Batch 85 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club is the 7th anniversary commemoration of Eco-Cha's cooperation with Mr. and Mrs. Lin. Seven years ago as of this winter's harvest, Mr. and Mrs. Lin produced their very first crop of certified organic tea from their newly established farm. In support of their endeavor, we ran a crowd funding campaign to procure the entire inaugural harvest. After reaching our initial goal, we ran a booster campaign to raise funds for the renovation of the cabin on their remote homesteaded farmland where Mr. Lin was born and raised.
Batch 81 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club is a first for us! A very minimal spring yield of organically grown Wuyi cultivar was processed by our source of Tie Guan Yin Oolong in the way that he usually makes tea. He planted his own plot of the Wuyi cultivar about 20 years ago on his family heritage farm in Muzha, Taiwan — but it has not been available to us until this spring. We've procured his Fo Shou Oolong before, but not his Wuyi. So, as we approach the completion of our eighth year of the Tea Club, we are excited to share a batch of tea that we've just sourced for the first time ever!
Batch 74, six plus years of sourcing singular batch teas to share with the Eco-Cha Tea Club each month ... And we find ourselves just sitting and staring at these dried leaves.... Reminding us that we are not at all tired of exploring the world of boutique tea, and sharing our experience of the things we find to be particularly special. This batch of Eco-Farmed GABA Oolong Tea pretty much covers the bases in this respect. It is very small batch, harvested by a family of organic tea farmers that are literally trailblazers in their community. AND, we think they make the best GABA tea we've ever tasted!
Batch 74 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club is an Eco-Farmed GABA Oolong Tea. We coined the termEco-Farmedto represent tea that is sourced from a certified organic tea farm, without representing the certification itself. This farm is not only certified organic, but it is managed with the most natural farming methods we've seen in the local tea industry here in Taiwan. He has pioneered these farming methods, and after 20 years of challenging research, is now successfully managing several plots of tea and producing specialty types of organic tea.
Batch 69 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club is an Organic Competition Grade Oolong Tea. The source of this tea won Silver Medal Award in last year's competition. We are able to share that tea that they prepared for this year's competition only because event was cancelled due safety regulations during the pandemic.
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!
Eco-Cha first met Mr. Zhan in 2016, when we smelled tea being roasted beside the historical train station in Shuili — one of our favorite mountain towns in central Taiwan. We learned that he had been transitioning his family tea farm to natural farming methods for several years already. We said that we looked forward to learning more about his work, and hoped to have the chance to procure some tea! Well, some things take time... and 5 years later, here we are — finally able to share a batch of his tea with the Eco-Cha Tea Club!
Wuyi was once the specialty tea cultivar of choice in the historical Songboling tea growing region in southern Nantou County. But it got replace with more prolific cultivars in recent decades. We are grateful to have a chance to experience this tea strain that really does stand on its own in comparison to the more popular strains. It has a robust character when made as a lightly oxidized, unroasted tea. And its hardy nature is able to withstand extensive roasting that other strains cannot.
Batch 60 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club brings us to a full five years of offering monthly editions of specialty Taiwanese teas! This month's edition was cultivated and crafted by one of our most respected sources of naturally farmed tea. He not only employs the most radical natural farming methods we know of, he also is continually refining processing methods to bring his produce to its fullest potential, based on the growing conditions of each season. Mr. Xie also produces our GABA Oolong Tea, which, like this month's batch, is one of his signature products.
This batch of tea was harvested last spring, and processed as a medium oxidized Oolong. The stems were then removed in preparation for extensive roasting. Mr. Xie proceeded to roast these leaves four times in total. The first roasting was done in the standard convection type oven to remove all remaining moisture from the leaves. The following 3 roastings were done in an oven designed for roasting coffee beans!
This crop of tea is the most recent growth picked from new branches on the trees that were allowed to grow for four months or so, similar to our recent batch of Traditional Hong Shui Oolong that we offered last month. As with last month's batch, this tea was also affected by the Green Leafhopper, and other pests. This is inevitable, given that this is an organic farm and the summer months are most susceptible to bugs!
We can see how naturally these tea trees are allowed to grow. It's a wholly different farming method than conventional farming, and the produce from a farm like this is also next level. In our perception, based on visiting tea farms in Taiwan for over 20 years, this source is a rare and precious find. The combination of a pristine geographic location with an ideal micro-climate for tea production, and the natural farming methods are just not to be found. In a word, we love this farms, as well as its caretakers!