No. 165 - Taiwanese High Mountain Oolong Tea
About the Farmer
Mr. Lui Zhiqiang, is the sixth generation owner of his family tea business. He built the highest tea garden in Taiwan, which is on Fushou Mountain near Lishan Mountain. In 2006, Taiwan hosted the World Famous Tea Expo. Mr. Lui was one of the sponsors. He also founded the Taiwan Tea Roasting Technical Seminar. Besides of tea, he is also experienced in the firing skill of porcelain tea wares. Lui keeps a unique understanding of building a tea garden. He said that the key of building a tea garden is to make the environment, soil, weather be integrated with the tea. He also mentioned that water is the most powerful kind of material to memorize information. 80% content of fresh tea leaf is water. The water will carry the characteristics of soil and weather into the tea leaves. Then they can make delicious tea and sweet tea liquid.
When talked about picking fresh tea leaves, Mr. Lui said except being tender, the fresh leaf must be thick and fleshy, as well as in bright green color. This is the requirement of picking for making good High Mountain tea. Lui thinks that every business is competitive, except for tea. The specialty and high quality of Taiwan tea makes it irreplaceable. He said:” no matter what you do, tea business or others, you need to seek for the joy of the business. When talking about tea, talking about Fushou Mountain, talking about Da Yu Ling, I will feel joyful in my heart.”
Origin Place – Mingjian Village in Nantou County
Mingjian Village (???????) is a famous tea area in the early ages. Now it has 250 thousand acres tea gardens. As an old tea area, Mingjian mainly plants Qingxin Oolong, Qingxin Damao. In 1980s, the village began to bring new species, including Jinxuan tree, Cuiyu tree and Sijichun Dingzu. This is the first place using machines to manage tea garden, such as weeding control, fertilize, clipping, watering, picking and so on. Consistent process guarantees the tea’s stable quality.
The altitude there is around 800 meters to 1600 meters. Soil contains abundant organic matters, meanwhile the climate is moisture with plentiful water. Annual average temperature here is around 20.
About The Tea Speices - Si Ji Chun
Si Ji Chun is the most widely cultivated Oolong tea tree in Nantou. This species sprouts early, can be picked in four seasons of the whole year (more than 6 pick times per year). It is consequently called “Si Ji Chun (Four Season Oolong)”.
Taiwan High Mountain Tea
Ali Shan Oolong Tea is a typical kind of Taiwan High Mountain Tea. The conception of High Mountain Tea is relative to the teas planted in lower altitude.
In Taiwan, the teas planted above 800 meters high can be called as High Mountain Tea. Main representative High Mountain tea includes Ali Shan Oolong Tea (altitude between 1000 meters to 1500 meters), Ali Shan LuZhu Tea, Shan Ling Xi Oolong (altitude at 1600 meters), Li Shan Oolong Tea (altitude over 2000 meters), and Da Yun Lin High Mountain Cha Wang Oolong Tea (altitude over 2500 meters).
Due to the cold, cloudy and short sunlight time, High Mountain tea is better in quality than teas grows in lower altitudes.
The Difference Between High Mountain And Low Altitude Tea
Normally, in Taiwan tea trees grown at the altitude less than 800 meters are called as low altitude tea. It is different from high mountain tea on the geological features and climate. Taiwan is a mountainous island. The mountain area covers almost 2/3 of its total area. With high mountains in the middle of the land and low coast surrounded, the island has wild water and good drainage. Climate here is more complicate. Mountainous geography allows monsoon climate and high mountain climate existing at the same time. Li Shan Oolong Tea grows in the area over 2000 meters high. Yet as we know, temperature declines 6 degrees for each kilometer the altitude rises. Therefore, the climate on Lishan Mountain is cool all year round. Tea leaf grows slowly, and is soft with elegant aroma and obvious floral scent. Moreover, the unique geography feature forms distinctive nutritious substances in the tea, which is the quality that low altitude tea doesn’t have.
But there is a question: can this place produce top quality Taiwan Gao Leng tea? The answer is not certain. Under the high mountain and cold condition, processing Gao Leng tea will be extremely hard, which can be seen from its expensive price. But why? The making of high quality oolong tea requires good material as well as good weather. Chinese people believe that when the weather favors us, it is the best time for making oolong tea. Good sunlight is needed; meanwhile the process must be quick. Nevertheless, the unstable weather on high mountain couldn’t allow the workers to make tea always in the best condition. In bad weathers, the Gao Leng tea wouldn’t have high quality. No wonder why top teas are always expensive. The result of making high quality teas are limited by many factors. However, if you have a chance to taste it, you will think it values.
|Shelf Life||10 Years|
|Packed||United States of America|
|Chinese Gongfu Method (Water Amount)||3.72 fl oz / 110 ml|
|Chinese Gongfu Method (Water Temp)||212 F / 100 C|
|Chinese Gongfu Method (Amount)||7 g|
|Chinese Gongfu Method (Time)||Rinse, 25s, 25s, 30s, 60s, 70s, 80s|
|Western Method (Water Amount)||12 fl oz / 355 ml|
|Western Method (Water Temp)||212 F / 100 C|
|Western Method (Amount)||1 Tablespoon|
|Western Method (Time)||3-5 Mins (to taste)|