Four Seasons Oolong Tea from North Thailand
Actually, the Four Seasons tea cultivar originates from Taiwan. There, its development goes back to efforts of diversifying the national Taiwanese portfolio of tea cultivars during the 1980’s. The Four Seasons cultivar is particularly characterized by 3 features. For once, it derives its name from the plant’s tendency to produce a “spring harvest” four times a year. This is as opposed to most other varieties, which after the spring picking show a decline of quality through the following seasons. Second, the Four Seasons cultivar is relatively altitude-indifferent. This means, it will yield quality results both in lower and in highland locations. And third, the variety is comparably pest-resistant, dispensing or at least diminishing the need for using pesticides. This will not only safe the tea farmer money, but also benefits the health of tea drinkers.
In the nomenclature of the Four Seasons Oolong tea, DMS means the cultivation region, Doi Mae Salong. Then, “Si Ji Chun” are the Chinese words for “Four Seasons like spring”.
In terms of taste, this only lightly oxidized Oolong tea offers the best of two worlds. So, it combines the fresh and tart taste of a fine green tea with a unique dominant peanut butter note, adding complexity to the “mix”. As a teaser, the infused liquor shows a wonderful light green and yellow color in the cup. And the first infusion’s rich fragrance already tells quite a good bit of the taste experience to expect. Altogether, DMS Si Ji Chun Four Seasons Oolong Tea is an inexpensive alternative in the upper quality segment for tea lovers with highest standards.
Doi Mae Salong – Center of Tea Cultivation in North Thailand
Since the early 1990s, the Thai Royal Development Project has driven the cultivar’s import and cultivation in north Thailand. The primary goal of the initiative was to substitute the illegal opium poppy cultivation in north Thailand with suitable and promising legal cash crops.
In Doi Mae Salong, the center of tea cultivation in north Thailand, tea has meanwhile become the major cash crop of the local Chinese migrants and mountain tribes. Here, at altitudes between 1200 and 1600 meters, the tea plant finds optimal conditions. Among these is the climate, consisting of 3 seasons. These are a rainy period, a hot and dry period and a cold period. Altogether, climate and geological conditions compare quite well to those in the Ruan Zhi Oolong N° 17 cultivar’s home country.
The results speak for themselves. Although individual tastes might be different, the Four Seasons Oolong Tea is certainly one of north Thailand’s finest Oolong teas. And it doesn’t need to shy the competition with comparable Oolong teas from Taiwan or elsewhere either!
Infuse DMS Si Ji Chun Four Seasons Oolong Tea with a dosage of 3 grams tea pearls on 200 ml water of a temperature around 80°C. We recommend an infusion period of 2-3 minutes for at first infusion. Then a bit less for a second steep, and progressing infusion periods for follow-up infsuions. This way(a western-style approach), our Si Ji Chun Four Seasons Oolong tea will produce at least 4 worthy infusions.
With preparation according to the Chinese “Gong Fu Cha”, or “Tea Ceremony”, this tea will easily produce up to 7 infusions or more. However, the ritual form of Chinese tea preparation applies significantly shorter infusion periods per steep as well as higher dosings. This serves to appreciate a tea’s individual taste and aroma nuances in even more detail.