Ali Shan Dong Pian - Winter Taiwan Oolong Tea
These vividly green, hand-picked & meticulously processed leaves produce a full bodied, golden-amber liquor with a vividly floral "high mountain" aroma that is uniquely pronounced in Dong Pian (”Pieces of Winter”) teas. The infusion is rich and mouth coating, and notes of sweet baby green vegetables, dried flowers & very light caramel come through beautifully in the bittersweet floral aftertaste.
Our 2018 Dong Pian was harvested from the family's 1,500 Meter elevation tea field in mid November, 2018, and it was roasted on November 20th (during my visit to the farm...I'd like to say I helped with the roast, but that would be overstating my role since I really just picked a few stems & tried to stay out of the way). The 1,500 Meter section's total production of Dong Pian for 2018 was just over 16 Jin (9.6 KG), and we got the whole batch!
Origin: Alishan Scenic Area, Chiayi County, Taiwan
Cultivar: Qing Xin (Green Heart) Oolong
Roast: Very Low (0.5/5)
A note about Winter Harvest Teas:
Dōng Chá (冬茶) is a term used to refer to any tea harvested in the Winter season (October through roughly December).
Dōng Piān (冬片) is a name given to only one specific batch of Winter harvest tea. Dōng/冬 simply means "Winter," and Piān/片 in this case means "pieces/flakes/slices." We are translating Dong Pian as "Pieces of Winter," but it is usually translated with some poetic license as "Winter Petals" in the Western, English-speaking tea world. No matter the translation, Dong Pian refers to tea plucked when the plants' growth rates are slowing down before they go dormant for the cold Winter months, resulting in a finished tea that is made up of uniquely small and thick leaves with a good amount small, stunted leaf buds apparent in the leaf clusters. Batch sizes of Dong Pian are also much smaller than teas produced during periods of rapid plant growth, making them much more difficult to acquire. The floral, "high mountain" flavor and aroma tend to be quite pronounced in Dong Pian teas, and good ones tend to produce a remarkably sweet and lingering aftertaste.
Note about "High Mountain Oolong":
We use the term "High Mountain Oolong" to refer to a tea that meets the following criteria:
- 100% Qing Xin Oolong Cultivar grown in Taiwan
- Grown at a minimum of 1,000 Meters (3,281 feet) above sea level
- Processed in the "green style" (light oxidation, little to no roast apparent in finished flavor/aroma)