Thai Tea

Jin Xuan Oolong (Taiwan Tea Cultivar No. 12), the most versatile of Thai-Oolongs

In principal, you can process any tea plant species’ leaves to a near-indefinite variety of teas: you can process them as a green tea, a black tea, or an Oolong tea... Still, with time a processing standard has evolved for most or all known tea plant varieties... However, for some tea plant varieties there isn’t just one standard, but several alternative ways to produce different teas of equal desirability have emerged instead... Our Taiwan Jin Xuan Oolong tea cultivar No. 12 is a perfect example for this... I have come to know it alternatively as an Oolong tea, as a black tea, and as a “winter tea”... Taste and aroma of the Jin Xuan Oolong tea... we have the grassy elements, reminiscences of green tea... we have the earthy base notes that are so typical for Oolong teas... we do have some sweetness, too... another description I have often used to describe Jin Xuan Oolong tea: a most “honest” one among those “fine” Oolong teas... READ MORE

Si Ji Chun Four Seasons Oolong Tea – 4 Seasons like Spring

What is actually the story behind the “4 Seasons”? A question that inevitable arises in every tea lover’s mind when first encountering 4-Seasons Oolong Tea... The Four Seasons Oolong cultivar, a still relatively young tea variety, is one of the best-known and most popular results of the Taiwan Oolong Tea Research and Development... And this is how the 4-Seasons-Oolong got its name: Si Ji Chun in English translates to “four seasons like spring”, and means that Four Seasons Oolong tea can be harvested 4 times a year on a quality level equal to that of the spring season...Si Ji Chun 4-Seasons Oolong tea is an absolutely unique tea! There is simply not other Oolong tea, whose taste is even somewhat close to that of the Si Ji Chung Four Seasons Oolong in terms of taste, while the potential of 4-Seasons Oolong tea, with up to 10 infusions and more (using the Chinese Gong Fu Cha method) further contributes to establishing this tea among the Taiwan’s, and thereby Thailand’s top Oolong teas... In terms of taste, the Si Ji Chun Four Seasons Oolong, by standard processed to an only lightly fermented, rather still near green Oolong tea, shows an extremely variable bandwidth... However, our DMS Si Ji Chun 4-Seasons Oolong tea’s most astounding and somehow baffling characteristic is the taste and aroma potential it offers, and which often makes just one tea pot load to an evening-filling event... READ MORE

Taiwan Oolong Tea Development & Know-how Export to Thailand

Recognizing the potential of the local tea industry, the Taiwanese government in the beginning of the 20th century decided to purposefully promote the development of Oolong tea varieties, and in 1926 established the Tea Research Institute of Taiwan. The institute’s work in the 1970s culminated in the setup and operation of a range of experimental stations, so-called “Taiwan Tea Experiment Stations” (TTES), where a series of Oolong tea cultivars were developed in a targeted manner on the basis of the institute’s scientific research results... Now, what does all that have to to with us and our teas from North Thailand? Simply spoken, Thailand owes the rise of its tea industry and its arduously conquered entry on the world map of tea for a good part to the above described Taiwanese efforts of developing Oolong tea cultivars with defined characteristics and requirement profiles... This way, a number of cultivars one after the other finally made it to North Thailand, where they have been successfully cultivated, and where they meanwhile have developed their own northern Thai profile. Typical representatives of these cultivars in north Thailand are Jin Xuan Oolong No. 12, Ruan Zhi Oolong No. 17 and 4 Seasons Si Ji Chun Oolong tea. READ MORE

DMS Jin Xuan Black Pearls – how “black” is it, really?

Almost 2 years ago, in the beginning of 2011, when I first introduced the (just “invented”) black tea from North Thailand, the “tea world” initially responded with the same skepticism... In both professional and tea lover circles, a discussion has unfolded on whether our DMS Shi Er Black Pearls really are a black tea now, or even a red one, or rather a very highly fermented/oxidized Oolong tea instead... Black tea: Western term for “completely” (beyond 94%, as a rule) fermented / oxidized tea of the Camellia Sinensis species... Red tea: Traditional Chinese term for “completely” (beyond 85% or 90%) fermented tea of the Camellia Sinensis species, however only with respect to Chinese teas... Dark Oolong tea: not a term defined by “science”, however, it is a winged word in tea lover circles, mostly used to describe a tendentiously rather high fermented / oxidized Oolong tea... Our “Black Pearls”are produced on the basis of Jin Xuan Oolong No. 12 cultivar (Chin. “12″ = “shi er”)... My preparation recommendations for the DMS Shi Er Black Pearls are based on my experiences gathered in meanwhile many hundreds of infusions... READ MORE

Tea Production in Doi Mae Salong, North Thailand: the picking and processing of our Oolong Nr.12 Jin Xuan

The following video shows "the becoming" of our Oolong No.12 Jin Xuan, together with the Oolong No.17 Ruan Zhi the major trademark of tea cultivation and production in Northern Thailand. Both hybrids originate from Taiwan's Lishan Highlands, from where they were brought to the mountains of North Thailand for cultivation in 1994. The effort has definitely been worth it, as our little film clearly demonstrates. Principally, three main categories of tea processing can be differentiated: the processing to • Green tea (not fermented) • Oolong tea (part-fermented) • Black tea (fully fermented) Two more (sub-) categories can be added to the above-mentioned classification • White tea (very light fermented) • Pu Errh tea (post-fermented) In the following description, we take orientation on the conditions at our producer partners in Doi Mae Salong, North Thailand. READ MORE...

Tea Cultivation in Northern Thailand – History and Development

While the world map of tea cultivation generally offers a rather stable appearance with little changes over the past centuries, a new spot had to be added to it just recently: Northern Thailand. Where opium fields dominated the mountainous terrain’s altitudes beyond 1000 m until about 20 years ago, making it an integral part of the infamous Golden Triangle, today a highly diversified variety of cash crops covers the slopes, among them fruit, nuts, vegetables , coffee, and, last but not least, tea. How Opium Fields turned Tea Gardens... Two factors played a key role in the initiation and development of the commercial cultivation and processing of high quality teas in Northern Thailand: 1. Thai Royal Projects 2. Ethnic Chinese Communities Especially Doi Mae Salong soon developed a broad spectrum portfolio of tea products, ranging from high quality Green Teas via Chinese and Taiwanese classic Oolong teas such as “4-Seasons Tea”, “Dong Ding Tea” and “Oriental Beauty” Tea and a range of scented or flavored teas, for which Jasmine Tea, Osmanthus Tea or Rice Tea, a particular Northern Thai/Shan areas specialty, might serve examples, to some herbal teas made from local herbs such as the Chinese “immortality herb” Jiaogulan and Safflower Tea. Just recently, Doi Mae Salong has even started producing a Black Tea that is often compared to a high quality Darjeeling by tea connoisseurs. READ MORE...

Doi Mae Salong – Center of Northern Thai Tea Cultivation

Venue Doi Mae Salong, Northern Thailand, in the heart of the Golden Triangle: it is 6 a.m., when Mrs. Sumalee lifts the roller shutters of her tea-shop, located at the main street of the town in the Northern Thai mountains that is populated exclusively by ethnic Chinese… Just little more than 20 years ago, the hills of Doi Mae Salong, whose slopes today show a picture of one tea garden besides the other, were still covered with opium fields. The inhabitants of the Chinese mountain enclaves in Northern Thailand, Doi Mae Salong and Doi Wawee, deprived of their main source of income made a virtue of necessity and bethought themselves of another, millennium-old Chinese tradition, the knowledge of the cultivation and processing of tea. READ MORE...

Project Shan Tea

Like so many good things, Project Shan Tea was born over a pot of tea... Help Without Frontiers is a German refugee aid organization that has dedicated its work and its commitment to alleviate the plight of ethnic Shan refugees and displaced persons from Burma. In this context, Help Without Frontiers conducts training and educational programs and initiatives to generate income, health, medical, nutritional and a number of other social projects... In Burma's border area with Thailand, where refugees and displaced people from Burma gather to seek a better life and fortune in escaping to Thailand... Where they come from, arson, rape, robbery and killings through Burma's military are the everyday agenda... Tea from the Shan states just sounded like a great idea, possibly another good and even rare tea specialty for the Sia Teas portfolio... Shan tea is a dark, not fully fermented tea that tastes like the land and soil, on which it grows. READ MORE...

Thai Tea – Tea cultivation in Thailand

In the area today forming the border region Northern Thailand/Burma, tea was already harvested from wild growth at a very early stage...The Kuomintang Army...Doi Mae Salong, a small, picturesque town, situated at an altitude of 1800 m above sea level...part of the legendary Golden Triangle...Royal Thai Tea Project...Tea cultivation at Doi Mae Salong...the opium cultivation in the mountain enclave being completely replaced by one of the cultivation of tea...more than 200 tons of tea annually, and the quality particularly of the locally grown Oolong teas, but also the Green Teas, and more recently Black Teas, for which the plants were originally imported from Taiwan....Doi Mae Salong provides just perfect conditions for tea growing...also produces tea scented with jasmine flowers, the Chinese "immortality herb" Jiaogulan, as well as Ginseng Tea and other scented teas like Rice Tea or Osmanthus Green Tea...Other Tea Cultivation Areas in Northern Thailand, especially the regions Doi Tung and Doi Chang...Tea cultivation in the Shan areas...The Shan call their plants 'Ning Lung'...ideal conditions for a particularly fine tea...Many Shan are from childhood on familiar with the cultivation of tea trees...benefit the Shan refugees via a percentage levy on the realized proceeds from the sale of ShanTea amounting to 20% of total sales..READ MORE...

Siam Tea Blog

The purpose of this blog is to introduce you to the world surrounding the cultivation of Tea in Thailand... the mountain community of Doi Mae Salong...this blog deals with the tea and general culture of the various mountain tribes and particularly with the ethnic Shan people...One of the Shan's centres of tea cultivation on the Thai side is the village of Pang Kham. More about the dark local tea grown there...The Project ShanTea is a concept for the provision of a sales market for small Shan tea farmers...20% of the sales price of Shan Tea, a dark, savory tea harvested and processed by the villagers of Pang Kham from up to several hundred years old tea trees...A general overview of the origins of tea cultivation in China... particularly Green Teas and Oolong Teas have been enjoying growing both national and international popularity... tea cultivation in Thailand...the tea plants grown here, which were mainly imported from Taiwan originally...For more than a decade now, an increasingly vivid tea culture and tea cultivation develops particularly in the region of Doi Mae Salong, coined by its Chinese population... teas from Thailand...a range of Thai Green Teas, Oolong Teas, and Black Teas, naturally scented Thai Teas such as Jasmin Flower Tea, Oolong Ginseng Tea, the Chinese “Immortality Herb” Jiaogulan, and, of course our product Shan Tea... Doi Tung Tea...Royal Thai Development Projects... Siam Tea Shop...Tea Music... Siam Tea Blog... newsletters...discounts. READ MORE...