gingko wrote:To tell which cultivar the tea tree is, the best way is to look at fresh tea leaves or take the spent whole leaves (but there may be confusions). I've seen some pictures of spent leaves, but have never been to a field to see the fresh leaves, so I can't always tell which is which.
Taiwan "high mountain oolong" refers to Taiwanese oolong from tea trees grown at more than 1000 meters (or 3000 feet) above sea level - not including dong ding oolong, which refers to oolong from Dong Ding Mountain only.
The high mountain oolong uses mainly 4 cultivars. Generally speaking, in an order from more expensive to less expensive, they are: Ching Shin Oolong (Green Heart Oolong) > Jin Xuan < > Tsui Yew (green jade) > See Jee Chun (Spring Year-around). But this is just general pricing, and there are a lot of variations depending on quality of tea and how well it is processed.
If you feel a vegetable tasting, it is not likely green heart oolong or jin xuan. Probably green jade or see jee chun.
Very interesting post, Ginko. I can agree with 90% of what you said, but can agree to disagree with the other 10%.
My understanding is that Dong Ding will not always refer to oolong grown on Dong Ding. It can also refer to a particular style of Taiwan oolong. This is partly why it can be so variable perhaps. This was not always the case. But demand has outstripped supply.
Of course, if a Taiwan oolong is from one of its major mountains such as Ali Shan or Li Shan, I would expect the packaging to proclaim such information. High Grown sounds like generic nomenclature/offering.