1. Definition and production area of Taiwanese high mountain tea
In the terminology of Taiwanese tea, "Taiwan High Mountain Tea" does not specifically refer to tea produced in a certain place in Taiwan, but refers to tea produced in tea gardens above 1,000 meters above sea level in Taiwan. Then, if the tea is produced in tea gardens below 1,000 meters above sea level, it is called "Taiwan Flatland Tea". Therefore, "Taiwan High Mountain Tea" and "Taiwan Flatland Tea" are classified according to the altitude.
Taiwan has many mountains in its geographical environment. On the land of more than 36,000 square kilometers in Taiwan, there are 269 mountains with an altitude of more than 3,000 meters. Therefore, Taiwan can be said to be one of the islands with the highest density of mountains in the world (https://goo.gl/YMxC4C). Taiwan's high mountain topography, coupled with Taiwan's inheritance of traditional Chinese tea culture, has created Taiwan's excellent high mountain tea industry.
Taiwan's high mountain tea areas are widely distributed, from Chiayi, Nantou, Taichung in the middle, Hualien in the east, and Taoyuan Mountain in the north, there are high mountain tea areas. The following article refers to Wikipedia (https://goo.gl/ak1gkG) and other documents, writing about the distribution of Taiwan's high mountain tea areas:
1. Chiayi County:
The high mountain tea areas in Chiayi County are mainly distributed in Meishan Township, Alishan Township, Zhuqi Township and Fanlu Township.
Meishan Township 90% is a mountainous area, and its tea gardens are mainly distributed in the villages of Longan, Taiping, Dianzai, Zhangshu Lake, Bihu, Taixing, Ruili, Ruifeng, Taihe and Taixing in Meishan Township. Among them, Longyan Village in Meishan Township is the origin of Taiwanese high mountain tea. The tea trees planted are mainly Qingxin Oolong.
In Zhuqi Township, Fanlu Township, and Alishan Township in Chiayi County, most of their tea gardens are located along the Alishan Highway, including: Longmei, Gaoding, Longtou, Guanghua, Shijiao (Shizhuo), Cross Road, Dabang, Lijia and Fengshan and other places, so the tea produced in this tea area is generally called "Alishan tea".
But some of the Alishan teas have been given special names, including: Alishan Zhulu Tea, Alishan Jialu Tea, Alishan Yulu Tea...etc. For example, the origin of the name of Alishan Zhulu Tea is that when former Vice President Mr. Xie Dongmin visited the Alishan tea area, he found that the tea produced by Shizhao was of high quality, and named it "Alishan Zhulu Tea".
2. Nantou County
The high mountain tea areas in Nantou County are mainly distributed in four townships including Zhushan Town, Renai Township, Shuili Township and Xinyi Township.
Zhushan Town has been planting tea trees since the 1980s. Currently, tea areas are distributed in Zhaojingshan, Houpu, Sheliao, Ruizhu, Daan, Ruanan, Liutengping, Shanpingding, Shanlinxi, Yanping, Yanshan, Yangtouwan and Longfeng Gorge and other places.
Tea cultivation in Renai Township was introduced by Tenren Tea, and popularized from Wushe and Gaofeng. So far, the tea cultivation area in Renai Township has exceeded 800 hectares, with an annual output of over 680 metric tons, making it the fourth largest tea producing area in Nantou County. From Wushe to Cingjing Farm, high mountain tea gardens and tea factories can be seen everywhere.
In the 1980s, the cultivation of high mountain tea began in Shuili Township. At present, the tea area is concentrated in three villages including Junkeng, Xinshan and Shangan.
Xinyi Township also started to grow tea in the 1980s. The tea areas are distributed in Sanjia, Luona, Tongfu, Shenmu, Shalixian and Tatajia. They are called "Yushan Mountain Tea" and sold to the outside world.
3. Taichung County,Hualien County,Taoyuan County
Taichung County has become Taichung City after the upgrade, and its high mountain tea area is mainly distributed in the Heping District, which is the so-called "Dalishan District".
The high mountain tea area in Hualien County is mainly distributed in Fushi Village, Xiulin Township, which is close to the junction of Nantou and Taichung counties and cities. Another name for this tea area is Dayuling Tea Area, or Hehuan Yakou Tea Area, with an altitude of about 2500-2600 meters, which can be said to be the highest mountain tea area in Taiwan.
The high mountain tea areas in Taoyuan County are mainly distributed in the Lala Mountain area of Fuxing Township. Compared with the aforementioned tea areas, Lalashan tea area is a relatively new tea area. The main tea areas include Baling, Guanghua, Xinxing, Sanguang Village and other mountain tribes. The altitude is about 1500~1600 meters, and the tea trees are mainly Qingxin Oolong.
However, in terms of production area, Taiwan's alpine teas are still dominated by Chiayi County and Nantou County, with an altitude of about 1,000 to 1,400 meters, among which Alishan tea, Yushan tea, Lishan tea, and Shanlinxi tea are represented. .
2. Characteristics and advantages of Taiwanese high mountain tea
The reason why Taiwanese high mountain tea is widely loved by tea lovers around the world is mainly because of its good quality and taste, including: soft tea leaves, thick meat and more pectin, green color, clear tea soup, rich in glycol, neither bitter nor astringent, The taste is sweet...and so on. And these good quality and taste come from the unique geographical conditions and natural environment of Taiwan's high mountain tea area. These include:
1. The water vapor and mist surrounding the high mountain tea area are the favorites of tea trees
Taiwan's climate, especially in summer, tends to blow southeasterly. The southeast wind will send the water vapor evaporated from the sea by the sun to the inland belt of Taiwan. Then, if the tea garden is in the plain area, it is very flat, so the water vapor will only pass once, and will not stay, so the tea garden in the plain area is not easy to accumulate this water vapor. Even if there are thick clouds accumulated over the plains, and then it rains, these rains are not the favorite of tea trees, because what the tea trees like most is not the rain that falls on the soil, but the clouds and air floating in the air. Mist, water vapor, mountains, these things.
But when this southeasterly wind blows up the mountains, the moisture also climbs up the slopes. As the altitude continues to increase, the amount of condensed water vapor increases, resulting in clouds, fog, water vapor, and mountains. And the high mountain becomes a natural barrier, so I embrace, keep and seal the favorite things of these tea trees. So why the mountains will be foggy in the afternoon, this is the reason. Fog is a manifestation of the abundance of cloud, fog, water, and mountains, and this environment is the favorite environment for tea trees, which allows tea trees and tea leaves to grow and develop well.
In other words, the tea garden in the plain area has only rain at most, while the tea garden in the high-altitude area will have the cloud, fog, water vapor, and mountain mist that tea trees love most. The quality of tea leaves will be different depending on the growing environment, and the quality of high mountain tea will be better than that of flatland tea.
2. High mountain tea is neither bitter nor astringent and tastes good
Another point is that if the photosynthesis of the tea tree is more comprehensive, the bitter and astringent substances such as catechin, theophylline, and caffeine derived from the tea will be relatively higher. Because it is not easy to accumulate this cloud and mist on the flat land, the sun is very strong in summer, and it is basically full of sunshine, so the derived catechin, theophylline, caffeine and other bitter substances will be particularly rich, and it is not good to drink. In addition, caffeine is a substance that can stimulate the human body to be excited, and flat tea has full sunlight and comprehensive photosynthesis, and the more caffeine in tea, so some people drink flat tea at low altitude, and it is not easy to fall asleep at night. This is the reason .
As for the high mountain tea? Because the high mountain tea area will be foggy in the afternoon, causing clouds, fog, water vapor, and mountains to condense in the high mountains in the afternoon, blocking the strong sunlight and ultraviolet rays, etc., so the high mountain tea area will only have half sunshine or half sunshine in the afternoon. It is weak sunlight, and photosynthesis is not comprehensive. That is to say, there is sunlight in the high mountain tea area in the morning, which can carry out complete photosynthesis and allow tea trees to grow, but in the afternoon, it is usually easy to accumulate this cloud and fog on the mountain, so it is only half sunshine or weak sunshine. Therefore, the content of bitter and astringent substances such as catechin, theophylline, caffeine, etc. accumulated in the tea tree in the high mountain tea area will be relatively low. Relatively, there are "theanine" and "soluble nitrogen" that contribute to the sweetness of the tea leaves. The specific gravity of high-altitude tea increases, so high-altitude tea tastes better, and it is less bitter to drink. This is the advantage of tea taste caused by the unique conditions of high mountain tea.
3. The average temperature in the high mountain tea area is low, and the temperature difference between day and night is large, which is conducive to the production of high-quality tea
In high altitude areas, the temperature difference between day and night is large, the sun is very hot during the day, and the temperature on the mountain drops rapidly at night. Tea trees especially prefer this growing environment with large temperature difference between day and night, so the quality of alpine tea produced by high altitude tea gardens is better, which is also the reason. one of the reasons.
Another factor is that the average temperature in the high mountain tea area is low. Anyone who likes to drink tea will notice that spring tea is usually more expensive and of better quality? The reason is that in spring and winter, especially in the high mountain tea area, it is very cold, and the cold is also beneficial to the quality of tea leaves. Because the growth rate of tea leaves is relatively slow, this slow growth will also help improve the quality of tea leaves. Not only are tea leaves soft, fleshy, rich in pectin, and green in color, but also the tea soup is mellow and fragrant, not bitter or astringent, and tastes good. It is sweet and resistant to brewing.
Of course, the flatland is also cold in winter, but the climate is very dry, and the temperature difference between day and night is not as big as that in the mountains, so the tea produced is not as good as the mountain tea.
4. Taiwanese high mountain tea is of good quality, tastes good, and is rare and expensive
So why is high mountain tea always more expensive? Simply put, high mountain tea is of good quality, tastes good, and is neither bitter nor astringent. Furthermore, according to the statistics of the Agriculture Committee, Taiwan imports about 30,000 metric tons of tea, while the annual output of local tea is only about 10,000 metric tons, and even less of the more than 10,000 metric tons belongs to real high mountain tea. In other words, due to the high quality of tea leaves and a lot of output, the price of high mountain tea will also be more expensive under the principle that what is rare is more expensive.
However, more than half of the teas on the market in Taiwan come from Vietnam and China, but they pretend to be Taiwanese local teas in the form of "mixed tea", or do not indicate the origin at all (Reference:https://goo.gl/sxAufC), so if you want to drink authentic Taiwanese high mountain tea, you must choose "Have Taiwan product resume" (or Taiwanese agricultural production traceability) high mountain tea is the real pure Taiwanese high mountain tea.
Ginseng, Alpine Oolong Tea
The nature of tea itself is cooling, and it is recorded in the Compendium of Materia Medica that it is cooling. Then Taiwan's high mountain tea should be able to achieve what is said in "Shen Nong's Materia Medica": "Shen Nong tastes all kinds of herbs, encounters seventy-two poisons every day, and gets tea and solves it." Long serving, it is powerful and joyful." Fermentation and charcoal roasting in the process of tea making are very important. In other words, Taiwanese high mountain tea still needs to be fermented and roasted before it can become a good tea with good health and stable quality.
Fermentation is an important link in the production of high mountain tea. If the degree of fermentation is less than 50%, the tea is relatively cool; on the other hand, if the degree of fermentation is higher than 50%, the tea is relatively warm. For example, green tea is zero-fermented, so it is cold; black tea is 100% fermented, which is warm; alpine oolong tea is semi-fermented tea between green tea and black tea.
Although the early alpine oolong tea is a semi-fermented tea, its fermentation degree is relatively sufficient, and the degree of fermentation is about 50%, so it is a mild and neutral tea. However, due to the changes of times and trends, modern alpine oolong tea pays attention to the fragrance of the mountains and the characteristics of the mountains. The tea should be golden, translucent and light green, so the fermentation degree is reduced to about 30%, so it is cold. It is not suitable for modern office workers with cold constitution.
However, the alpine oolong tea with a fermentation degree of about 30% can achieve the purpose of removing its coldness if it is properly roasted, making the alpine oolong tea more moist and refreshing. Even modern people with more cold constitutions, as long as they drink roasted Taiwanese alpine oolong tea, the body will not feel uncomfortable due to the excessive cold.
For the Taiwanese high mountain tea produced by Laoyeliang, after manual harvesting, the follow-up processing is required, please refer to the second article for details:Excellent Taiwanese Alpine Tea: Fermentation and Roasting.
Four, Taiwan Alpine Oolong Tea
Oolong tea broadly defined internationally refers to semi-fermented tea. It only needs semi-fermented tea and is processed in the way of oolong tea, regardless of whether the tea is made of Qingxin Oolong, Dayu Oolong, Daye Oolong, or Jinxuan, Cuiyu, Sijichun or other varieties, according to international standards. In the broad definition, it can be broadly called "Oolong tea". Then, if these tea leaves are produced in high mountain tea areas above 1,000 meters above sea level, they can be called "alpine oolong tea".
But in Taiwan, so-called "Taiwanese oolong tea" has stricter regulations. The orthodox "Taiwan oolong tea" refers specifically to: tea leaves processed with oolong tea varieties (including: Qingxin oolong, big oolong, big leaf oolong, etc.) and processed by the oolong tea process. Then, if these Taiwan oolong teas are produced in alpine tea areas above 1,000 meters above sea level, they can be called "Taiwan alpine oolong teas". In other words, "Taiwan Alpine Oolong Tea" refers specifically to oolong tea varieties (including: Qingxin Oolong, Dayu Oolong, Daye Oolong...etc.)
For the various flavors of "Alpine Oolong Tea" and "Taiwan Alpine Oolong Tea" produced by Laoye Two, please refer to:Differences between "Alpine Oolong Tea" and "Taiwan Alpine Oolong Tea".