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Deer Valley Tea
Fine Formosa Green Oolong Tea

About Deer Valley

Deer Valley is in the vicinity of Dong Ding Mountain in Central Taiwan. In a subtropical environment, Deer Valley tea grows in elevation ranging from two thousand to five thousand feet. Combination of climate and geography in the Deer Valley area provide prime conditions for the cultivation of oolong tea. Accordingly, tea along with betel nut are the primary cash crops here. This industry has become highly profitable as Taiwan's economy continues to prosper. As a result, a renaissance in tea culture has occurred. Deer Valley enjoys a noticeably higher standard of living than other agro-industries, and the residents have creatively taken advantage of this opportunity to develop a contemporary tea culture of their own.

The name Deer Valley is renowned throughout Taiwan for its Dong Ding Oolong tea. Most tea farmers have their product sold before it's even harvested. The tea is reserved by retail dealers on a seasonal basis. Through a series of lucky coincidences, we are able to share the first pick with you.

Tony in Deer Valley - Click to Enlarge

What's special about Oolong?

Many varieties of tea are produced in China, ranging from fully green to well -oxidized black tea. In Taiwan, Oolong is almost invariably the exclusive choice among avid tea lovers. Taiwan's lucrative tea industry has created the technology to extensively research and develop the cultivation and processing of Oolong tea. Innovating traditional methods with modern technology have revolutionized the production of fine tea.

The characteristic qualities of Oolong are produced by subtle variations in oxidation and baking of the tea as its processed. Taiwan produces a very green Oolong, between 5 and 20% oxidized, and the extent of baking is a technique that varies with each tea maker and the leaves he grows. Within the Oolong varieties produced in Taiwan, qualities and types vary greatly that suit a range of tastes. A special characteristic of fine oolong is described in Chinese as 'gan'. This is a complex combination of bitter, sweet, and astringent qualities experienced in the aftertaste. Recent studies on the active ingredients in tea have identified the substances that produce these qualities. They are the derivatives of polyphenols found in tea, called catechins. Two different types of these catechins are responsible for both the bitter/astringent and the bitter/sweet qualities. (Food Rev. Intl. c.1995). Finding the proper balance of the effects that these substances produce is the quality that is sought after in the making of a fine Oolong.

Freshly harvested Oolong tea from Deer Valley, Taiwan is available on a seasonal basis.
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