Gao shan cha : high mountain tea

February 3, 2022
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Shan Lin Xi Tea Garden

Tea bushes that grow at over 1000 meters in Taiwan are named gao shan cha, meaning "high mountain tea."
Note that, besides Sri Lanka, Taiwan is the only country to differentiate between high and low altitude teas. As with Darjeeling in India, these teas, cultivated in high-altitude conditions have exceptionally complex taste profiles. The climatic conditions in high mountain regions are generally cooler which reduces the growth rate of tea plants and increases the concentration of aromatic oils in the leaves.

Moreover, with the cool breeze and thick fog that dims the sunshine both morning and evening (reducing the sunlight to a few hours per day) the plant produces very dark green shoots that contain more amino acids and nitrogen compounds. Dampened by fog, the leaves are more tender thus retaining their flexibility unlike leaves from lower altitudes. This tenderness is a favorable quality for the manufacturing techniques that follow.

A few of the most famous styles of gao shan cha are:

Ali Shan, Li Shan, Shan Lin Xi

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