What is High Mountain Oolong?
High Mountain Oolong (Gao Shan) is a premium variety of Formosa oolong, native to eastern Taiwan. Cultivated in mountain tea plantations, some as high as 8000 feet above sea level, High Mountain Oolongs grow in cool, cloudy, misty conditions. Just like fine wine estates, every fine Taiwanese tea plantation has its own microclimate – leading to its own unique yield of tea. The limited quantities in which they are produced, coupled with their slow growth rate, give High Mountain Oolongs their steep price tags.
What kind of tea is High Mountain Oolong?
High Mountain Oolong is a lightly oxidized and highly aromatic tea. It has a rich mix of vegetal and floral notes – a direct result of its slow growth in the misty mountain tea plantations of eastern Taiwan. Typically harvested in the spring, High Mountain Oolong leaves are picked as a composite of one bud and two or three leaves. Curled up into small balls when dry, the tea unfurls as soft, jade green leaves once brewed.
High Mountain Oolong makes for a brisk, fragrant sip, with a characteristic sweet aftertaste. It lies on the “greener side” of the oolong spectrum, on account of its light oxidation level. Predominantly “floral” at first, it develops “buttery” notes by the second or third steeping, finally settling into an “earthy” taste by the seventh or eighth iteration. Generally considered “light and refreshing”, High Mountain Oolong is a popular and “enjoyable everyday tea”. Those who prefer stronger, toasty aromas and notes in their tea, can find it a little too “mild and basic”, though.
Genuine High Mountain Oolongs last through multiple infusions (7-8 of them), gradually changing in flavor from floral, to buttery, to earthy. Steeping it for too long can bring in an element of astringency. You can make the most of the delicate flavor of the tea by limiting the amount you steep to about a gram per 50ml of water. Boiling water works better for the first infusion, though you can use slightly cooler water for the subsequent infusions, to keep any bitterness at bay.
(see our top 7 below)
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Top 7 best High Mountain Formosa oolong teas to buy online
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Zone - 365 oolong tea (wu-long tea) is a premium-grade oolong tea from the Da Yu Ling mountain area of Taiwan's Taichung county. Its high altitude (more than 2600 meters) makes this one of the highest tea plantations in the world. The high elevation of this area causes the tea leaves to grow ...
The Dong Ding Oolong Teavivre select is among the best ones original from Taiwan. This kind of tea has a high quality and in a leadership among tea market in Taiwan. Dong Ding oolong tea, also know as Tung Ting Oolong traditionally was made from one bud and two or three leaves with fermentation ...
Taiwan Ali Shan Oolong is a typical kind of Taiwan High Mountain Tea. This tea is from Ali Mountain, which is the birthland of High Mountain Tea. The tea garden where Taiwan Ali Shan Oolong Tea grows locates at the altitude between 800 meters to 1400 meters. On the high mountain, climate is cold ...
Ali Shan is a beautiful green oolong tea grown in the mountains of Taiwan, where high altitude slows plant growth, concentrating in its leaves great complexity and flavor. Its aroma is buttery and intoxicating floral, reminiscent of lilacs, the mark of an excellent green oolong. The ...
Oolong Tea. Our late Autumal Zhang Shu Hu tea is grown in Alishan, Taiwan, where high mountainous conditions are ideal for producing high-quality, full-bodied oolong tea. Carefully hand-picked in small batches, this QingXin cultivar yields rich apricot notes, an evolving fresh floral aroma, with ...
Jade oolong tea from the Tung Ting mountain in Nantou county, Taiwan. A highly prized tea, Jade oolongs are a beautiful deep green in appearance, with large, tightly rolled leaves. Once infused, these lightly oxidized leaves gradually unfurl to release their essential oils. Jade oolongs are ...
This tea is well known by many to be one of the most coveted of all Taiwanese teas. The top two and three leaves with a stem reveal a juicy tea nugget that exhibits a dark green appearance when steeped. Don't miss this one. 2015 crop.