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Li Shan Cha : Oolong Tea : HOJO TEA

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HOME > Oolong Tea >Tian Chi Li Shan Cha

 

梨山茶

 

Presidential Tea: Tian Chi Li Sha Cha

Have you ever tried our Li Shan Cha? This is a light fermented Taiwan oolong tea grown in the mountain at 2400m above sea level. It gives a very floral and citrus flavor that lingers deep down the throats for a very long time. For those who like Ali Shan Cha or Dong Ding Oolong, Li Shan Cha would be the ultimate preference.

Now we are introducing a special grade of Li Shan Cha to our customers who has already into Li Shan Cha, yet looking for something of an even better quality. It is called Tian Chi Li Shan Cha. This tea is grown in mountain at 2500-2600m. It is known as the Presidential Tea in Taiwan. This tea has been served to the presidents of Taiwan throughout the years.

This tea gives a very long lasting taste. The moment you drink it, the taste spread out and travels very deep down the throat. Then you will feel the sweet flowery note slowly rises up from the throat and lingers on.

 

Li Shan Cha Li Shan Cha

Tian Chi pond. Tian Chi means Heaven Pond in Chinese and Japanese.

The Tian Chi Li Shan Cha tea garden is located on Alpine environment.

Brew up to 8 times

For this superior tea, you can brew up to 8 times, thanks to its tender leaf and rich content of substance. The leaf is plucked according to the standard of oolong tea. The leaf consists of 3-4 leafs with one bud. In making oolong tea, it is necessary to pluck the 3rd and 4th leaf. The 3rd and 4th leaf has stayed a long time with the tea tree, and therefore it has very rich minerals and polyphenols. If tea leaf is plucked with single bud and 2 leaves just like most of the green tea, it will never produce such intensive aftertaste and flavor.

 

HOJO's Li Shan Cha is produced at the tea garden that is higher than 2000m
HOJO's Li Shan Cha is produced at the tea garden that is higher than 2000m

In addition, there is another reason why 3rd and 4th leaf is required in making oolong tea. Generally, the bud contributes to the Umami taste because of the concentrated amino acid content, while 1st and 2nd leaf contains a mix of more amino acid and less amount of polyphenol. Therefore, in order to make oolong tea with a well-balance taste and flavor, 3rd and 4th leaf is very important since its polyphenol content is much higher than younger leaf at upper part of tea tree. The polyphenols will be converted into fragrance substances during fermentation process.

Strong Peach Flavor

Usually we enjoy Li Shan Cha when it is fresh. However, there is another way to enjoy this tea. We discover that when this tea is kept for some time in vacuum-packed condition, it gets ripen. The maturation of tea only takes place correctly when there is no oxygen present inside the packing bag. Hence the original vacuumed packing bag should be kept and not open for more than one year, if you wish for the matured Li Shan Cha. Originally, freshly made Tian Chi Li Shan Cha gives a refreshing floral flavor. After being kept for more than 1 year in the ambient temperature, it changed to peach-like fruity flavor. The changes of its flavor and taste are rather drastic and surprisingly impressive. Although we do not sell matured Tian Chi Li Shan Cha at the moment, you can easily carry out this “experiment” on your own.

 

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Unique and Interesting Application of Tie Chi Lih Shan Cha

For ordinary tea, I usually dispose brewed leaves after I brewed a couple of rounds. Since Tian Chi Li Shan Cha is a prestigious quality tea, I suggest not just dispose the leaf after brewing. I have some tips about how to make use of the brewed leaf. For example, place a few twigs of brewed leaf into your miso soup and cook for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Thanks to the overwhelming amount of mineral exists in Tian Chi Li Shan Cha, the taste of miso soup is drastically changed. Ordinary miso soup starts giving much deeper aftertaste and flavor. Try it out; you might be surprised that it is much easier to tell the differences of the changes of taste in soup than in tea. Besides, you can also add in some brewed leaf when you are cooking noodle or anything that involves water. I have tried with many other things. I discovered many interesting outcomes when I soaked this tea leaf inside beer, wine, sake, fruits juice or even coca-cola. The changes of taste are much greater than the changes caused by using different kinds of good teapot. The outcome is the beyond the reach of your imagination. I also tried placing Tian Chi Li Shan Cha tea leaf (after finished brewing) in rice before cooking. You will instantly notice the difference of taste.
You can also carry out above application with other kind of tea leaf. But less effect is expected if the quality of tea used is not as good as Tian Chi Li Shan cha.

 

 

 

Is Tian Chi Li Shan Cha better or Prize Awarded Tea better?

When I mentioned how nice the Tian Chi Li Shan Cha is, some people always bring up discussions on “prize awarded tea”. They believe competition tea is better. But what is a “prize awarded tea? In every year, throughout Taiwan, there is countless number of tea competitions being held in different regions. No doubt, a prize awarded tea is also a nice tea. But we need to understand that tea competition is always held to compete the same teas from a particular category or from the same mountain. It is  

I believe Tian Chi Li Shan Cha is one of the top quality teas in Taiwan. If one cannot understand its superiority, I would have to conclude that he or she might be referring to different quality standard.

History and Culture

Tian Chi Li Shan Cha is cultivated at the farm named as Fu Shou Shan (福寿山农场). Back in year 1957, this area was developed with the mission of maximizing the usage of slope area for cultivation of agricultural product. At that time, a hundred people was gathered and these people took about 2 days to climb up the mountain, and at third day, they settled down at large open grassland and here became the Fu Shou Shan Farm at later stage. After spending the whole winter for reclamation, the first batch of fruit tree and vegetable was planted. Four years later, the first batch of peach was produced, followed by pear and apple at later stage. This farm continuingly produced high land fruit and it reached its climax of production within the next twenty years time. When the Taiwan government allowed the open market of imported fruits from oversea, the production of this high land fruit was seriously affected and farmers were forced to come up with solution plan. At that time, agricultural expertise from Japan visited the farm, and shared the information with the farmer. According to Japan expertise, they had successfully produced high-land green tea with superb quality. This idea was very motivating and farmers started to plant a few cultivars at Fu Shou Shan Farm in year 1980. Besides, at that time, another farmer already successfully cultivated the tea tree at Da Yu Ling area. He was very close to former president of Taiwan, Mr. Chiang Kai Shek, and thus he was renting a piece of land at that area for fruit plantation and at the same time, tea tree also planted. After a series of tried and error with different cultivars and different method of processing, it was finalized that light fermented oolong tea gave the most outstanding characteristic. Till now, this oolong tea is what many tea connoisseurs in Taiwan always fond of.

 

Cultivar and Plucking

Presently, only about 13.5 hectares of tea garden at Fu Shou Shan Farm cultivates this tea, with about ninety percent is Qing-Xin oolong cultivar (青心乌龙).
The tea garden is located at very high elevation (2500 – 2600m above sea level), with a temperature that is at around 12 degree C on average. The plucking is carried out only once a year in spring. Therefore, its production is very limited as compare to the rest of teas produced in Taiwan. It is very difficult to secure the stock since the supply does not even meet the domestic demand.

 

Process

Basically all light fermented oolong undergoes similar process.

 

Please click here for further explanation about oolong process >>

 

 

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Brewing Method

(1) Water

In you are using tap water, it is necessary to filter the water using an activated carbon filter. If not, you wouldn’t be able to enjoy the authentic taste of tea. Chlorine is added to tap water in order to sanitize bacteria. This chlorinated water will also harm our body cells. Concerning about our health condition, it is very important to remove chlorine from drinking water. The most effective method in removing chlorine is to install an activated carbon filter. This type of filter is designed for removing organic substance. It will remove not only chlorine, but also other harmful substance such as contaminated pesticide. The activated carbon filter can be easily obtained from the common hardware shop in most countries. If activated carbon filter is not available, please place a charcoal inside the water and leave it for over night. The material composed of activated carbon filter is made of ground charcoal.  The difference is that activated carbon filter contains much finer particles and hence it has extremely large surface area for a better efficiency in filtration. We do not suggest RO water (reversed osmosis water) or distilled water. This water carries no mineral, the taste and flavor of tea tends to be very unstable, unless you have very superior quality tea and tea equipment.
It is also advisable not to use fresh tap water. The intensity of after taste becomes stronger if water is kept overnight. Keeping water with stones or inside clay jar will increase the content of minerals. However, you need to confirm whether or not the water kept inside particular jar or with stone is suitable with your tea or tea equipment (such as teapot). If water jar carries certain minerals like copper or zinc, it will rather spoil the taste and flavor of tea. For this, you need to confirm with experiment on try and error basis.
For boiling water, please do not use aluminum or copper kettle. It spoils the taste of water. We suggest using kettle made of iron, stainless steel, tin or glass. 

In the long run, you may observe a thick layer of scale accumulated inside your kettle. Our mother usually taught us to wash and remove it with citric acid. But please do not even try to remove the scale. Scale consists of minerals that exist in the water. The mineral composition is reflected from the water you used. If you remove the scale, the mineral ion balance between scale and water is destroyed. This balance is called buffer effect in science. The flavor and taste will seriously run out and you won’t be able to get previous taste and flavor for a long time. It is also important to stick to the same type of water whenever brewing tea. If source of water is changed, it carries different type of minerals. It will affect the mineral ion balance too.


Go to further information about suitable water for brewing tea >>


(2) Quantity of tea leaves

To determine the quantity of tea leaves to be used, we divide the volume of water by 50. For example: the volume of teapot = 200ml; 200ml/50 =4g. You need to measure 4g of tea leaves for 200ml of water.


(3) Temperature

It is important to use boiling water. Please do not stop as soon as water is boiled. It is advisable to keep boiling for about 30 seconds to 1 minute.


(4) Brewing time

Based on the above ratio between hot water and the weight of tea leaf, the brewing time is as follow.

 

1st: 55 seconds

2nd 45 seconds

3rd 55 seconds

4th 65 seconds

5th 75 seconds

6th 85 seconds

 

Note: Please remove the lid while you are waiting for subsequent brewing. Tea leaf will be over steamed and get oxidized if the lid is not removed.

 

Click here for typical Brewing Method for Oolong Tea >>

In order to enjoy oolong tea, always ensure that the water temperature is very hot. Use boiling water and rinse tea pot with boiling water to keep it hot.

Storage of Tea

Keep tea away from moisture

Once a bag of tea is opened, please finish it within 3 months if you wish to enjoy its freshness. From the medical point of view, it is safe to consume the tea even if it is kept for a few years. However the freshness disappears if it is kept for too long. Tea must be tightly sealed before it is kept. Tea should be kept in ambient and dry conditions such as in the living room, but it must be completely away from humidity. Tea should not be kept in the kitchen as the environment is very humid. Avoid enclosed area such as inside the cupboard or drawer as these places are damp. Also avoid opening the bag of tea in humid atmosphere. It is recommended to open the bag during a sunny day or under air-conditioned atmosphere. Once tea leaves absorb moisture, deterioration of tea will be triggered within a few days. Tea will then give an astringent taste, sometime it tastes sour. The fresh aroma also becomes weaker.

Beware of keeping the tea in the fridge

The quality of tea lasts longer if it is kept in the fridge. However we strongly recommend you not to keep tea in the fridge. When tea is withdrawn from the fridge, there is usually condensation. Once tea is exposed to moisture during condensation, the quality will deteriorate within a few days. The higher moisture content in the tea leaves will trigger oxidation and it will completely destroy the quality of tea.

Here’s one frequently asked question: what happens if bag is sealed using tape or tea is packed in zipper bag and kept inside the fridge?

For your information, these simple sealing methods are not sufficient. When the bag is withdrawn from the fridge, it is cold inside the bag and therefore causes negative pressure. Air will be drawn from outside and condensation will occur. In addition, if the bag is taken in and out from the fridge very often, this will cause heat stress to the tea leaves as temperature is increased and decreased very frequently. If tea is kept in the fridge, when it is withdrawn from the fridge, it is necessary to leave it in ambient atmosphere for more than 24 hours in order to warm up the tea leaves. Based on our experience, 12 hours is not long enough. We may think tea is warmed up, but inside the bag, the tea leaves are still cold due to insulation effect.

 

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Payment

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We accept various kinds of credit card through Paypal.

Only if customer prefer other option of payment, we suggest "Bank Transfer".

 

Shipping

Various choice of shipping method

EMS, SAL, Small Packet, Small Packet (SAL) Yamato Express and Surface

For shipping tea, we usually suggest small air parcel, the estimated shipping cost of tea in 100g (with wrapping material ) is

Small Parcel

USA JPY 600, EU JPY600 and Asia JPY470

Small Packet (SAL)

USA JPY380, EU JPY380 and Asia JPY320

The shipping fee to oversea by small air parcel happens to be even cheaper than domestic shipping fee in Japan.

 

Custom Fee

For your information, some countries, EU in particular imposes custom duty. We need buyer to bare the duty. We are sorry, but we cannot change the amount on the invoice, and we do not mark any packages as gifts. We will strictly follow the custom regulation.

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