Topic: Shanxia and Hei-Huan Shan

I have recently gotten some aged Taiwanese wulong from Shanxia, and am getting some gaoshan wulong from Hei-Huan Shan (also in Taiwan), and was wondering if anyone has any knowledge/experience of/with these areas and their teas?

The aged Shanxia is interesting; it's very loosely rolled like an 80's TGY, but "aged Shanxia wulong" is literally all the information I have on this tea. I don't know the age, and have never encountered another tea from this area.

The vendor gave me the following information about Hei-Huan Shan:

"I only got few packs. This place is famous in Taiwan, every winter Taiwanese like go there expecting to see snow falling down.(it's hardly for Taiwanese to see snow view).  Supposedly only few tea farmers at that area, for us seldom people know there is tea from Hei Huan shan. Hei (together) Huan (happy)."

I wouldn't even know how to translate the mountain name into a proper name, but at least that much of the mystery is resolved :)

2 (edited by RTea 2009-05-14 16:56:48)

Re: Shanxia and Hei-Huan Shan

Hey ABx, 合歡山 (hehuanshan) is a tea-producing area.  I think your farmer meant He; Hei may be the Taiwanese pronounciation?  I have driven by it when I was on my way to the Dong Ding area.  I was told that this mountain produces several varietals of tea, including Jin Xuan, Four Seasons and Qingxin - likely among others too.  I remember a while back that someone mentioned to me that some Lishan tea is grown here for processing on Lishan or Chiayi.  I have had tea from this mtn that was used to make Lishan-style High Mtn tea, so it's quite possible that's what you may be getting.  I have never heard of them producing Alishan-type teas here, but I do know producers that consider Jin Xuan to be a high mtn tea and that is made on this mtn too.

Regarding aged tea, an aged oolong should have rolling that is fairly loose.  The basic reason, as you may already know, is that oolong rolling used to be done in a cloth bag with pressure applied by human feet.  Modern machinery is what is able to make the tight balls of oolong that we see today.  Although not foolproof, looking at the shape and "tightness" of the unbrewed leaf is one way to ascertain the relative age of an aged oolong.