'Honey Mountain' Royal Oolong
I am so excited to have discovered this tea for the first time this year. Our supplier in Taiwan made this tea in the summer as an experiment. Needless to say it is a resounding success! Whilst not an ‘Oriental Beauty’ tea it has much in common, sharing the need for insects to bite the leaves. Naturally, it too has the beautiful honey, fruit and floral character found in ‘Oriental Beauty’. It differs from these teas for some important reasons. Firstly, it is grown in a different place and much higher up the mountain at 1500 metres. The cultivar it is grown on is Chin Shin Oolong, and although it is made from leaves of five colors too, the leaf is rolled into pellets. This is the way High Mountain or Jade oolongs are prepared. This and a lighter oxidisation, closer to Jade oolong brings to the cup some of the fresh, green, cool characteristics too. This tea, of which only 20kgs were made, is grown on Chien Chen’s 5 hectares. It is harder to find leaves that have been bitten by insects because there are fewer around at such altitude! It can only be harvested once a year. It is a unique tea. I only hope that next year the experiment will be repeated, it is thrilling to be at the beginning of a new tea, especially one that tastes so incredible. I have discovered too that a few pellets added to a pot of any tea is instantly improved. I like it added to a strong, black China tea.