Saturday, May 28, 2011

Organic Summer High Mountain Hong Cha (有機春石壁高山紅茶)

Taiwan is commonly known for their amazing oolong teas. Each tea is multidimensional and complex resulting in different flavors with each steep. With this knowledge, I was somewhat shocked to hear that the farmer I had previously worked with also made hong cha (black tea). Yes, high mountain hong cha (高山紅茶).

These beautifully twisted leaves are picked in the summer time (August-ish) and are processed to be made into black tea only.

I usually put about 5g + of leaf into a gaiwan. Over time (out of the vacuum sealed container, about a month and a half or so) I discovered that it yields less flavor from the steeping and have to steep it a bit longer. However, I did not note any taste differences. The first few weeks out of the vacuum sealed container a quick 30 second steep yielded the same flavor that a 50 second steep does now. It still has the same great taste so no complaints!

Although glass is not my brewing vessel of choice, it is aesthetically pleasing to see the leaves floating. 

Caramel colored broth. Yum!

Thick juicy leaves.

Plenty of full leaves in this tea.  Looks like the leaves withstood the black tea process. The leaves are as big as my middle finger!

This tea is unlike any other hong cha I've had and finishes with a bright, sweet note. I was amazed the first time I drank this because I realized there was no sugar in it! It also has a full body which lingers after you drink it. Tonight I enjoyed this tea with chocolate cake (flourless chocolate cake from Trader Joes'). To my surprise it was a great contrast (not too overpowering) and made a lovely dessert.

Each bag (150g) is $45. This yields roughly 100 cups of tea (including resteeps which is a great value!) Smaller than 150g is available per request. Inquire @ 


  1. Hi Nico, I can tell that this is a nice tea from the little sample you gave me... but I tragically "underleafed" my teapot a little bit when I went to review it.

    Alanna and I did pick up little hints of sweetness and toasty caramel flavors but it was just too light for my taste. I'd like to buy an ounce from you so that I can play around more and then share a decent review on my blog as I said I would.

  2. Hi Brett, of course you can. I will get that to you asap. I am waiting for my next shipment to come in so it should be about two weeks. Thanks!