Lishan Spring - oolong tea

Style   Oolong Tea
Origin   Origin Renai, Nantou, Taiwan
Season   Spring 13 (lightly aged)
Altitude   1500m
Batch   TT01
Plant   QingXin cultivar
Tea Master   Master Chi Xing Chen

Harvested from a high mountain garden, this vintage Taiwanese tea is light yet intensely flavourful. Full of fragrance and delicate layers, there are peach and lychee undertones, evocative florals and hints of fresh citrus. Infuse the same leaves several times. A perfect oolong tea for a good conversation.

 

  85 degrees Celsius 
  1 to 1.5 tablespoons (3 - 4 grams)
 

150 ml water (small tea cup)

 

Infuse for 1 minute



The Stories We Drink

Taiwan is known for oolong tea production and is particularly famous for its high mountain varietals.

Anything grown above an elevation of 1000 metres is considered high mountain or ‘gaoshan’.

There are lots of famous tea mountains in Tawian and each has a slightly different terroir which you can taste in the distinct flavour characteristics of the teas.

Oolongs grown on Lishan, or Pear Mountain, tend to be especially fruity and floral. The Spring harvested tea in particular has lots of fragrance and very delicate layers.

Many Lishan tea gardens are planted on former orchards and enjoy highly fertile and rich soil. There are still many pear, apple and peach orchards on Lishan but the economic importance of this farming has declined as a result of cheaper imported fruit.

The high elevation land suitable for agriculture is in huge demand. This scarcity, coupled with the relatively small harvests just two times each year means Lishan oolong is much coveted and sought-after by connoisseurs.

The Chen’s 20 acre garden, called Dong Yan, is in the northern Nantou region. It was selected for its unique terroir and pronounced temperature shifts.

Climate fluctuations from day to night means this tea grows more slowly, but it develops more aroma and sweetness.

Lishan mountain plantations are amongst the highest in the world and the subtropical climate and mists that envelope Dong Yan are ideal for growing superb tea.

 

ProductPage_DarkRoast_Lishan_initial bruising and oxidationProductPage_DarkRoast_Lishan_oxidation

Craftsmanship

This oolong is lightly rested. It has been stored exceptionally and retains great freshness and depth of flavour. It is drinking very well now and gives you an opportunity to taste a great vintage a few years on. It is lightly oxidised at 30%.    

Plucking-01  

Plucking: The leaves are plucked by hand and each pluck normally includes the bud and about three or four leaves attached to the stem.

Sorting-01  

Sorting: The leaves are tipped out of the plucking baskets and inspected and sorted to make sure the quality is suitable. Then they wither outdoors for a few hours (exactly how long depends on the weather of the day) to remove the moisture inherent in the leaf.

Withering-01  

Withering: The leaves are moved indoors and set out on a series of large, elevated trays for more withering at a controlled temperature where the trays are rotated by hand to make sure the leaves are withered evenly.

 

Bruising: Next, the leaves are transferred to a bamboo cylinder for tumbling. Tumbling bruises the leaves activating the enzyme release and trigger the oxidation process where the cell walls of the leaves are allowed to break down.

Oxidation-01  

Oxidisation: This is the stage where the tea’s flavours start to develop. They are stacked in thick layers and shaken frequently by hand to ensure even consistency. This tea has a very short oxidation process at just 30%. A tea with 100% oxidation would be classified as a black tea but some oolongs oxidise up to 90% like our Dark Roast Sumatran. Tea Masters draw on their training and expertise to know precisely when to stop and start the different processing steps.

Firing-01  

Baking: The tea is then machine tumbled and heated at a very high temperature (about 200C or 400F) to stop the oxidation process.

Shaping-01  

Rolling: Then it’s time to fashion the leaf into the distinctive ball shape. Leaves are tightly wound into a cloth ball and rolled.  When infusing, the ball shape unfurls slowly, each time releasing new flavours as the water touches the uncurling surface area of the leaf. This tea is then heated and rolled, heated and rolled upwards of 10 times. 

Drying-01  

Drying: After the leaves are processed to Master Chen’s satisfaction, they undergo a final baking process to remove any remaining moisture ensuring all the complex processes and associated flavours and characters stay present.