Thursday, June 07, 2018

The good morning Oolong

When you have a large selection of teas in your collection, it's always a challenge to decide which tea to brew. This week, I had a top mountain Oolong every morning and it made so much sense! The month of May/June is called the 'Plum rain' season in Taiwan. Strong afternoon showers are quite frequent, even though, this year, these rains came rather late in the season. These rains have an impact on tea harvests. Since the mornings are sunny and the afternoons rainy, the pickers start their work early in the high mountains. That's why high mountain Oolongs are mostly picked in the morning under a clear blue sky!
A sunny spring morning on Lishan is a spectacular event. The colors are vivid, the air is crisp and nature seems to glow with pleasure under the first rays of sunshine. And it's that same feeling I get at 6:30 AM on my Chaxi this week.
On Monday, my bliss came from this spring's Lishan Oolong, harvested on May 15th 2018! Its elegant sweetness and thick aftertaste are so pure...

Tuesday morning, the sun was slightly veiled by high altitude clouds. That's when I chose to brew this spring's president tea (next to the white house on the picture!) It's the tea from Fushou Shan, the plantation with KMT connections and supplied to Taiwan's presidency. Its reputation crosses party lines in Taiwan and if the current president Tsai wants to gift some tea to an important emissary, there are good chances that it would come from plantation!
This Chabu lets the mind travel to a high Chinese mountain surrounded by water. The blue colors fit well with the pure feeling I wish to recreate. It's as if there were 3 suns, one in each cup!
This spring's Fushou shan has produced another impressive high mountain Oolong!

On Wednesday morning, my daily dose of tea came from DaYuLing 93K. Méav's beautiful and pure voice accompanied this moment thanks to her first Celtic album. To emphasize the purity and lightness of this tea, I was brewing it with my silver dragon and phoenix teapot. The first 2 brews were almost magical.

These 3 Oolongs come from elevations above 2000 meters. They share a lot of similarities, since they were harvested mid May, just a couple of days apart. Their aftertaste is particularly thick and their energy powerful. This is this year's attribute for this type of top altitude Oolongs.
But no matter if you use an Yixing zhuni, a porcelain gaiwan or a silver teapot, it's possible to enjoy their fine aromas! What doesn't change is the necessity for a preheating the tea vessel well, because the the large rolled Oolong leaves need energy and heat to unfurl, especially on the first brew.
It's a wave of freshness that comes from Da Yu Ling! (The Fuji mountain on this Chabu is also a little reminder that Taiwan used to be Japanese from 1895 to 1945.)
Majestic cedar and pine trees are growing around the Da Yu Ling tea plantations. Their long shade reach down to my high mountain Oolong Chaxi!
When a cup is a trip to a sunny morning peak...

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