Batch 69 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club was originally meant to be entered into Taiwan's National Organic Tea Competition. This competition was just established last year, in an effort to support organic tea farmers, and create more of a market presence for organic tea among Taiwanese tea lovers. This year's competition was cancelled due to COVID related restrictions, hence we were able to procure this batch of Organic Competition Grade Oolong Tea! Oh, and last year this husband and wife team received a Silver Medal Award (second place category) in this same competition!
The top photo is the upper half of the tea farm, where they also grow artichokes and other produce for a health supplement brand. The second photo is the larger area of the farm, situated in a pristine narrow valley on the border of Yushan National Park land. Yushan, or Jade Mountain is the highest peak on the island of Taiwan, as well as all east Asia. It's a pristine environment on a remote farm access road.
The couple who own and manage this farm are aboriginal, and grew up in this remote region. It is their family land. Their ancestors were here long before any Chinese arrived. There is something deeply rooted about them, and their livelihood. The challenge of transitioning to organic has not been easy. It's a wonderful opportunity for Eco-Cha to cooperate with them. We have introduced them to other organic tea producers and traditional tea makers in an effort to broaden their knowledge of tea production. Particularly, the prospect of using relatively unconventional processing methods that are more aligned with their naturally farmed produce. This is an essential aspect of achieving the optimal results from their raw produce.
After 25 years of personal involvement with Taiwanese tea producers, our friendship with this couple has deepened our connection to the local industry significantly. We feel a renewed sense of commitment and purpose developing from our cooperation with this source. It almost feels like all of our work over the last three decades has led us to this.
We are inspired to develop this role of facilitating communication among local tea producers with the aspiration of putting all of these collective resources to work. The craft of tea making encompasses an extremely broad spectrum of knowledge and experience. Farming is the foundation. Tea processing is the more refined tradition and craft. It's a living tradition and evolving trade, and we feel honored to be participating in it.
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