Qilai High Mountain Oolong Tea
Qilai High Mountain Oolong Tea
Qilai High Mountain Oolong Tea

Qilai High Mountain Oolong Tea

Tea Soul

Qilai High Mountain Oolong Tea

This low-oxidation oolong tea is called Qilai because of where it comes from; in fact, the plants from which it is made are found on the mountain of the same name located approximately in the center of the island of Taiwan. This mountain represents one of the highest points on the island: at an elevation of 2,000 meters above sea level is where these shiny, fragrant leaves are harvested. Altitude is always a very important factor in the development of a tea plantation because it prevents the presence of insects that can destroy young, tender leaves; it also promotes a cooler climate, while still ensuring good moisture for the plants given the constant low clouds that come in from the ocean and settle on the mountain slopes.

The leaves of Qilai High Mountain oolong tea because of all these factors already present a very rich natural oil component to the sight and aroma, which can be found both in the oily body of the liquor and in the intense floral bouquet that develops beautifully in the cup.

Tasting - Sight and Smell

Qilai High Mountain oolong tea leaves are clustered in shape, with a glossy surface and various shades of green ranging from undergrowth to lighter green, with hues between ochre and golden at the long stems. Once infused, the leaves initially give off herbaceous notes, and then develop milky, creamy scents and a splendid bouquet of white flowers. As the infusion progresses, a hint of toasted almond and a light hint of caramelized sugar also tends to emerge in gaiwan. In the cup, the liquor is a beautiful bright straw yellow, with a dense, oily body.

Tasting Notes


The first infusion of Qilai High Mountain Oolong Tea initially has a fresh, grassy taste reminiscent of freshly cut grass. Notes of vanilla, the sweetness of custard, and important hints of white flowers such as lily of the valley and magnolia emerge soon after. With the second infusion, the milky and buttery notes intensify, and the body also becomes more sustained. The flowers (wisteria, lilac) remain very present and a very slight citric note appears, fresh and well balanced with the other scents. The third and subsequent infusions always bring with them a strong creamy and sweet component, while the floral bouquet veers toward notes of monoi followed by a fruity note of pineapple at the close.


The first sip of Qilai High Mountain Oolong Tea reveals a remarkable floral intensity, with a bouquet of white flowers that has notes of lily of the valley, wisteria and magnolia. Also clearly discernible on the palate are the sweet, milky hints typical of Taiwan's high mountain oolongs, hints reminiscent of custard and cream, with hints of vanilla. Tropical fruit notes such as pineapple and coconut also make their way onto the finish, while the persistence is very sweet and extremely floral.

Location of origin

Hualien, Taiwan


After harvesting, the leaves of Qilai High Mountain oolong tea wither in the sun for a few hours before moving to rest on bamboo trays indoors. From here, oxidation is initiated by manual massaging of the leaf, which is performed by the master producer. Given the low oxidation of this tea (about 20 percent) it will only take a short time before the tea moves to the next stage where the leaves pass through a charcoal-heated kiln to lock in enzymatic activity and fix the product's characteristics. After this kiln stage, the leaf is given its final shape by hand by rolling it on itself so that its aromas can be better preserved. Once the product has completed its drying process that will allow the rolled shape to remain fixed, it will be ready for consumption.


We strongly recommend infusing the Qilai High Mountain oolong tea in the traditional Chinese method (gong fu cha) to best enjoy these leaves. Following this preparation, 5 grams of leaves (about 2 teaspoons) can be used in a gaiwan of about 150 ml to make multiple infusions with different tastes. After a quick rinse of the leaves in water at 85°C, an initial infusion of 20 seconds can be made, after which, keeping the water at the same temperature, the time can be increased each time by 5 seconds from the previous infusion (20 - 25 - 30 ...).

This tea has a longevity of about 9 infusions.

For a classic preparation according to the Western style we recommend 3 grams of leaves (about 1 tablespoon) in a 200 ml cup with water at 85°C for an infusion time of 3 minutes.

If you would like to try experimenting with infusions with this tea with different amounts of leaves try to think of the suitable amount to allow the leaf to expand freely in the liquid without being compressed or hindered in this. By doing so you will make the most of this product without hindering the extraction of the flavor substances.

The tea can be filtered for ease when tasting and also the infusion times given above here are meant to be purely indicative so you can also adjust according to your personal taste.

We recommend storing the Qilai High Mountain oolong tea in a cool and dry place away from direct sunlight.

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