canton ali shan
Rueili Village, Ali Shan, Chiayi County, Taiwan
One of our all-time favourite oolongs, this tea is a floral, fruity masterpiece from the famous mountain (Ali Shan) in Taiwan. Every afternoon a mist descends, ensuring the tea leaves grow slowly and develop a gorgeously intense flavour. This tea is competition grade, which means it's the best quality the tea garden has to offer.
Ingredients: Green tea (Camellia sinensis var. Chin Shin)
This variant is currently sold out.
read the leaves
step 1: leaves
For one cup, measure out 3 grams (around 1.5 tsp) into your teapot or brew mug.
step 2: water
Heat 250ml of water to 90°C (if you don’t have a thermometer, boil the kettle and leave to cool for a few minutes).
step 3: time
Pour your heated water over the leaves and steep for 3 minutes. Drink.
Top tip: You can infuse these leaves up to two or three times. You may need to use slightly hotter water for the last infusion to extract maximum flavour.
Floral, fruity and sweet, this iconic oolong is nothing short of a masterpiece.
Produced on the steep slopes of the Ali Shan mountain in Taiwan, this tea is a fantastic example of a high mountain tea. Grown at an altitude of 1500m above sea level, the warm, humid atmosphere of the region is tempered by a mountain mist that descends on the mountain every afternoon without fail. This stops the temperature from rising too high, allowing the tea leaves to grow slowly and develop a gorgeously sweet and fruity flavour. The mist also protects the leaves from harsh sunlight, which intensifies the nutrient and flavour profile of the tea.
After picking, the leaves are sun-withered, heated, rolled and finally roasted, which sweetens and strengthens the flavours.
The result? A competition-grade tea (which is the best the farm has to offer). And one of Canton’s all-time favourite oolongs.
The Chiu family established Epin Farm 35 years ago and were one of the first to establish a tea garden on the mountain – unbelievably, tea growing on Ali Shan only started happening around 40 years ago. Though the garden is relatively small compared to the other Ali Shan tea farms – just a few fields at the edge of Rueili village – the Chiu family are famous for their frequent success in tea competitions, which are at the heart of the tea industry in Taiwan.
Unlike tea industries in other countries, Taiwanese tea producers like the Chiu family use independent pickers and processing experts, who command high prices for their skill and craftsmanship. This ensures a much more democratic and even distribution of power and money in tea-making (the business-owners are beholden to the pickers!), making it one of the most ethical and fair tea industries in the world. You can read more on that here.
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