Batch 86 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club is a Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Oolong Tea that stands apart in both its quality and the pristine environment in which it grows. Read about the farm and its caretakers in our sourcing post, and watch the video below for visuals of its environs. Now, let's get on with our discussion on these leaves how they brew!
This batch of tea is a combination of August and October 2022 harvests. This plot of tea produces only three flushes a year, given that it is at 1900m elevation and is sustainably managed. They only prune the trees at the beginning of spring and after the second harvest — allowing the trees to grow naturally through the summer months of peak vegetation.
Combining two consecutive harvests from the same plot of tea is a first for us. But when we tried brewing the combined leaves, upon the farmer's suggestion, since there was not enough of the winter crop remaining to share with the tea club, we were more than satisfied with the results! In fact, the summer crop on its own was exceptional in its balanced, smooth character, and the winter crop was amazingly fresh and vibrant. Mixing these two profiles together in one brew works quite well, we found.
Both the dried leaves and the brewed tea in the photos above are testimony to their skillful and careful processing. The father of this family has designated a singular factory among many in the area where he processes his tea leaves. The father and son personally choose the craftsmen to assist them in their work. They are committed to making the best of their truly special fresh produce, and do not compromise the way that other producers must — given the volume of their produce and the challenge of organizing resources during the busy harvest time. The amount of tea harvested in one day from this farm is less than half of the norm from larger more commercial farms.
These leaves brew a very satisfying substantial brew that offers a soothing aromatic profile with buttery herbal notes on the palate. It's both comforting and stimulating in its character. The smooth, oily mouthfeel combined with sweet floral and mildly astringent herbal and vegetal notes is exceptional. This true is an exemplary Taiwanese High Mountain Tea!
Watch the tasting video for the full story on this tea and our experience of it while tasting it! We are excited to kick off 2023 with this batch of fresh high mountain goodness!
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