Notes of gardenia, pine needles, sweet grass, and Spring.
The floral and clear fragrance and taste of this high altitude oolong grown on famous Li Shan mountain. These tea bushes were planted on the western face of Hehuan peak, so these leaves received the cooling sunset light after the heat of mid-day. The result is quite astounding, and the fragrance is like that of the famous Da Yu Ling oolong.
Li Shan means Pear Mountain, and it is part of the Jade Mountain range where the best fruits and some of the most sought after oolongs originate. Li Shan itself is part of the Ho Ping Township in Taichung County. Growing tea in the cool high altitudes causes the leaves to be a bit smaller, concentrating the floral notes. And only certain varieties of tea do well in this environment.
Qing Xin is the variety used in this Li Shan oolong, and it is largely regarded as the best variety for high mountain growth. It was introduced to Taiwan from China in the early Qing dynasty. Qing Xin means Gentle Green Heart, and some say this refers to the delicacy of the leaves that can only grow with high-altitude. Some say it refers to the delicacy of the tea, which like the scent of jasmine, is hard to hold on to and floats away from memory.
West Peak Li Shan is a very lightly processed tea. After the hand-picked harvest, the teas are briefly oxidized and rolled so that upon brewing the leaves gradually open, slowly releasing their fragrance of gardenia and nectarine. The body of the tea has a feeling in the mouth that is quite buttery, sweet, and cooling.
Brew this high mountain oolong with 195 degree water for 1 minute. Add a minute to the brewing time with each additional infusion.