Fruity and refreshing, this wonderfully aromatic oolong comes a small organic tea garden that is located close to Sun Moon Lake in Nantou County. This is an area of exquisite beauty, home to several natural conservation areas including a bamboo forest, a bird park and about one third of Taiwan’s tea growing area. The reason that so much tea is grown here is not just the pure air and bio-diversity of the natural eco-system that benefits the tea; the slopes on which the tea bushes grow are protected by the central mountain range, making sure the plants get just the right combination of moisture, sunshine filtered by mist and protection from frost.
When tea bushes grow at high altitudes the compounds which contain their flavours develop slowly. The Qing Xin garden is located at around 1.500 meters, where the nights are cool, the mornings are bright and – perhaps most importantly of all – during the day the plants are shaded from direct sunlight by mist. The mist provides a sort of natural shading of the tea bushes. As those of you who have experienced a Japanese shaded tea (Kabuse Cha or Gyokuro) will know, one of the effects of limiting the amount of sunlight that tea bushes are exposed to is an increase in theanine in the leaves. Theanine is the amino acid that is believed to be responsible for the relaxing effect drinking tea has on us, even though caffeine is also present in the finished drink.
Very lightly oxidised (around 15%), this ball style oolong has been made using the traditional method. Similar in flavour to those teas grown at lower altitudes but with an added complexity, this is an amazing oolong that has to be tried to be believed.
While this tea can of course be prepared “western style” in a teapot using ca. 6g tea for 500ml of water and making 1 – 4 infusions of 2 – 3 minutes each, we strongly recommend trying it gong fu style so that you can fully appreciate how the tightly rolled leaves unfold to reveal their beautiful scent and complex flavour notes. If you do this, use the same amount of tea (ca. 6g) for 120ml of water, make a first infusion of 15 – 20 seconds, then add 5 seconds for each subsequent infusion. This should allow you to make approximately 5 – 6 infusions during which you will experience how the aroma and flavours develop with each steeping.
OriginSun Moon Lake, Nantou County, Taiwan
FlavoursSweet, buttery, floral, creamy with hints of dried apricots and peaches
Time2 - 3 Min
From controlled organic cultivation