Batch 93 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club is a Roasted Wuyi Oolong Tea from Songboling in Nantou County, Taiwan. This plot of tea was planted about 10 years ago and has been naturally cultivated — without the use of pesticides or chemical fertilizers. Since launching the tea club nearly eight years ago, we have shared several batches of tea harvested from this plot of tea — including the very first harvest! All the shared Tea Club batches have varied in their processing — and hence their flavor profiles. Previous editions were unroasted, heavily roasted, and charcoal roasted. This month's edition is a medium roast that most represents its regional origin. It was roasted to the competition standard of the Nantou County Tea Trade Association — which is a bit more roasted than our recent June batch, but less than a Lugu Competition Dong Ding Oolong Tea.
This is a strain of tea that originally comes from the Wuyi Mountains of mainland China, but it was widely cultivated in Central Taiwan until it was phased out by modern tea production decades ago. The introduction of newly developed cultivars in the 1980's that proved to produce much higher yields than the Wuyi Tea strain gradually replaced it for economical reasons. By the late 90's, the Songboling area had transitioned to the cultivation of Jin Xuan, Tsui Yu, and Four Seasons Spring cultivars, and Wuyi became extremely rare. Above is a closeup of the new Wuyi tea trees that were pruned in preparation for the new season's growth. Wuyi leaves offer an exceptionally aromatic flavor profile, with a substantial composition that holds up well with roasting.
Our friend who invested in establishing this plot of naturally farmed Wuyi Tea is a local tea merchant and master roaster. He is the most accomplished tea competition player we know. He leads seminars on roasting Oolong Tea that have become popular among local farmers and merchants alike. His scientific approach to the overall production of Oolong Tea has given him a professional advantage that is now being emulated by his peers. His roasting skills are next level, to put it simply. And this is reflected in this month's batch of medium roast Wuyi Oolong Tea.
Along with modern equipment such as his tea roaster equipped with infrared heating elements, he also uses this old school rice hulling machine to sift out the crumbled leaves to attain uniform, premium quality leaf material. We feel privileged to have worked with this source for a full decade running!
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