Ali Shan Osmanthus Oolong tea is made from Taiwan Ali Shan high mountain oolong tea scented with fresh Osmanthus flowers. It combines the sweet scent of Osmanthus flower like ripe mangoes or peaches, with soft and smooth drinking sensation of high mountain oolong tea. It is well-balance between the flavor and taste. Tea can be served hot, or with cold brewing method, it is a soothing drink to quench the thirst during warm weather. According to the tea maker, osmanthus oolong is good for those with weak stomach too.
Osmanthus Oolong is not a rare tea. It is frequently seen in China and Taiwan. But, do you know that there are various types of Osmanthus Oolong? Normally, those osmanthus oolong available in commercial tea market is produced from the summer-plucked tea and low-quality tea from unknown production areas. On the other hand, Osmanthus Oolong sold at HOJO is of higher price. There is a reason that this tea commands a higher price than ordinary osmanthus oolong.
First of all, there are three types of Osmanthus oolong:
1. The most common type is the spray type: tea is sprayed with aroma. This is commonly available at the airport and at the tea house for tourists. Because of tea is sprayed with fragrance, so the tea leaf used is of lower cost material too. The fragrance is strong but easily escaped from nostile and cannot feel the depth or aftertaste when drinking it. This is so-called fragrant tea.
2. Tea is directly mixed with dried Osmanthus flowers. Osmanthus flowers are well-distributed even in dry conditions. The fresh osmathus flowers is hard to obtain, and it is easily withered and may developed odd-flavor if it is not handle with care. So, the dried osmanthus flower is easier to handle. But, the flavor is different from fresh osmanthus flower.
3. Finally, the most exclusive type is "fresh osmanthus flower" mixed directly with oolong tea, and the tea leaves naturally absorb the fragrance of fresh flowers. Hojo's Alishan Osmanthus Oolong is this type. It is characterized by a distinctively sweet and refreshing aroma reminiscent of mangoes or peaches.
Hojo's Osmanthus Oolong tea is made from fresh tea leaves collected at 1600m of Ali Shan, the famous Ali mountain of Taiwan. At Ali Shan, the tea garden is widely distributed over an extremely wide area from the foot of the mountain to almost the peak of mountain. It covers a wide range of altitude too. The same name of Ali Shan tea is used for tea from different altitudes, as low as a few hundred meters up to more than 1500 meters. Each location is producing different quality of tea. As a rules of thumb, the higher altitude often produces better quality tea.
Hojo is particular about the base oolong tea. We specifically selected Ali Shan spring tea produced from tea garden at 1500m in Ali mountain.
How to judge the quality of tea leaves?
High-quality tea leaves have a large number of cells in the same unit area, which means that the tea leaves are tender and elastic like soft rubber, it can easily returned to their original state when placed in hot water. On the other hand, the tea plucked in summer and from low altitude contains less cells in the same unit area. The tea leaves are stiff, and the cell wall is easy to break, when put in hot water, the broken part does not return to its original state, so tea leaves do not open easily.
Hojo always look for high quality Oolong tea. After scenting the Alishan high mountain oolong tea with fresh Osmanthus flowers, the tea taste and flavor is well-balanced. This tea gives an refreshing and sweet fruity note reminiscent of mangoes or peaches, with a soft drinking sensation of high mountain oolong travels down the throat. Its flavor and taste lingering on the palate for a long time.