Taiwan reigns supreme for oolong teas. This Premium Lalashan High-Mountain Oolong Tea is an excellent example. The secret is in the mountains. And the mist. And the 5,000-foot elevation. And, according to some, the peach orchards.
In truth, it is probably all of the above and more. Mist, which covers the high mountain much of the time, contributes to the flavor of the leaves as they grow, as described in this article on our blog. The mountains can block harsh winds. The elevation keeps temperatures cool. And the peach orchards … well, let’s just say that some attribute the peachy and sweet notes in the tea to those orchards. These conditions also make the tea leaves very robust.
|Premium Lalashan High-Mountain Oolong — note
the brownish green color with a bit of jade-green.
The Lalashan area, despite produces premier teas, doesn’t have the reputation of Alishan and Lishan. So, in order to get a better price, their teas are often sold as either Alishan or Lishan. We present them under their true name here.
During harvesting only the most suitable bud-and-two-leaves sets are harvested. This assures optimum tea processing that starts with the withering and goes through the final finish. The leaves have a glossy brownish green color with a bit of jade-green, providing a very fresh appearance, and a distinctly pure, fresh, and naturally fruity fragrance.
Recommended Steeping Technique
The best type of steeping vessel for this tea is a gaiwan (glass or porcelain), a glass, or even a small teapot (porcelain). The cooler the water temperature, the slightly longer the steeping time should be, and vice versa.
If you’re trying this tea for the first time, you might want to use the following evaluation technique: Use 3 grams of tea leaves in 150cc of water heated to 185°-200° F. Steep for 4-5 minutes.
For everyday consumption, use this technique: Use 4-5 grams of tea leaves in 200cc of water heated to 195°-205°F. Steep for 1 minute during the first infusion, then add another 10-20 seconds for subsequent infusions. Serve at least 6 infusions.
|Too bad you can’t scratch and sniff that wonderful aroma.|
The body of the tea liquid will be rich, with a fresh sort of peach aroma. While sipping, you will detect a smooth and lively sweetness that enriches the taste and has a lingering finish.
At the end of brewing, the tea leaves will have expanded to fill the teapot. Eight or more wonderful steepings, and sometimes 10 or more, are common with the better quality high-mountain oolongs like this one. Take a moment when done steeping to handle the leaves, and using your fingers to feel their softness, thickness and flexibility.
Growing tea is such a difficult geographic setting where landslides routinely wash out roads is praiseworthy indeed. And when it is such a fine tea as this one, the effort is all the more worthwhile.