Taiwan Wild Black Tea
country of origin Taiwan
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Shan Cha (mountain tea) is picked only from wild tea bushes that grow at minimum 1000 metres above sea level. Just like Oriental Beauty oolong, Gui Fei oolong and Mi Xian black tea, Shan Cha is a bug-bitten style tea where a small leaf hopper will nibble the leaves and leave their characteristic contribution to the taste of this tea. It has a pleasant honey finish. This tea only harvest once a year. The best is in June - August. Produced by Mr. Pong.
Preparation: we recommend to prepare the tea in 1,5 dcl of water. Put 3 g of tea into a warmed teapot and pour the boiled water, cooled down to 85°C . Let is steep for 1 – 1,5 minute, then pour into a cup. You can repeat the process many times, untill the tea has a good taste. With firther infusions, we slightly increase water temperature and time of steeping.
Taiwan Yu Chi Wild Black Tea
Not unlike some the mystical tea terrors of the world like the province of Yunnan known for it’s Puerh tea or the Assam region of India known for its famous malty black teas, Taiwan also has its own indigenous wild tea plant known as Shan cha (mountain tea).
Virtually unknown in the West, Shan Cha’s presence and use as an infused drink has first been recorded in Chinese writings dating back to the 17th century (1697). Its botanical characteristics are somewhat close to the Assamica with its long leaves but distinct with unique adventitious shoots arising from its underground roots. It is a shrub that prefers a wild, mountainous habitat with altitudes ranging between 650 m to 1500 m. Four distinct protected areas have been put in place in central, south and eastern Taiwan for the preservation of this National treasure which is revered as the father plant to some of the most unique and distinctive tea hybrids of Taiwan. For example, it is from this unique wild strand that the Taiwan Research and Experiment Station (TRES) have successfully developed the now famous TRES-18 Red Jade black tea which has fueled the whole black tea revival in Taiwan since the turn of this new century.
This tea is not promoted to sell into the market because of its wild characteristic. It is a plant that doesn’t render the same taste if cultivated in a more systematic way therefore it is quite rare. The tea we propose is in fact made from leaves that are picked from wild trees that are found randomly in the surrounding mountains of Yu-chi Township. To do so, the producer gets up at 4 o’clock in the morning during the picking season of July and August to roam the mountains with aboriginal pickers to look for the wild tea. Only trees picked at an altitude of no less than 1000 m are considered for the best taste characteristics. Furthermore, just like Oriental Beauty oolong, Gui Fei oolong and Mi Xian black tea, Shan Cha is a bug-bitten style tea where a small leaf hopper will nibble the leaves and leave their characteristic contribution to the taste of this tea: a wonderfully sweet honey finish that is quite distinctive and pleasant.
This is possibly the easiest black tea to drink in our selection. It is very distinctive and unique in taste. There’s nothing bold or brash about this tea, we are not in the same range as powerful Assams. This is a subtle charming tea, yet extremely satisfying and with surprising stamina. The taster will be greeted with a pleasant aroma of baked oats with buttered sweetness and a discreet floral note of wild rose will charm the nose. The liqueur is all smoothness with very light refreshing tartiness. The taste is all pleasant and round with evocations of pastries and baked sweets with fruit compote notes similar to Japanese white peaches. What surprises the palate is the inviting suppleness of this tea that makes you want to drink cup after cup after cup. This is a must try tea!
Area: Taiwan - Yu chi district at Sun Moon Lake
Country of origin: Taiwan