Meishan Qing Xin Green Heart Oolong (梅山青心烏龍) is a high-mountain tea grown in Chiayi County of Taiwan. It is from Meishan Township, located between the famous Shanlinxi and Alishan tea growing areas. Meishan was one of the first areas in Taiwan to grow high altitude teas, even before the famous neighbouring areas. Teas grown around Meishan are very similar in character to those from the more famous Alishan and are sometimes marketed as Alishan grown teas due to the proximity to and fame of the latter. It is produced by the Wang family, who were pioneers in settling this range of mountains, also making them one of the most experienced high-mountain tea makers in Taiwan.
Green Heart or Qing Xin (青心) refers to the varietal used for this oolong. Some say it is the same cultivar as Ruan Zhi (軟枝 ‘Soft Stem’) and was brought from Fujian to Taiwan by the Japanese. 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 tea was picked in April 2017 and follows the trend of very low-oxidised teas from high-mountain areas, as it allows the varietal to keep its green freshness and highlights the floral aspects.
Meishan Qing Xin Green Heart Oolong has large but tightly rolled dark and light leaves common to high mountain Taiwanese oolongs. When brewed it produces a bright, golden yellow coloured liquor with a green tint. Its aroma is a lovely warm floral scent with a buttery undertone. However, its flavour is wonderfully clean and crisp with a sweet, almost milky aftertaste. We can liken it to a Four Seasons oolong but with a creamier edge and a more full-bodied and complex flavour; yet not as milky as Milk Oolong as it is still lighter and floral. All in all very drinkable and comforting. The floral aspects give way to a creamier and nuttier flavour on later brews.
We suggest brewing Meishan Qing Xin Green Heart Oolong at 90°C for 3-5 minutes according to your taste. Like all top grade high mountain oolongs, it can sustain multiple brews very well – brew up to 5 times or more depending on steeping time, water temperature and personal taste. You can enjoy substantially more brews and the changing flavours of each brew when using the traditional gong fu brewing method.