Tian Chi Gaoshan Wulong Cha (Tian Chi High Mountain Oolong Tea)
Zhang Xie Zhu and Chen Chung Chia
Tian Chi tea seldom finds its way to North America as the very small production is eagerly swept up by Taiwanese consumers. The Tian Chi garden, directly adjacent to the Fushoushan farm, in Taichung County, is located in the Lishan range and its tea is grown at very high altitudes (2500 m), the highest legally permitted in Taiwan. After not buying the Winter 2021 harvest of this tea, I am pleased to include the Spring 2022 harvest in the current selection. The dry leaf is loosely rolled and very fragrant; the infused leaf is a robust golden green. The aroma is floral with hints of butter. In the mouth the tea is nicely structured and has good “grip” at the base of the mouth. The finish is reasonably long and refreshing. This tea is well balanced but as with most tea from the 2022 spring harvest, it is not as layered as some other harvests. It makes up for that by offering an appealing straight forward flavor. Tian Chi is not an everyday tea but it is a delight when one does decide to indulge.
Grower: Zhang Xie Zhu
Tea Master: Chen Chung Chia
Cultivar: Qing Xin Wulong
Region: Tian Chi, (Lishan) Taichung County
Harvest: May 21, 2022
We believe that his tea is best prepared in the traditional gongfu style using a gaiwan or Yixing pot and 6 grams of tea per 100ml of water at 212°F
(100° C). Steep for 30 seconds. Reduce time slightly for the second steep and then increase with each subsequent steep.
For an 8 oz. cup, use between 3-5 grams of tea, about a heaping teaspoon. Pour water at 212°F (100° C) over the leaves and steep for approximately 90 seconds. Always remember to adjust steeping time depending on water temperature, amount of tea you have and personal flavor preference. Increase time and temperature slightly with each infusion.