No. 167 - Superfine Taiwanese Moderately-Roasted Dong Ding Oolong Tea
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 – Lugu Village in Nantou County
Dong Ding is originally planted on Dongding Mountain, which is a branch of Phoenix Mountain in Lugu Village, Nantou County, Taiwan. That’s why it is called Dong Ding. 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.
Qing Xin Oolong Tea Tree
Qing Xin Oolong tea tree is high quality specie, suitable for making Pouchong tea. The tree is bush. Leaf is oval, has thick mesophyll, and appears to be soft and smooth, slightly elastic. Its surface is glossy in deep green color. Buds have abundant pekoes, sprouting later than other species. The bud is green with light purple color.
How is the Moderately-Roasted Dong Ding Oolong Processed?
|Picking||Select tender, thick and green leaf and bud, in the shape of one bud with two or three leaves.|
|Sun Withering||Use the heat of sunlight to promote the water in the leaves evaporating, making the leaf start to ferment under enzymatic oxidation.|
|Indoor Withering||Let the leaf continue fermenting, forming the unique aroma of Pouchong tea. Till the leaf is 15% to 25% fermented, go to the next step of fixation.|
|Fixation||Inhibit the activity of enzyme by great heat in order to stop the leaf from fermenting. Thus the tea’s aroma and flavor will be restrained.|
|Rolling||Shape the tea into particles. Rolling can release the water in the leaves, and make the tea particles gradually become tight.|
|Drying||Dry the tea with high temperature. This procedure can fix the tea’s quality as well improve the aroma and flavor, reduce bitter taste and make the tea liquid bright and clean.|
|Roasting||Temperature of 60 to 120 will oxidize the fragrant substances in the leaf without using enzyme. Thus the tea would taste mellow and full.|
Taiwan High Mountain Tea
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 Tea 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)||2.87 fl oz / 85 ml|
|Chinese Gongfu Method (Water Temp)||203 F / 95 C|
|Chinese Gongfu Method (Amount)||7 g|
|Chinese Gongfu Method (Time)||Rinse, 15s, 15s, 20s, 30s, 40s, 60s, 80s|
|Western Method (Water Amount)||16.9 fl oz / 500 ml|
|Western Method (Water Temp)||203 F / 95 C|
|Western Method (Amount)||1 Tablespoon|
|Western Method (Time)||1-5 Mins (to taste)|