Of all the young tea farmers we work with, we work especially close with Mr. Gao from Qi Lai Shan. He is only in his early 30s, but already his talent for producing tea is as great as his passion for it. And even though his teas are already on a whole different level, they still keep getting better and better each year.
This is his High Mountain Bai Hao (Oriental Beauty). His Bai Hao tea garden is located at an elevation of around 1,600 m (5,250 ft). Unlike most Bai Hao gardens, the cultivar in his garden is Jin Xuan instead of the usual Qing Xin Da Mao. Using Jin Xuan is possible because it’s a high mountain garden.
The trees in the garden are only for Oriental Beauty, and are picked only once a year. He then lets the trees rest for the remainder of the year. Tea trees, like people, could get exhausted if they are overworked. Mr. Gao thinks of his trees as people, so he does not overburden them.
As it is, his trees already go through enough pain before processing. First, the leaves are attacked by Jacobiasca formosana. And after that, the young leaves are picked off. Both of these processes cause energy exhaustion for trees. Some farmers disregard this exhaustion so long as they are profiting, but people like Mr. Gao, who deeply care about their trees, let them enjoy enough rest. Because of this, his trees stay happy and healthy, and they produce high-quality teas every year.
On top of that, Mr. Gao’s picking standard is very strict, so the quantity of this tea is extremely limited. We luckily had great timing, so we were able to get some of this tea.
His Oriental Beauty is rolled, unlike most Oriental Beauty teas. Since the rolling is minimal, the leaves end up being an oval shape. Thanks to this shape, the exposed area is a lot smaller than it is for normal Bai Hao, which is better for storing and vacuum-sealing.
This tea has vivid honey and ripe fruit scents which are in great harmony with the gentle bouquets from Jin Xuan. This gives it a very relaxing and cozy taste!
Oriental Beauty from high mountain regions is extremely rare even in Taiwan. We are very happy to add this tea in our collection :)
Jong Lim and Chung Woo