Batch 79 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club is a Roasted Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Oolong Tea. As explained in the sourcing post, this batch is the roasted version of Eco-Cha's winter 2021 stock of Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Oolong. We were inspired to dedicate our reserve stock of Shan Lin Xi winter tea to the the Tea Club, upon learning that our friend achieved Top Category Award in the world's largest and most prestigious Oolong Tea competition! So we asked him to roast our stock just how he roasted his competition tea — which increased its value about 5 times of the original unroasted version!
Before being roasted, these leaves were destemmed in order to allow for a more uniform degree of roasting. Stems retain moisture, and are much less permeable, so it's necessary to remove them for optimal roasting results. In the process of destemming, some of the leaf nuggets are slightly crumbled or separated into smaller nuggets. The goal is to have mostly leaf material with minimal stem material in order to roast the leaves evenly.
We can see the rich, luminous, substantial golden hue in the brewed tea. This is visually the most representative of expert curing and post production roasting. When the coloration maintains a bright golden, leaning more to yellow-green than reddish-brown — that's competition grade Dong Ding Oolong Tea. There is a spectrum that allows for significant gradation in color, but luminous, transparent, and limpid gold is the goal.
We are very happy that we decided to use our second bulk bag of winter stock to roast in the fashion of our friend's top prize winning tea. It meant that we were sold out of our in store stock of Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Oolong for almost two months before spring tea arrived. But taking the opportunity to acknowledge the value of this resource... Not just the competition award validation, but the land, and the people, and the deep knowledge and high level skills that all go into making this tea. This is the true value...
Watch the video to learn about our take on what this tea has to offer in our teapot, in our tea cups, and in our visceral experience!
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