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No. 192

Rare High Mountain Ali Shan - Loose Leaf

Taiwanese Oolong Tea

This mountain-grown organic oolong is one of our most luxurious teas: complex, floral and with heavenly apricot notes, it’s enough to give you a natural high.

From: Chiayi, Southwestern Taiwan

LOOSE LEAF
Delivery Info

Shipping policy

We aim to dispatch all orders within 1-2 days of receiving your request. However, this can vary during peak times and other conditions outside of our control. Therefore, the below estimates of shipping times have been provided by our couriers.

 

UK Deliveries

 

Method

Cost

Carrier

Transit time

Standard

£2.50, Free - over £25

Royal Mail

2-5 days, up to 14*, Not Tracked

Tracked

£5.95

DPD

1-2 days, up to 5*, Tracked

Next-Working-Day

£9.95

DPD

Orders placed before 2pm, 1-2** days, Tracked

Saturday

£13.95

DPD

Orders placed before 2pm, Saturday delivery, Tracked

 *Most deliveries will be made within the usual time frame, but some areas and services may experience delays.

 

European Deliveries


Currently, there are some delays with parcels being sent to EU countries from the UK. This is due to complexities arising as a result of the UK leaving the European Union. If there is any disruption to the service that you have selected, we will keep you updated.The table below provides estimates of shipping times.

CUSTOMS CHARGES: All commercial goods arriving from the UK are subject to VAT, Import Duty and a handling fee in the country receiving the goods.

 

Method

Cost

Carrier

Transit time

Standard

From £4.00

Royal Mail

8-15 days, up to 30*, Not Tracked

USA tracked

From £15.00

Fedex

2-3 days, up to 7*, Tracked

ROW Tracked

From £18.95

Fedex

1-5 days, up to 5*, Tracked

 *Most deliveries will be made within the usual time frame, but some areas and services may experience delays.

 

Rest of the World

 

Method

Cost

Carrier

Transit time

Standard

From £4.00

Royal Mail

8-15 days, up to 30*, Not Tracked

USA tracked

From £15.00

Fedex

2-3 days, up to 7*, Tracked

ROW Tracked

From £18.95

Fedex

1-5 days, up to 5*, Tracked

 *Most deliveries will be made within the usual time frame, but some areas and services may experience delays.

 

International Buyers (Including EU) – Please Note:


Import duties, taxes, and charges are not included in the item price or shipping cost. These charges are the buyer's responsibility. Please check with your country's customs office to determine what these additional costs will be before buying.

The origins of our Taiwanese High Mountain Ali Shan Oolong tea


With a complex floral aroma and sweet, mouth-watering flavour, High Mountain Ali Shan (Alishan Gaoshan wulong, 阿里山高山烏龍) is an outstanding organic Taiwanese oolong and one of the stars of our loose-leaf tea collection.

Grown at 1500m above sea level, our Ali Shan is among the most famous of Taiwan's luxury High Mountain teas. There's much to love about this single-origin oolong, from its bright yellow infusion redolent with a mix of fresh and smoky notes, to its delicate apricot flavour and buttery-smooth mouthfeel. Enjoy its delicate sweetness throughout the day, or an hour or so after food, to aid digestion.

Sourced by Formosan Farms, which specialises in micro-batch Taiwanese teas, High Mountain Ali Shan is made from full, greenish-yellow leaves which are rolled into large balls. The tea owes its name to Taiwan's spectacular Alishan mountains national park, where it's grown. Here, the cool, cloudy conditions ensure the tea bushes grow more slowly, developing thicker leaves that are perfect for the bruising and robust rolling/curling treatment that oolongs typically receive as part of their production process.

Read more about our High Mountain Ali Shan

This particular high mountain oolong tea is harvested in the fresh spring and frosty winter seasons, with only the most tender leaves selected. Hand-picked and dried, our High Mountain Ali Shan is given just a gentle roll, to preserve the full leaf appearance. Formosan Farms' farmer, Mr Shien, grew up on a century-old tea farm and cares for his plants like they're family members. Having become skilled in his craft, learning techniques passed down through the generations, Mr Shien has integrated his own beliefs into the tea-growing tradition: running his farm to organic principles, focusing on sustainability – and playing soothing classical music to his trees. Mr Chien believes exposure to music helps his tea bushes flourish and improves quality and taste – so much so, in fact, that he's in the process of building an eco-friendly system on his land that will play eight-hour bursts of classical music to his plants!


What is Taiwanese oolong?


Also known as wulong ('black dragon'), oolong is a semi-oxidised tea, which is why it's often referred to as being halfway between a green tea and a black tea. Oolong teas originally hail from the province of Fujian, China, which lies just 315km from the island of Taiwan, across the Taiwan Strait. In the early 19th century, Camellia sinensis seedlings were brought from China to Taiwan, then called Formosa, and by the late 1860s, production and export of Taiwanse tea was underway. Foremost among these teas was what became popular in Britain and the US as Formosan oolong.

Today, Taiwan's oolongs are renowned the world over, accounting for some 90% of total national tea production. Large tracts of Taiwan's spectacular mountainous terrain are given over to tea gardens, with the country's many microclimates and different elevations perfectly suited to oolong's idiosyncratic personality; this, after all, is a tea of a thousand nuanced incarnations. On the whole, however, what differentiates Taiwan's oolongs from many of their Chinese counterparts is their overall lower levels of oxidation (usually in the range of 8-70%) – making for generally lighter, greener styles of tea.


What are the health benefits of oolong?


For centuries, the Chinese have touted the health benefits of oolong tea: as an aid to weight loss, cardiovascular function and improved cognition. And recent studies have shown that drinking a couple of cups of oolong per day may indeed help break down fat while you're sleeping due to the tea's metabolism-boosting capabilities, therefore reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. Those capabilities are down to the tea's high levels of polyphenols, the antioxidant-packed plant-based compounds that are also linked to a decrease in cell division in certain cancers, improved bone mineral density and a reduction in certain skin conditions such as eczema. And since our High Mountain Ali Shan tea is organically grown – pesticide-, herbicide- and chemical-free – you can be assured that all you're getting is the goodness of the pure tea leaves.


What is Formosan Farms?


Founded by Dr Yvonne Han, Formosan Farms produces premium, single-origin teas that are organically grown by select family-run tea farms in Taiwan. The sustainably grown teas are 100% pure, with no added chemicals or pesticides, and are supplied to various grades, all of high quality. Each contributing farm has a sustainable ethos that ensures the methods used in cultivation are eco-friendly and place the environment front and centre. The farmers' love for their work is reflected in their teas, and we are very proud to launch our new range of teas with them.


Alternatives to High Mountain Ali Shan


If you love this benchmark oolong, you'll want to try its sister tea, Ali Shan, also from the mountains of Taiwan and which offers a clean, milky-sweet flavour. Looking for an everyday option? You can't go past our Four Seasons Taiwanese tea; earthy-sweet, with a mild, nutty character, it's an easy way to get your oolong fix. For a tea with double health benefits, try our ginseng-infused Chinese Jade, grown and harvested in the mountains of Fujian, China's most famous oolong-producing region. And for the most iconic of oolongs, it has to be another fine Fujian tea: the complex, floral Tie Guan Yin, also known as Iron Goddess of Mercy.

For the full range of The Tea Makers of London oolongs, browse our Tea Shop. Upgrade your brewing game with our range of gaiwans and glassware – perfect for preparing your High Mountain Ali Shan in style. Alternatively, our stunning Rare and Limited Gong Fu tea ceremony set makes a great gift for tea connoisseurs.

Ingredients


Pure Taiwanese oolong tea

Tasting notes


This tea offers fresh, toasted and aroma and light-yellow infusion. A rich cup with apricot and pear notes with buttery mouthfeel.

Region


Chiayi is a Taiwanese county on the South-Western coast of the island. The low-lying, Western part of the county sits at an elevation of 69m above sea level but, beyond the city of Chiayi, to the East and towards the centre of the island, the elevation gradually increases, with the famous city of Alishan sitting just above 2,000 meters.

Learn more about the Chiayi County, Southwestern Taiwan

The Eastern boundary of the county stops at Mount Yu, also known as Jade Mountain, the highest peak on Taiwan at 3,952 m above sea level. The county as a whole experiences high levels of precipitation. The climate in the low-lying coastal area is tropical monsoon (Am), with a hot, oppressive and overcast wet season and a humid, windy and mostly clear dry season. There, the temperatures typically range from 15°C to 31°C throughout the year.

Further to the East on the mountains, the climate is subtropical highland (Cwb), with extremely wet and mild temperatures during the monsoon and cool, drier winter months. The temperatures are quite consistent throughout the year, with average highs between 11°C in December to 19°C in July. It is on those misty hills , between 1,000 and 2,000 meters, that the famous Alishan Oolong is grown, with the low temperatures and humidity encouraging the growth of soft, fragrant leaves.

The county is also famed for its production of rice, pineapples and citrus. The high levels of precipitation and warm temperatures throughout the year offer the perfect conditions for a thriving flora, with forests covering large parts of the county. The lower, coastal area is home to bamboo, palm and tropical evergeens, whilst the higher slopes are covered in indigenous cypress, red pine, spruce and fir tree.

How to brew

3g

3g

95°C

95°C

200ml

200ml

5mins

5mins

Rare High Mountain Ali Shan - Loose Leaf

£45.00
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