Batch 82 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club is a Li Shan High Mountain Oolong Tea, second flush of 2022. The weather during the spring growing season that produced the first flush remained unusually cool, resulting in a slower growth cycle that produced a character of tea that was a mix of winter and spring qualities. The weather during the second flush growing period was a combination of spring and summer weather at high elevation. This produced leaves that acted like second flush, but also carried aromatic and flavor notes that are similar to a classic spring first flush.
The Eco-Cha Tea Club is mostly about finding an unusually distinct batch of tea that is not generally available on the market, we also make an effort to maintain variability in the monthly editions — with the goal of continually offering a different character of tea from month to month. Furthermore, we want to offer Taiwan's renowned specialty teas that are the best of their kind — in the world. Batch 82 is one of these representative Taiwan Oolong Teas: Li Shan High Mountain Oolong Tea.
Shown above is the father, son and uncle facilitating a harvest from this new plot of tea a few years ago. It's just this type of local scene that is the heart of our inspiration. This is what it's all about!
Batch 75 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club is offered during the month of Lunar New Year, and we expressly chose this tea for the occasion. Ying Xiang Dong Pian Oolong is a fresh, vibrant, full-bodied unroasted Oolong that was harvested at the very end of the growing season. The colder weather during its growing season gives it a distinctive profile that exemplifies the name Dong Pian, or late winter harvest.
Batch 75 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club is an Ying Xiang Dong Pian Oolong Tea from Yong Long Village in Lugu, Taiwan —at 700m elevation. Ying Xiang (迎香) means "Alluring Aroma", and is the name given to Tai Cha #20. This is a relatively recent hybrid tea cultivar introduced by Taiwan's Tea Research and Extension Station less than 10 years ago, and has slowly but surely gained popularity — especially at mid-elevation tea growing regions.
The summer batch is noticeably less oxidized than the spring batch, and has maintained its fresh green character that Lishan tea is most renowned for. The leaves were sufficiently oxidized in order to remove the green grassy character that is inherently in the leaves. This is what distinguishes Oolong from Green Tea. Just a minimal amount of oxidation resulting from gently shuffling the leaves intermittently over long periods of wilting transforms the chemical compounds in the leaves, offering a more complex and substantial flavor profile. This batch of tea offers a buttery, savory aroma — especially upon moistening the leaves, but also throughout subsequent brews. The flavor profile is mildly sweet fresh cream, with herbal notes. The finish is clean, soft, yet lingering and subtly heady, with floral undertones.
he climate in the Lishan region is strikingly different from other tea producing regions. At 2000m elevation, and a valley situated in a direction that allows the north-easterly wind patterns to offer drastic diurnal temperature variations — tea leaves produced here are of a different caliber. We are thrilled to be sharing a batch of tea from the area that really is most impressive in terms of its "high mountain" character!
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!
Batch 66 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club is a Fo Shou Oolong Tea produced in Pinglin, Taiwan. The Chinese Fo Shou (佛手) means Buddha Hand. The name refers to the tea plant, or cultivar, which classifies as a large leaf type. This puts it in the category of Assam, and wild strains of tea, along with the Taiwanese hybrid cultivar — Red Jade #18.
The combination of the cultivar, the late winter growing season, and the processing methods has resulted in a mild character of tea with subtle savory, sweet, and floral notes. It has a substantial mouth feel, and a clean, dry finish that has notes of winter vegetables, such as parsnips and Delicata squash. It's got a soft, balanced, yet substantial flavor profile that can be described as humble. It's not a particularly fragrant or bold character of tea. It simply has substance, along with the essentials of qualifying as a traditionally made Oolong from Lugu, Taiwan.
Batch 64 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club comes from this family farm/home factory in Phoenix Village, Lugu Township, Taiwan. It's a late winter harvest of their plot of Ying Xiang #20 that was processed in the local fashion. Ying Xiang is a hybrid cultivar developed by Taiwan's Tea Research and Extension Station (TRES) that was made public less than 10 years ago.
With natural farming, the trees mature more slowly, as they must fend for themselves and build immunity to naturally occurring pests without the artificial assistance of chemical farm products. But as our friend from whom we source this tea explained to us today, when the trees eventually develop a stable immunity, they are significantly different in their constitution than conventionally farmed tea trees. And this means the quality of leaf that is harvested from these trees is also notably different.