Tea Trekker’s 4-Seasons Si Ji Chun oolong, Winter Pluck, is impeccably made and very clean. 4-Seasons oolong, when harvested in the ‘Winter’ is sweet, thick and buttery in the cup, and has an alluring aromatic quality that is characteristic of Taiwan jade oolongs. It is less ‘minerally’ than our gao shan oolongs and softer in style, which makes this tea very pleasant to drink. In general it is less brisk, or pungent, than its Spring counterpart, while still showing the core flavor and style of the varietal.
We have maintained the style of roast for this harvest the same as for our 2020 Spring Harvest Si Ji Chun. We think that this is important again this season due to the long growing season again this summer. Because the Spring harvest was moderately early, and the Winter’s harvest was on-time, the slightly-increased ‘down-time’ in between plucks meant that the Winter harvest’s characteristics were in many ways typical of a ‘normal’ season but in some aspects allowed for a bit of the Spring’s brightness to carry over into the Winter Pluck. Therefore, using the same roast style for winter as for the spring manufacture has increased the complexity of the over-all flavor profile of this delicious leaf. It also encourages a more noticeable brightness in the aromatic qualities of the steeped liquor.
Winter pluck oolongs are known for their fine fragrance, more so than the Spring pluck oolongs; and yet this is one aspect of the profile of Si Ji Chun that differs, in that it tends to show quite a pungent aromatic throughout the seasons. Semiball-rolled oolongs in general yield better aromatics when steeped Asian style (see the Steeping Instructions accordion). The Winter pluck 4-Seasons oolong is considered the best seasonal production of this tea every year. Its high fragrance gives it the casual name of Gardenia Oolong, and is highly regarded throughout East Asia.
Because 4-Seasons oolong is a mid-level-elevation plucked tea, it is less expensive to purchase than the high-mountain gao shan oolongs such as Alishan and Shan Lin Xi. All in all, this tea is a delicious introduction to Taiwan jade oolongs and a lovely tea in its own right.
The Si Ji Chun cultivar thrives in the Nantou area. This fine tea is made by our Tung Ting producer who excels at producing teas from cultivars local to this tea growing region.
Oolongs are traditionally ‘rinsed’ before being steeped. This is done with a quick application of hot water that is poured over the tea in the gaiwan or teapot and then immediately discarded. The rinse water is not drunk – its purpose is to help the leaves begin to open during steeping. Use additional, appropriately-heated water for the 1st true steeping and subsequent re-steepings.
Note on Steeping Oolong:
Oolongs exemplify the concept of a tea being re-steeped multiple times and yielding an incredible volume of drinkable tea.
This idea works best when the leaf is steeped in a small vessel, but it also works using a large teapot.
This 2020 Winter Harvest Si Ji Chun is best when steeped Asian style.
Please refer to our Steeping Instructions in the ‘accordions’ for details