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This is an exceptional example of a high mountain, rolled oolong, one of Taiwan’s most celebrated teas. Lovingly handcrafted by tea master Mr Chiu at his family-run Epin Garden which is surrounded by incredible natural beauty, high on the slopes of Ali Shan (Ali Mountain). The climate is humid and tropical, but each afternoon a heavy mist descends on the mountain, which protects the leaves from extreme sunlight and slows their growth enough to develop a more intense and unique flavour. Epin Tea Garden has a dedicated team of skilled pickers who only pick the best leaves, early in the day before the midday sun hits the bushes. The leaves are withered from midday to 10pm when they are rolled for 30 minutes to break down the cell walls, release the oils and kick-start the oxidation process. After resting on bamboo racks for 2 hours they are heated in large drums. By 8am the next morning the leaves are ready to be rolled in cloth sacks, which develops the iconic oolong flavour and creates their famous ball-like appearance. A final bake to gently roast the leaves enhances them further and brings a rich biscuit-like sweetness to the finished tea liquor.
Region: Rueili Village, Chiayi County
Producer: Mr Chiu at the Epin Tea Garden
Lat: 23°31'58.7" N Long: 120°40'39.0" E
Harvest: May 2018
Taste: Lily, apricot, biscuit
Aroma: A garden in full bloom after rain
For perfect tea
Oolong tea: Camellia sinensis var. sinensis 'Chin Shin'
Formosa oolong, high mountain oolong, high mountain ali shan, taiwanese oolong