Alishan Competition Qing Xin Oolong (Fine Grade 2021)

Please note that previously we stocked an Alishan Competition Oolong from the Alishan Farmers’ Association Competition, which is a smaller event and only has teas from Alishan. This year no competition has taken place in Alishan yet, so we sourced an Alishan Competition Oolong from the Meishan Farmers’ Association Competition instead. It is a bigger, more contested event that ancompases a larger area of Chiayi County (including Alishan) and is considered somewhat more prestigious. Compared to the previous version, this one has a slightly stronger bake level.

Alishan Competition Fine Grade Qing Xin Oolong is a beautiful competition grade oolong crafted from a Green Heart cultivar grown high up in the famous Alishan Scenic Area. Dark green leaves produce a light and aromatic liquor with creamy and buttery notes that are floral and refreshingly tart. There is only 20 jin or 12kg of this particular tea!

We supply this tea decanted in our usual 10g and 50g kraft zip seal pouches for convenience and sampling.

You can also purchase this tea in original packaging with competition seals:
– 300g sealed containers (cardboard containing a 300g vacuum sealed pack);
– 600g sealed boxes (containing 2 x 300g cardboard containers).

The containers and boxes come with original seals from the competition that authenticate this product. These represent overall better value but also make for outstanding and very exclusive gifts.

Brewing guide: 2.5g in 250ml water at 90°C for 3-4 mins



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Origin:Chiayi County, Taiwan
Elevation:Alishan, 1,200m
Cultivar:Qing Xin 'Green Heart' (青心)
Harvest time:Spring 2021
Sourcing:From the farmer via Taiwanese Tea Master


Alishan Competition Fine Grade Qing Xin Oolong (阿里山青心烏龍) is a top grade oolong from the famous Alishan tea growing area of Taiwan. Made from the Qing Xin (青心), or Green Heart cultivar, it has a smooth profile that is both floral and creamy. As stipulated in competition rules, this oolong undergoes very light baking that brings out complexities of the tea without overshadowing the floral aspect of the Qing Xin cultivar. This particular tea is from the spring 2021 crops and was entered into competition held by the Meishan Farmers’ Association in May 2021.

This is just one of the Taiwanese Competition Grade Oolong teas that we currently have available in our shop.

We were able to acquire a small amount of this 2021 Alishan Competition ‘Fine Grade’ Qing Xin Oolong with the help of a tea master in Taiwan. Every year in Taiwan, local competitions are held to determine the best teas of that season. This particular tea took part in the Meishan Farmers’ Association competition in 2021 and achieved a Fine Grade. This means that while by no means being a top prize-winning tea, it was judged to be an excellent representation of a classic Alishan Oolong, worthy of taking a place in the competition.

Taiwan tea competitions work somewhat differently to many others. When a farmer submits a tea for competition, 22 jin of tea is submitted for judging, one jin being equal to just over 600 grams. From that 1 jin is used specifically for judging and 1 jin is used for sampling. Upon presenting the awards, the remaining 20 jin, or 12 kilograms of tea, of all awarded teas are sealed with competition seals signifying the competition and the grade achieved. This labelling makes sure that there is no possible counterfeiting or reselling of inferior tea as ‘competition’ tea. The 12 kilograms of each graded tea is then auctioned off. The best grades of tea do resell for astronomical prices. In many cases the best graded teas are bought by very wealthy individuals or large corporates seeking free publicity from paying exorbitant sums of money for the top teas of the year.

This Competition Grade Qing Xin Oolong from Alishan has tightly rolled leaves that produce a yellow green liquor that is clear and very bright. The liquor has a light floral aroma with creamy and slightly baked notes that are representative of the light baking (roasting) that this tea undergoes. The smooth balanced profile is creamy, buttery and floral. The clean floral notes have a baked edge to them, making them most similar to sweet scent of alpine meadow flowers. The complexity of this tea definitely exhibits layers of flavours, with sweet floral notes at the start, followed by middle notes that are creamier and more baked and finishing on freshly tart notes and a lingering floral aftertaste. Interestingly we think that most of the floral notes tend to reside at the top of the palate and in the vapours of the tea while the flavours on the tongue providing a creamier base note.

It is best brewed at 90°C for 3-4 minutes according to your taste and should be brewed multiple times, increasing steeping time with each brew if desired.

A 2018 harvest of Alishan Competition Qing Xin Oolong tea was first featured in our September 2018 Curious Tea Subscription Boxes.