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Four Seasons Spring: tea cultivar overview

Just like with apples, tomatoes and grapes, tea has many different breeds or cultivars. Each cultivar is better suitable for different climates, has different resistance to disease and bugs, and produces teas of different flavors and textures.


Four Seasons Spring 四季春 (Sìjìchūn) is one of the tea cultivars used in Taiwan. This tea varietal was bred by the tea farmers in Muzha, northern Taiwan and is believed to be the crossbreed between QingXin and Wuyi oolong cultivars. The cultivar was originally named 六季香 (liùjìxiāng) or Six Seasons Fragrance. This is because the tea bushes possess incredible resilience and the fact that the tea leaves can be harvested six times per year (from early spring to winter).


The bushes can grow from medium to large and have dense branches, leaves, and tea buds. The young buds are lavender in the early stages of growth, and the leaves are spindle-shaped. The grown leaves are sharp and light green, with fine and pointed serrations, and the mesophyll is thick and slightly shiny. The tea buds have medium hairs, an early budding period, many flowers, strong disease resistance, and moderate drought tolerance, which makes them suitable for oolong teas.



The trick with Four Seasons Spring is that it should be harvested in cold weather. When the leaves are exposed to lots of sunshine and hot weather for prolonged periods, they get bitter. So, the early spring, late fall, and winter harvests tend to taste better on average. Of course, if the tea garden is located high in the mountains, where the weather is colder, the bitterness during the hot seasons can be mitigated. All in all, while not as popular as the Qing Xin cultivar, Si Ji Chun is gaining in popularity with each year.



The teas made from Four Seasons are known to have floral notes and a pronounced green front. These floral notes are evident even when the tea is heavily oxidized and turned into a red oolong or a black tea. The high yield and the approachable taste and flavor profile make Si ji Chun a great material for affordable teas. Born in Muzha, making its way into Mingjian, and spreading to the rest of Taiwan, Four Season Spring is definitely here to stay. Experience this wonderful cultivar for yourself. Our Ji Long and Hong Long are both made from it. You can also try our Dragon Bundle. Happy tea-drinking!





 

Information and Images: Tea and Beverage Research Station https://www.tbrs.gov.tw/ws.php?id=4702

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