Alishan is a mountainous nature reserve situated in Chiayi County, Taiwan. It is well known for its spectacular scenery and a fantastic sunset. What makes a visit to Alishan quite remarkable is the twenty-mile ascent; from the intense tropical heat of the arid plain at the base to the Swiss style deciduous forests of larch, oak, and beech that soon replace the palms, bananas, and mangos. It is here, in the cooler 1000 meter plus altitudes that tea gardens are etched into the intense slopes of the forest. Some of these gardens; that reputedly contain tea shrubs hundreds of years old are only accessible on foot. Some are larger, but most generally average 7-8 acres. Alishan is reputed to produce arguably the best oolong tea in the world. This is due in part to the cool altitude and mineral-rich mists that drift in from the Pacific ocean. This ensures that the plant's growth is stunted; giving rise to a greater degree of polyphenols and distinct flavors. There are scores of producers; sometimes making just enough for their own consumption; and it is here amongst the uncommercial tea farmers that the Oolong Tea Company, finds some of its best Alishan oolong teas.
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