Updated: Jun 1, 2020
Written by our guest blogger teawithmiri. Teawithmiri is based in Munich, Germany and still fairly new to the world of true tea. She discovered Gong Fu brewing in a little tea shop while studying abroad in Berkeley, California. That was pretty much exactly a year ago from today and she continues to explore the world of tea ever since.
Soft cloudy skies and pastel watercolour paintings come to mind when delving into the first cup of this delicious Lishan Oolong. Lishan (‘Pear Mountain’, 梨山) is a mountain in the Heping district in central Taiwan, named after the many pear orchards in the area. It is not to be confused with the well-known Alishan area which is also famous for its high mountain tea production but lies further in the south of the country.
Tea names still often puzzle me - here I was stuck with the word ‘Gaoleng’. Luckily, the friendly owner of Laifufu tea salon was able to help me out. High mountain tea is also called ‘Gaoshan’ tea and grown at altitudes above 1000 meters above sea level. ‘Gaoleng’ literally means ‘High cold’ but is often translated to ‘Frozen Summit’ and refers to altitudes above 2000m. The most expensive Gaoleng is ‘Dayuling’ tea which is supposed to be grown above 2300m.
The higher up a tea is cultivated, the more expensive it is because the conditions lead to less produce and inconvenient access. The foggy climate and the large temperature differences between day and night allow for the distinctive characteristics of high mountain teas.
As this Lishan Gaoleng already offered a wonderful bouquet and lovely taste profile, I really hope to soon get a chance to try the prized Dayuling.
Origin: Taichung, Taiwan
Harvest time: 2019
Leave colour: Khaki green
Liquor colour: Light lime-y yellow or speaking as a designer - Pantone 2295 C
Tea aroma: Butter cookies and white asparagus
Tea taste: Creamy and buttery with a surprising and ever so slight hint of spice (cloves?), sweet and delicate floral notes as well as a perfectly balanced, mild minerality that I can’t get enough of!
Steeping/brewing: You can use around 95°C water for 6gr of tea in a 120ml gaiwan/teapot. Allow 20 sec. for the first infusion and add additional 5 seconds to consequent steeping.
Shelf life: As I acquired this one only recently, I would rather not give advice here - especially since this tea won’t last me all too long any way. :)