Alishan Red Oolong

Tea type
Oolong Tea
Not available
Floral, Honey, Stonefruit, Autumn Leaf Pile, Bread, Brown Sugar, Caramelized Sugar, Cinnamon, Dry Leaves, Malt, Red Fruits, Round, Smooth, Sweet, Wood, Oak, Rose
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Loose Leaf
Edit tea info Last updated by Cameron B.
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 45 sec 3 g 9 oz / 270 ml

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4 Tasting Notes View all

From Mountain Stream Teas

There is only one organic/regenerative tea garden left in the famous tea growing area of Alishan, Taiwan(as far as we know) and we were lucky enough to snag some of their beautiful Red Oolong. And at a fair price too! This farm is one that we are so happy to support as it is an island in a sea of conventional tea gardens. The famous nature of ‘Alishan Oolong Tea’ makes it such that any tea grown in the area, no matter the quality, can sell their tea for 50% more than tea in any area of Taiwan. This puts dramatic pressure on the farmers to produce a lot of leaf, which in turn creates a very agrochemical thick tea growing region(see video below). By supporting this garden we are hoping to show that effective organic and regenerative growing practices can be just as lucrative as conventional farming and perhaps change the minds of some farmers in the area.

This tea is made with material from early summer and is oxidized to about 80% before going through most of the processing of making oolong tea. What results is a dark oolong with a hint of black tea maltiness and a dominant deep red floral version of the flavor that has made Alishan so famous. A bit lighter and more floral than our current offering of Red Oolong, they are a great paring for a tasting session to be able to taste the difference elevation makes on teas.

Elevation: 1100m
Status: Certified Organic
Cultivar: Qinxin
Oxidization: 85%
Season: June, 20th 2019
Method: Hand picked, processed on site, very small batch
Region: Alishan, Nantou County

Recommend Brewing Style:

Gong Fu Style: 3-5g per 100ml, ~90C water, 30, 45, 60 then add 5-10 seconds steeps in gaiwan. Lasts 4-5 steeps.

Western Style: 3g per 100ml, ~90c water for 2 minutes. Lasts 2-3 steeps

About Mountain Stream Teas View company

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4 Tasting Notes

1810 tasting notes

Sipdown 30

Sweet and slightly floral. Slight stone fruit thing going on. Just okay and not really memorable, but certainly not bad.

Flavors: Floral, Honey, Stonefruit

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4056 tasting notes

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The last of my yummy samples from a previous Mountain Stream order…

Another lovely red oolong, which is possibility my favorite kind. Probably because I adore Taiwanese black teas, and this is sort of like an oolong pretending to be that. :P

Very sweet and rich, with lots of dark brown sugar and honey mixed among hints of red and golden fruits. A generous sprinkling of cinnamon as well, which is a note I only tend to find in oxidized Taiwanese teas. This one actually has a bit of malt as well, and could probably convince me that it was a black tea if it was so inclined…

Yummy, sweet, cozy goodness. A perfect tea for fall and winter weather. :)

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Bread, Brown Sugar, Caramelized Sugar, Cinnamon, Dry Leaves, Honey, Malt, Red Fruits, Round, Smooth, Stonefruit, Sweet, Wood

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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676 tasting notes

This tea kinda reminds me of that dress color optical illusion the Internet was arguing about a few years ago. As I drink it, I internally debate with myself whether it’s really an oolong or a black/red. I lean towards it being a red tea but like Darjeeling, it straddles the line between oolong and red. This is the Spring 2019 version which is new and improved according to Mountain Stream Teas.

Judging from appearances, the dark balled leaves certainly look like an oolong. The dry leaves have a very oxidized but sweet aroma. On the nose I get cherries, honey, and rose. The taste is more delicate than your typical black for sure. It’s smooth with a gentle malt and a prominent rose flavor that I really dig. Later on I get woodsy oak notes. Nothing tannic or harsh here, just a mellow and pleasant drinking experience.

Flavors: Oak, Rose

200 °F / 93 °C 1 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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1566 tasting notes

Followed MST’s parameters, using 5g, 100mL, 195F, rinse followed by 6 steeps of 30/45/60/70/?/??s

The dry leaf had a faint aroma of honeyed brown toast, red plum and rose. Warming and rinsing released notes of brown sugar and hints of cream and pear. Light liquor aroma. The taste was a little stronger than the aroma, mellow with notes of brown toast, honey, plum, raisin, persimmon sweetness and faint cinnamon and rose. Later, the toast turned into barley and malt, the sweetness turned more toward turbinado sugar and some very light butter and wood presented. Aftertastes and texture were also quite light with only a hint of astringency. Toward the end, I did notice some waxiness lining my tongue.

Overall, I found this to be a very mellow, unfussy tea. It didn’t strike me as being exceptional in any way, nor did its Alishan provenance stand out. One thing I did appreciate was the lack of any overpowering lingering flavors from the roast. I would recommend this tea to somebody looking for a daily drinker roasted red oolong.

Something more exciting than my opinion of this tea — my motorcycle caught on fire. Luckily it was just in the driveway being worked on and there was no damage at all to the bike but I did rip some fingernails in the process of trying to access a fire extinguisher. Also luckily my friend put out the fire with a water hose so I didn’t have to clean up any nasty extinguisher powder. I’m looking forward to getting this old girl running again and going for a day ride along the cheese trail.

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Mastress Alita

Okay, my car has been an absolute pain recently (five trips back to the machanic all during the last month) but at least — to my knowledge! — it never set itself on fire. I’ll consider that a win.


Geez, I hope all the issues with your car are now resolved. I won’t get into the details of what caused my bike to catch fire because I’m sure that’s all boring mechanic speak but it went POOF! and then I was like OH SHIT. I went through so much work moving it to my new home and thought ‘It ain’t gonna end like this.’ Had a hearty laugh at the expense of my friend after the fire was extinguished.

Mastress Alita

I honestly am not sure if Cargate is done yet or not. My Dad thinks I should get a (new) used car, but I don’t have all that many miles on my current one and worry about getting screwed badly by shady salesmen because I know nothing about cars, the way I obviously got screwed by the mechanics. Sigh.

Well, as long as you are both laughing about it and there isn’t another California fire started by a motorbike… I’ve only ever combusted things in my microwave with my complete lack of culinary skill. :-)

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