History of high mountain proccessing

Owes its flavors to oxidation levels between green & black tea.

History of high mountain proccessing

Postby bonescwa » May 9th, '14, 12:51

From what I've read, I get the impression that Taiwanese high mountain teas haven't always been so green and unroasted, which is now the norm. I am wondering if this is true, and if so, how long has this been the case? If anyone has suggestions for resources online or books, I would appreciate it. I would ideally like a history of taiwanese tea in general, if something like that exists. It seems that there is much more information around about Chinese tea.
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Re: History of high mountain proccessing

Postby Poseidon » May 9th, '14, 13:35

I really enjoyed this article from TeaDB. James is pretty knowledgeable about tea and seems to really enjoy everything about tea. Check it out!


Also, http://www.marshaln.com/2012/06/changing-tastes/
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Re: History of high mountain proccessing

Postby 茶藝-TeaArt08 » May 9th, '14, 13:53

Amongst many sources, I can perhaps post more later, the #13 Chayi/茶藝 Art of Tea magazine also devotes a number of well-written articles to this topic. You can pick it up pretty readily since the back issues are generally in demand. Camellia Sinensis is one source for buying the magazine (http://camellia-sinensis.com/en/teaware/books).

Just back from a month in Taiwan visiting family, farms, teaware artisans, tea shops, and tea teachers, this topic is still widely discussed and ruminated over with concern. Taiwan has so much more to offer than the standard sampling of green wulongs, though the green wulongs are good too.

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Re: History of high mountain proccessing

Postby hop_goblin » May 9th, '14, 17:07

Nice resources! Thanks for sharing all.
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Re: History of high mountain proccessing

Postby debunix » May 9th, '14, 20:14

茶藝-TeaArt08 wrote:Taiwan has so much more to offer than the standard sampling of green wulongs, though the green wulongs are good too.

So true! About 2 years ago Greg Clancy got in quite a variety of oolongs, blacks, greens, and white teas from Taiwan, and all those I tried were excellent and some that seemed to cross boundaries--processed partly like oolongs and partly like green or white teas--were among the best. To my sorrow, they apparently did not sell well enough for him to continue offering them, and I haven't found another source for similar teas since.
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Re: History of high mountain proccessing

Postby Bok » Aug 11th, '14, 01:58

I wonder if the change in roasting preferences could have something to do with storage? That in the old days roasted tea is more practical if you have no vacuum sealing available. So that in reverse the rise in less oxydized only made sense in recent times.

Just a thought…
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Re: History of high mountain proccessing

Postby kyarazen » Aug 13th, '14, 01:18

oxidation level of the tea is done according to season traditionally.

and that will also determine the amount of "roasting" required.

i dont think storage to be really a major issue. large quantities, good containers, fully packed to the brim, thats how sencha was stored in clay jars. there are also very well made traditional containers that can almost give an "airtight" seal.
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Re: History of high mountain proccessing

Postby Risdt » Aug 13th, '14, 02:24

The farmer I stayed with said that depending on the sunshine on the day of the harvest and processing determines how much the oxidation the tea can have. (I do have to say, we communicated through google translate since I do not speak Mandarin well). The problem with gaoshan was not enough sunshine, so if you want a gaoshan with higher oxidation you should transport the leaves to lower elevations for processing.

I met Chen HuangTan of E Shayan Tsun Co. in Taipei and he still makes very traditional Taiwanese tea. He released a new book and a big part about is on oxidation, too bad it is only published in Chinese.

As Kyarazen says it was traditionally done by season, it might be that during winter the teas had lower oxidation as the weather is colder (though winter seems to be more sunny in the mountains while spring has more rain).
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