Batch 76 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club is a Lalashan Light Roast High Mountain Oolong Tea, winter 2021 harvest. When we tasted the freshly picked and cured tea in the farmer's home, we appreciated the full-bodied, balanced character of it, although it was still slightly "muddled" due to the remaining moisture content in the leaves. This moisture was locked in the stem material — which was plentiful. So we decided to have the stems removed and do a light roasting to bring the leaves to what we perceived as their fullest potential.
We hired our good friend and source of Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Oolong as well as Traditional Dong Ding Oolong to roast the tea leaves. We told him that we just want to roast it enough to remove any "green and/or muddled" aspects from the flavor profile, in order to bring for the already mildly sweet, pastry character. He roasted the leaves three times for 6-8 hour intervals at low temperatures, starting at about 80*C. We feel that a very nice balance of fresh floral/vegetal qualities along with honey scone notes was achieved. It's a soft character of tea, but quite full-bodied and soothing.
The farmer explained that winter crops are by nature less fragrant than spring tea, so it is best to oxidize the leaves a bit more to bring forth the flavor components. Winter tea is classically a more subtle, yet more substantial character. We find this batch of tea to be similar to our Eco-Farmed High Mountain Oolong in its personality. Watch the tasting video for the full story!