Wild Garden Alishan Oolong

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Oolong Tea
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2 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I found an unsuspecting little bag of some ball rolled green oolong today. After a little inspection, I decided it must be this tea that I received a 5g of from derk some time ago. I thought I have...” Read full tasting note
  • “I’ve been feeling longer steep times with the teapot the past few days, as opposed to shorter infusions in a gaiwan. This tea… hm. I think it liked it, too. 5g, 100mL, 212F, rinse plus 6 steeps at...” Read full tasting note

From Mountain Stream Teas

Probably the most challenging tea on offer right now, this Wild Garden Oolong from Alishan has an amazing story. The garden was planted during the tea boom by an Aboriginal Zhou Tribe family 30 years ago and then abandoned soon after. It had been sitting ignored for twenty years until the tragic events of Typhoon Morakot 10 years ago brought the family back to the mountain to rebuild. The trees were cut back and tended to twice a year for 5 years before the plants were even strong enough to produce a single harvest. Now in their 5th year of limited production, the teas produced from this garden are very, very unique and powerful. The nature of the regenerative farming methods have made it so that the trees can only be harvested twice a year, in spring and winter. This is the spring pick.

The taste of this tea is challenging and powerful and can be described as like drinking a strong aboriginal soup. The Jinxuan (milk oolong) cultivar’s body and buttery mouthfeel are in full force and the wild vegetal bitterness of the regenerative growing practices accent it perfectly, if you like that kind of thing. Buttery, meaty, thick, smooth, with hints of bitter greens in the sides of your mouth, followed by a pleasant and very long aftertaste with hints of sweetness, this is not a tea for beginners!

I totally realize that this story is an amazing one and hard to believe! I have been to this area, met the people and tasted the tea. It all fits and I have no reason to disbelieve any of it, but as with all stories of tea you have to see it to believe it. I will be visiting this garden more in the coming years and I hope to provide lots more information about this unique and powerful tea.

Elevation: 1000m

Status: Certified Organic

Cultivar: Jinxuan (Milk Oolong)

Oxidization: 30%

Season: Spring 2018

Method: Hand picked, processed on site, very small batch

Region: Alishan, Nantou County

Recommend Brewing Style:

Gong Fu Style: 3-5g per 100ml, 100C water, 30, 45, 60 then add 5-10 seconds steeps in gaiwan. Lasts 4-5 steeps.

Western Style: 3g per 100ml, 100c water for 2 minutes. Lasts 2-3 steeps

About Mountain Stream Teas View company

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2 Tasting Notes

447 tasting notes

I found an unsuspecting little bag of some ball rolled green oolong today. After a little inspection, I decided it must be this tea that I received a 5g of from derk some time ago. I thought I have already drank it without realizing that’s what the tea was because I couldn’t find it. Anyway, into the gaiwan it goes. And I haven’t had breakfast yet, oh boy.

As derk mentions, the tea comes accross as an introvert. The aroma is light and nondescript. The liquor looks somewhat watery (especially in the first few steeps) and translucent with a light greenish colour. The taste is definitely not pungent, but I notice this is not your standard Taiwanese green oolong. It reminds me of the Wild Cultivar Oolong, also from MST, but this one is mellower with a grassy taste. There is the same fenugreek flavour, just more agreeable. Mouthfeel is nice, but I can’t really place it.

After drinking the first two steeps the session ramps up though. My eyelids are heavy and my body feels super relaxed. I am worried that I may drop some of this teaware I’m using to make further infusions, but nothing like that happens fortunately. It’s a funny feeling, I can choose to alter between a defocused state and a more or less fully conscious one.

The aftertaste now presents itself as well, and it is pungent. The main note is some floral sweetness. My throat feels like after eating some chillies, but no such sensation is present in the mouth. Late steeps have quite a thick and coating mouthfeel. I find that it’s impossible to overbrew this tea, even with fully boiling water and long times it never gets astringent or bitter.

As I finish the session, I let myself enter a fully defocused state and get enveloped by the music. It feels like a dream without a dream. I mean there’s very little in the way of hallucinations, but I experience reality as if were a dream. After the album finishes, I stand up and function normally, just like that. As if I just woke up. As I am recalling this, the whole session sits in my my mind as if were a dream from last night. Maybe it was.

Song pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CD7bxyzFbC4


Thanks for sharing :)


Thank you for sharing my friend :)

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543 tasting notes

I’ve been feeling longer steep times with the teapot the past few days, as opposed to shorter infusions in a gaiwan. This tea… hm. I think it liked it, too.

5g, 100mL, 212F, rinse plus 6 steeps at 30, 40, 45, 60, 75, 120s

You know those iconic images of bristlecone pines — gnarled, twisted and thick growths that are generally seen clinging to boulders? So old and weathered, perhaps denuded, that you question whether they’re really among the living.

This tea is one of those strong and silent types. A slow-mover. Its poetic power took me by surprise. There’s not much in the way of looks, lumpy mishapen nuggets. There’s not much in the way of aroma, a diffuse cloud of white flowers. There’s not much in the way of first impressions on the sip. It’s vegetal and grassy with a light body, but as it passes over my tongue, the body thickens and the liquor leaves a dry finish with something vaguely fruity — candied lime? Butter slowly blooms in the aftertaste. After the swallow I notice how highly mineral the tea is. My mouth feels cleansed.

The tea slowly reveals its strength. The sip becomes rich yet fleeting with umami and I experience an interesting, diffuse bitterness along with a taste of cooked dandelion greens. My whole mouth is tingling. And I’m stoned? I’m a goddamned bristlecone pine. (I tell my housemate and he yells “You ARE a hippie!” And you’re a misfit jazz percussionist mechanic. Whatever.)

I’m tired and old, weighted with the years longer than any animal traversing this earth has experienced. I’m weary. Flipping through my music I find Warren Zevon’s cover of “Back in the High Life Again” but my shoulders and my mind slump when I hear the downtrodden voice. Warren Zevon was a goddamned bristlecone pine, among other things. I need something more uplifting. How about the original artist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ollyGgvGkU Yeeup. That’s it. Let’s get some life pumping through these limbs. I pick up my napping (now healthy and happy) cat, prop her on her favorite perch, my shoulder, and we stroll around the garden in the backyard, both of us alert to the breeze and the robins hopping along the wooden fence. Hey kitty, hey girl. Love you. Forever.

Anyway, I come back in to finish the tea. It continues to get thicker and fuller-bodied and only a hint milky, finishing with butter and transitioning into a candied citrus aftertaste, a mix of lime, lemon and orange that is reminiscent of that fruity, milky puddle at the bottom of your finished bowl of Fruity Pebbles. I’ve never tasted this in tea. A very potent sugarcane returning sweetness presents. The fruitiness finally moves out of the aftertaste and into the palate on the last steep, still thick and a little buttery.

This might be my most long-winded and least tangible review. I think it’s appropriate for the way the tea made me feel. Qi to the center of earth. Miles and miles. This tea has depth and strength and a bright interior. Take the time to sit with this one. Let me know how it makes you feel. I’m curious if it will have a similar effect on others.

The only other thing I have to say is the tastes and body and energy are like some curious mix of sheng, oolong and green tea. Leaving it unrated for now. Honestly, a number feels inappropriate at the moment.

I’m willing to send off the remaining 5g to an adventurous sipper. Please message me if you would like it. —Update: the 5g is accounted for.

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