Lishan, Spring 2012 ⋅ 梨山烏龍春茶
Peaking at 2200 meters above sea level, Lishan is the third highest mountain amongst the 12 that make up the Lishan Range. The tea garden from which this tea is harvested lies at approximately 2000 meters (6500 feet) above sea level, an elevation that yields temperate weather in the summer and light snow fall in the winter.
At this elevation, the tea plants are exposed to strong sunshine only in the morning before they are quickly enshrouded in mist. This short sun exposure allows the leaves to produce intense flavor compounds, but tempers the bitterness that can result from over-exposure. The cooler temperature also retards the plant’s metabolism, enabling the leaves to retain and store more flavor compounds.
This tea was hand-picked in late April 2012. Unstable weather significantly lowered yields this year, but what was produced is surprisingly delicious and complex, a testament to the skill of the tea maker. In his capable hands, we have yet another exceptionally wonderful tea this year.
Initial infusions yield a tea that is smooth and sweet with a hint of sugarcane and pine needles. Longer infusions yield intense floral and citrus notes over a viscous foundation of butter cream that seems to cling to our palates.