Li Shan (Pear Mountain) is located in central Taiwan in Taichung County. It is named after the abundant pear orchards that were the mainstay of the area's economy for many years, and although there are still many fruit orchards in the region it is now famous for its superb tea - the most expensive in Taiwan.
The tea plantations of Li Shan range in altitude from 1600 meters to 2600 meters. These are the highest tea plantations in the world and produce tea which is renowned for its superior quality.
Some of the tea is grown on the former summer estate of Chiang Kai Shek - Fu Shou Shan Farm (Lucky Life Mountain Farm). Chiang's house still remains - a sort of shrine to the former leader of Taiwan. The house is surrounded by fruit trees and has a spectacular view of the surrounding mountains.
Li Shan's high altitude and Taiwan's subtropical locale produce cool moist conditions that are ideal for growing tea, but there are other factors that contribute to the quality of Li Shan tea. Most of the tea plantations are on former orchard lands of fertile, rich black soil. As the economic importance of fruit declined due to cheap imports, the orchards were replaced with tea.
Li Shan tea is known as the "King of Teas." It has a fruity fragrance that is not found in other Taiwan teas. Its high price is due to its superior quality and also the fact that it is produced in limited quantities with just two harvests per year.
Li Shan tea is available from the Tea from Taiwan web site.