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2023 Li Shan High Mountain Oolong (Xin Jia Yang)

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This year's Li Shan High Mountain Oolong is an exceptionally well-executed tea from a special subregion within the acclaimed greater growing area of 梨山 Lí Shān (translation Pear Mountain).  Expect long-lasting tones simultaneously connoting tropical fruit, dignified vegetation, and florality, all framed within a mineraly back-bone that keeps the sips thick, buttery, and lubracative, always beckoning for that next rip.  Sultry and addictive, it's no wonder this tea has won the producer several top awards already this year.

Auspicious occurrences once again unfolded to allow us to come into another completely new-to-Rivers & Lakes contact, this time with the Chen family of Li Shan, a family originally from Zhu Shan further south.  The greater Lishan growing area hosts the highest gardens in Taiwan, with several parts of its range eclipsing the 2000 meter mark.  Resting between 2000 and 2100 meters, this tea is from the well-aspected and emerging cult classic area called 新佳陽 Xīn Jiā Yáng.  Do not miss this one.

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With the Deji Reservoir below, the gardens of Xin Jia Yang benefit from the gorge's strong winds blowing mists up from below onto the tea bushes


swimming spot below in the Deji!

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During our time in Li Shan, the Chen family graciously allowed us to document and engage in tea production with them from harvest to processing to brewing.


unlike many other high mountain growing areas, sunnier Li Shan does not experience as much perpetual mist. Withering is easier, and the flavors tends towards more fruitier and floral, with more cha chi.



Young Chen's uncle, Mr. Huang, invites us to judge the fresh tea as he continues to assess at each step of the process.

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When his father suddenly passed away, young Mr. Chen inherited his tea operations and with the help of his uncle and other skilled mentors is building on a legacy of excellence.



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