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From Harvesting to Final Roast

Si Ji Chun (Nantou) Oolong is a relatively new varietal developed during the 1980’s in the Nantou region of Taiwan. Grown at an elevation of 800m, the leaves are hand picked from early spring to late fall, and produces four to six flushes per year. 

Picking usually involves one bud, one young leaf and two mature leaves. Picking starts early in the morning, and goes throughout the day. The teas are initially left to sun dry for a few hours. This is usually done indoors or outside (if the weather conditions are favorable). The leaves are then transferred to round bamboo trays to dry on racks for several more hours indoors, so the leaves can slowly oxidize before the farmers "kill the green". This is done by putting the leaves in a large tumbling dryer oven, which halts the oxidization process. Harvesting the leaves to processing it to the ‘mao cha’ stage usually takes up to 24 hours. After that point, the final roasting begins. Our Nantou Oolong is approximately 30% oxidized, and roasted for four hours.

The leaves then undergo a process of repeated rolling, kneading and shaping. Later, the larger twigs and coarse leaves are separated from the quality rolled leaves. This is a labor intensive sorting process that requires a sharp eye and a quick hand! Hand sorting is mostly done by the women, and during the peak spring season one can see family members young and old busily sorting and grading over flat trays.

Our Nantou Oolong is golden in color, with an intensely floral aroma. Coating the throat with a smooth and silky taste, this light and fragrant green oolong is best enjoyed using higher-temperature water with a relatively short steeping time. We've found that it accompanies light foods and desserts exceptionally well; feel free to experiment!