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
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!
I live in Taiwan since 1996 and have been studying tea with Teaparker. He's a worldwide tea expert and author of over 30 tea books. The study of tea isn't just theoretical, but it's also rooted in daily practice. It's a path of continuous improvement. As my brewing technique improves I get access to better teas and better accessories. These things go hand in hand. My blog documents my learning since 2004. And I have set up an online tea boutique with my selection of top quality teas, accessories and tea culture.