Alishan, Spring 2012
Hand-gathered in late April 2012 at 1600 meters above sea level, our Alishan oolong comes from a garden that has provided us with tea for the past seven years. It’s a garden that for the past few years have won repeated accolades for the quality and character of its tea. Their harvest season spans twelve days, and during that time, tea-picking, oxidation, roasting and rolling occurs around the clock. Each step in the process is mindfully controlled to ensure that the tea is crafted to optimize its aroma, taste and finish.
This year’s harvest season was marked by days of heavy rain interspersed with unseasonably warm days. The result was a significantly lower quantity of tea picked, but skilled craftsmanship turned that small amount into an exceptional wonderful tea. This batch counts as one of the best we’ve tasted – intensely flavorful and aromatic, without sacrificing mouth feel or sweetness.
High elevation oolongs from Alishan usually carry notes of citrus and apples, akin to baked apples or apple sauce, with a hint of orange zest and a persistent finish of flowers and sweet cream.