Alishan Green Heart Oolong (阿里山青心烏龍) is a lovely floral oolong from the famous Alishan tea growing area of Taiwan. Made from the Qing Xin (青心), or Green Heart cultivar, it has a bright character that is both floral and creamy. This particular batch is from November 2021 crop.
Green Heart or Qing Xin (青心) refers to the cultivar used for this Alishan Green Heart Oolong. Some consider it to be most likely the same as Ruan Zhi (軟枝 ‘Soft Stem’) plant that was brought from Fujian to Taiwan by the Japanese. Over time this cultivar has developed into what is now recognised as Qing Xin. Typically it has green, floral notes with subtle hints of mountain flowers, sometimes described as orchid. There is also a characterful sweetness and creaminess, reminiscent of buttered green beans.
This high mountain Alishan Green Heart Oolong is grown at an altitude of 1,200-1,250 metres close to the famous Alishan National Scenic Area. It consists of rather large leaves and is approximately 15-20% oxidised. Unlike our Alishan Competition Qing Xin Oolong, it has not been baked. This results in a flavour that has more prominent floral notes while sacrificing a little of the complexity of baked teas.
This Alishan Green Heart Oolong has tightly rolled leaves that produce a very bright, light golden liquor with great clarity and a floral, creamy aroma. The fresh taste is predominantly floral, with clean and bright flavours that are buttery and verdant. The aftertaste is smooth, long-lasting, with a buttery edge and a touch of tanginess. Even though this tea has not undergone any baking, there are some very subtle baked notes present on the aftertaste. The taste further develops with subsequent infusions. Overall this is a delightfully floral and verdant tea that makes us think of a fresh summer’s breeze over alpine meadows.
It is best brewed at 90°C for 3 minutes according to your taste and should be brewed multiple times, increasing steeping time with each brew if desired.