Batch 64 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club is a Dong Pian Oolong Tea. Dong Pian loosely translates as late winter leaf. It's a name used in Taiwan to refer to tea that has been harvested after the standard winter harvest season. This crop was harvested on December 6 in Phoenix Village, Lugu Township, Taiwan. Dong Pian Oolong is typically a very green, minimally oxidized type of Oolong Tea. This classic green character of Dong Pian is best made from higher elevation leaf that has been exposed to low nocturnal temperatures in winter time. This batch of Tai Cha #20 leaves was processed similarly to a traditional Dong Ding Oolong, and was only "dry roasted to remove any residual moisture content in the leaves.
The combination of the cultivar, the late winter growing season, and the processing methods has resulted in a mild character of tea with subtle savory, sweet, and floral notes. It has a substantial mouth feel, and a clean, dry finish that has notes of winter vegetables, such as parsnips and Delicata squash. It's got a soft, balanced, yet substantial flavor profile that can be described as humble. It's not a particularly fragrant or bold character of tea. It simply has substance, along with the essentials of qualifying as a traditionally made Oolong from Lugu, Taiwan.
Our impression of this tea is akin to that of our newly added selection of Traditional Dong Ding Oolong Tea. This makes good sense in that both teas were made by the same artisan in his home factory and harvested only a month apart. The primary difference is the cultivar. Our traditional Dong Ding Oolong is made from the classic Qing Xin Oolong strain. This Dong Pian is made from Ying Xiang (Alluring Fragrance) #20. Ying Xiang was given its name for good reason! It truly has a distinctive aromatic profile that is not easy to pinpoint. It really is elusive in its character, but noticeably satisfying in its own unadorned way.
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