Friday, May 03, 2013

Spring 2013 Lishan Oolong

 The white Tung blossoms cover the mountains of Wenshan in early May. They provide a beautiful attraction for people from Taipei. After lunch at a familiar open air restaurant, I set up a mini Cha Xi for a great spring tea from Lishan.
 Before lunch, my German friends and I have already tasted this spring's Alishan Jinxuan Oolong and the Shan Lin Shi Luanze Oolong. We liked them a lot and our expectations for this tea were therefore even higher.

 Cultivar: Luanze (qingxin) Oolong
Harvested by hand on April 17, 2013
Origin: Lishan
Elevation: 2200 meters
Process: rolled, lightly oxidized and unroasted Oolong.

I ask Kim, a very experienced tea drinker, to brew these few leaves with a gaiwan and 3 dragon cups. His pour is high and very calm, steady. Years of (Japanese) tea training have given him the ability to focus all his attention without tension, but with a relaxed and happy expression.

Kim pours the tea directly in the cups.

The tea has a very bright yellow/green color. It's mellow and light at first. Then comes a very refined, fresh and comfortable aftertaste. It has a very well balanced Chaqi.

Kim wondered if it's autosuggestion or real, but he smelled some pear scents from this tea! After he mentioned it, I agreed this tea had something lightly fruity that pointed in that direction.
It's usually difficult to appreciate all the nuances of a tea in an outside setting. Kim tells me that for Sen no Rikyu, outside tea ceremonies are the most challenging, because we are so easily distracted and overwhelmed by the beauty of our surroundings. That's why I recommend to use more leaves than usual in order to prepare a more powerful brew. With a great tea like this Lishan High Mountain Oolong, we had the perfect company to match the spring beauty of these Tung Blossoms!

2 comments:

Steph said...

Hello! I'm in Taiwan enjoying your beautiful teas! "). Some pics on my blog.

Joseph said...

I recently read on a retailer's site that if Lishan cha is kept sealed for one year, it develops a pronounced pear flavour. I'd really like to try it one day!