- 2020 Winter Pluck is Sold Out - Alishan oolong tea

Alishan Winter Pluck


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Oolong Tea
High Mountain Oolong – gao shan


Ali Shan Winter Pluck


Style/Shape: semiball-rolled leaf with some attached stem
Plucking Style: hand-plucked
Oxidation: 22-25 % oxidation
Roasting:very light roasting in an electric roaster


Appearance: large-sized pellets of tea, attractive velvety green colored leaf
Flavor: rich, deep well-structured, persistent floral flavor
Aroma: classic, crisp, clean high mountain floral aroma with a delicate, sweet hint of freesia
Liquor: pale green liquor with a touch of gold


Plum Mountain
Ali Shan Tea Harvesting District
Chiayi County, Taiwan
Tea Garden Elevation: 5,249 – 5,500 feet

2020 Winter Pluck
(end of October to late November)

Western-style steeping in a large teapot 20-25 oz:


Use 2 teaspoons (2-3 grams) of tea for each 6 oz water
Rinse the tea in your teapot with a quick application of hot water
Immediately discard this liquid
Add additional hot water to start the 1st steeping
Re-steep 3 additional times (or more!) for 2 minutes each
Water temperature should be 180°F-190°F


Asian-style steeping in a small teapot under 10 oz or a gaiwan:


Use 4 teaspoons (4-6 grams) of tea for each 5-6 oz water
Rinse the tea in your tea vessel with a quick application of hot water
Immediately discard this liquid
Add additional hot water to start the 1st steeping
Re-steep 6-8 additional times (or more!) for 35 seconds to 1 minute each
Water temperature should be 180°F-190°F



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 steeping and subsequent re-steepings.




Oolongs exemplify the concept that some teas can be re-steeped multiple times and yield an incredible volume of drinkable tea. This practice works best when the leaf is steeped in a small vessel, but it also work somewhat well using a large teapot. Please refer to our steeping instructions for details.

Mary Lou had a first-hand, extensive lesson in semiball-rolled oolong tea manufacture when she visited this family tea producer a few years back. We have been ordering their gao shan tea ever since from both the Spring and Winter harvests.

In the Alishan tea competition (which includes several types of oolong production) our tea farmer has won more than one 1st place for his Alishan oolong and 2nd place awards for his Jin Xuan oolong, which confirms that this 3rd generation tea farmer/producer’s tea-making skills are second-to-none.

Tawian’s tea factories are in full swing from late October into late November, working round the clock to get the fresh leaf made into green gold – both the famous gao shan as well their other oolong manufactures. Each batch of fresh leaf brought to the tea factory requires two full days to become finished tea.

Our Winter pluck Alishan is lightly roasted, which keeps the aromatics high and bright, and gives the tea liquor clarity and a lovely pale golden/green color in the cup. This Winter tea has a pervasive floral fragrance, with a hint of moss and fruit and mineral /stone backbone. It is flavorsome and satisfying in the cup without being bossy and without being overly floral.

The tea was rolled and roasted three separate times and given a three day rest in between each roasting, for a total of 10 days in process. This brings the water content of the leaf down to less than 3%, which ensures that the tea will retain its flavor and aromatic throughout the coming year.

The Alishan mountain range is comprised of many peaks of varying altitudes, and during the day wispy patches of clouds-and-mist develop, blanketing the tea gardens in cool, refreshing mist. Tea gardens cannot be located at the highest elevations of the Alishan because the mountain becomes the Alishan National Park above the elevation at which tea can thrive.

The terroir, and especially this elevation of the Alishan tea gardens, has its own weather, and it is this weather, plus the geology of this elevation, and the overall climatic conditions of this special mountain range that contribute to the unique qualities of Alishan gao shan oolong. Tea bushes that grow here within the mists produce thicker leaves, which means a more concentrated, juicier flavor and a fresh, rich floral aroma.

Winter pluck Alishan teas are not often found in the US – most of this tea is sold to savvy Taiwanese tea connoisseurs who believe that the confident balance of flavor and aroma of Alishan gao shan makes it the most delicious and unique of the high mountain oolongs.


Want to know more?

img-more_gao_shan High Mountain Gao Shan: Taiwan’s Most Distinctive Teas