We spoiled ourselves by starting our day with a sample of this very green high-mountain oolong, a terrificly rich, smooth, buttery, and complex tea. One can just let the liquor run across the tongue and savor the many different flavors as they’re triggered. Nice!
Alishan First-Pluck Winter 2008
Alishan, a mountain in southern-central Taiwan, is known for its high-mountain tea. We just brought back this tea, having been picked on November 2nd, the farmer’s first picking of the winter season…just five days before we arrived! After their 12-hour oxidation, the leaves were rolled and dried, then given a slight roast. (We liked it not only for the fact it was the first picking of the season, but the flavor was better than the second batch of the season—it wasn’t roasted as much and tasted a little to “green”.)
The winter picking is more exclusive because each plant can only be picked once for the entire season. The farmer doesn’t pick until the plants go dormant for the winter, then they harvest one last set of the year’s final growth. This differs from the spring teas, when the farmer can harvest a plant repeatedly—sometimes as frequently as once a week!