Quantity: 25 grams
Lalashan, located in northern Taiwan, is a new Taiwan high-mountain Oolong tea planting area. The environment in this mountainous are provides very suitable conditions for premium tea growing. The mist and fog cover the high mountain much of the time providing an environment that produces tea with a very fresh aroma and sweet taste. Lots of Lalashan High Mountain Tea is brought to Lishan and Alishan area and is used to counterfeit the teas from these better known mountain areas thereby raising the profits obtained from the Lalashan mountain tea. Lalashan is very famous for its peach orchids so some people feel that Lalashan Tea has peach flavors.
Elevation: 5000 ft
Production Season: Spring, 2010
Features: Natural conditions of the Lalashan tea mountain region make the tea leaves very robust; during harvesting only the most suitable one bud and two leaf sets are harvested to enable optimum tea processing from withering to final finish. After brewing, the body of the tea liquor is rich, with a fresh sort of peach aroma emanating from brewed tea. While sipping it, there is a smooth and lively sweetness that enrichs the taste and provides amazing lingering finish.
Each leaf is even and complete in shape, and almost all leaf sets are comprised of one bud and the two adjacent leaves. The leave is very robust, expressing the very classic well-know quality of Taiwan High Mountain Oolong Tea.
Glossy brownish green color on leaves with a bit of jade-green color which provides a very fresh appearance.
Distinct pure and fresh, natural fruity fragrance
Tea Liquor Color
Clear, pure and glossy, jade-green color.
Tea Liquor Taste
Clear, pure and glossy light jade-green color, similar to a light, white wine.
Almost complete and even; one bud and 2 top leaves
Personal Tasting notes: I am very proud to be offering a number of Taiwanese teas. I find these teas amazingly complex and they provide an amazing combination of visual, olfactory and palate sensations. The combined impact on the all senses provides such an amazing tea drinking experience for me that I want to share it with as many people as possible. Visually, the tea is extremely appealing providing a beautiful jade-green color infusion that is wonderful to appreciate in a clear vessel. The tea liquor provides an amazing fruity fragrance indicative of the high quality of this production that takes your olfactory senses to another level; you almost don't need to drink the tea to experience the wonder of it. Once you start to savor the tea, the liquor covers the tongue smoothly providing a light sweet taste that is not overwhelming and there is a hint of peaches in the background notes (or, I have convinced myself in my mind that it is there because the description says it should be there). For those that do not appreciate astringency in their tea, you may find this to be your perfect cup of tea; there is literally no astringency in the mouth as the tea rolls over the tongue. You may call me frugal but I tend to push these teas to at least 8 infusions by increasing the brewing times in the later infusions. Even in the later infusions, the color is beautiful and the taste is still satisfying. This is truly a fine example of an high-mountain Taiwanese tea. I believe you will truly enjoy it.
Alishan High Mountain Tea Garden Introduction: Unique Natural Environment. Cool and humid conditions all of the time. The Lalashan tea garden is a typical, Taiwan high-mountain climate with moisture and fog covering the mountain region most of the time. This environment provides the tea garden with extremely suitable conditions to grow these premium tea trees. Abundant organic soils provide the tea trees with a very nutrient-rich resource to grow resulting in the better production and the highest quality of the tea bud and leaves.
Annual Production: Total amount is 3000Kgs; Premium Grade production is around 800Kgs
Brewing for tea evaluation
Steep 3g tea leaf in 150cc with water heated between 185° and 200° range and steep for 4-5 minutes.
Suggested Brewing for everyday consumption
Steep 4-5g tea leaf in 200cc with water heated between 195° and 205° range for 1 minute during the first infusion, then add another 10-20 seconds for following infusions. Serve at least 6 infusions.
Additional Brewing detail: The first step to a proper brewing experience is to understand the dry leaves as much as you can. Is it hand-harvested or machine-harvested? Is it roasted? What’s the roast degree? Is it aged? How old? Is it oxidized? What degree? How dry are the leaves? How tight are the leaf pellets, etc.
You can generally tell by looking at the dry leaves to see if they are hand-harvested or machine-harvested. Hand-harvested tea will have a bit of the stem on the leaf and the leaf will generally be intact with no breakage or tearing; machine-harvested tea will show leaves that are torn during the process of harvesting and small stems will generally not be present due to the rough handling of the equipment. Sometimes “competition” oolongs may look like machine-harvested due to the lack of stems because there is an additional de-steming step taken to qualify the hand-harvested tea as competition quality.
Hand-harvested oolongs usually tend to have their aroma and taste wake up slower than machines-harvested ones because of the more complete leaf system and tighter structure. The latter is usually results in more “juicy” leaves that hold together better during processing and present themselves well during your infusions. So when you face a hand-harvested oolong, especially high-quality ones like Li-Shan, A-Li-Shan or Shan-Lin-Shi oolongs, be ready to have a less aromatic first brewing or increase the first steeping by 5 to 10 seconds. Machine-harvested oolongs are more straightforward, but have less brewing durability than hand-harvested ones.
If the oolong is roasted, oxidized or aged, it may need a longer steeping time, and you may find the taste better with a higher water temperature throughout the brewings. The more roasted the tea or older the tea or oxidized the tea, the longer the first steeping and water temperature should be.
In addition, you may want to check the dryness of the leaf pellets. Hold one pellet between fingers and crush it. A properly dried and fresh high-mountain oolong leaves should be crushed easily. If not, either the drying step during processing was not done properly or the leaves have absorbed moisture due to storage.
Amount of leaves and steeping time: For the pellet-shaped Taiwan oolongs, putting in 1/4 of the total depth of your teapot is generally a good start. For more “gong-fu” purists, 1/3 usually works.
Water temperature for high-mountain oolongs, I usually use ~205 deg F (slightly less than boiling). First-steeping is 30 seconds, the 2nd , 3rd and the 4th steepings are all 20 seconds. After that, increase 10 seconds to every following steeping.
If you put in 1/3 of leaves, first-steeping is 25 second, the 2nd, 3rd and 4th steepings are all 15 seconds. After that, increase 10 seconds to every following steeping.
A colder water temperature should match with a slightly longer steeping time, and vice versa.
I strongly encourage the use of 125 mI - 150 ml vessel to infuse your tea regardless of the type. You unveil the complexity and quality of the precious oolong layer after layer in each individual steeping. It’s exciting to see how the aroma and taste profile change from one cup to another and to test how many steepings this oolong can last!
End of brewing: At the end of brewing, you will see the tea leaves expand to fully occupy the content of the teapot. It’s common for a good quality High-Mountain oolong to give you more than 8 wonderful steepings, and sometimes 10 or more. After finishing your infusions, you should handle the unfurled leaves putting them in you hand, and using your fingers to feel the softness, thickness and flexibility of the leaves. Look carefully to confirm the information you initially had when you purchased your tea: harvesting method, roasting / oxidation degree, freshness / age, etc. You will be able to fine tune your brewing parameters next time you enjoy the same oolong.
Teaware : Glassware, Gaiwan, or porcelain teaware