Plucking Season: Late Spring
Grown in the mountains of Anxi county, the home of oolong tea in China. There are several oolong tea plant varietals (at least 12) growing in Anxi, each with its own distinct flavor profile.
The most famous of these varietals is Tieguanyin (Goddess Of Mercy).
Ben Shan Green Dragon is a young varietal (a clonal), grown primarily near Raoyang village in Anxi. The plant varietal has strong, heavy branches and brightly colored, distinct, ellipse shaped leaves. It shares some similarities in fragrance with the Tieguanyin varietal.
Oolongs range in their flavor (mild and floral to strong and toasty) and color spectrum (from light green to dark) depending on the processing technique adopted.
Ben Shan is a greener oolong with low oxidization.
For Ben Shan, mature leaves are plucked and then withered in the sun (weather permitting) for a few hours to reduce moisture.
Once suitable suppleness is achieved in the leaves, traditional rolling techniques (which include wrapping the leaves in cloth and binding it tightly into ball shape) are applied in conjunction with light roasting.
Successive re-rolling and re-roastings are done to achieve the optimum shape and flavor. A final roast is given to complete the processing.
Ben Shan is best during spring (April-May) but if stored well (cool, dark, low humidity place) maintains its flavor well throughout the year.
Water Temp: 190°F (88°C)
Quality of Water: Best with Spring Water
Quantity of Leaf: 1 tsp per 8oz water
Steep Time: 3-4 minutes