hot water first, pour it out, then add 3-6g of dry leaf, depending on how strong you like your tea. Fill your gaiwan covering the leaves with fresh hot water (195°/90°c), pour out this "rinse", then add a second round of water. Cover your gaiwan and wait for 30 to 45 seconds. Pour everything into a decanter through a strainer, let it cool to a comfortable drinking temperature, then enjoy. Repeat this process several times, gradually increasing the steeping time by 5-10 seconds for each infusion. You can find a good decanter HERE, a good strainer HERE, and some nice cups to share tea with friends HERE.
Depending on the size of your "gongfu" teapot, the old-school advice is to loosely cover the bottom of your teapot in High Mountain Oolong dry leaf. Follow the same perimeters of gaiwan brewing. Teapot brewing is highly individual so use this as a starting point and develop your own style based on what you like to get out of each tea. You can find suitable teapots at all price ranges HERE.
The Easy Ways
Coffee cup - Add one teaspoon to one cup of hot water (195°/90°c) for 4 minutes. Strain and enjoy. Repeat up to three times.
Coffee press - If you have a coffee press or a nice traditional western teapot you want to enjoy, just double the above - 2 teaspoons to 2 cups of fresh hot water. Or with practice, you can use less tea and longer brewing times.
NOTE: Tea balls and similar brewing methods are not recommended.
When I'm out working, I like to use an drinking thermos like a Yeti. The key to these is to use less dry leaf. I use about 1/2 teaspoon or 3g. You can use boiling water and let it set for around 5 minutes until you cover it. It should be at a good drinking temp for quite a while now. When you're dry, just refill and repeat all day long.