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November 08, 2017

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Eco-Cha Tea Club: Leafhopper High Mountain Tea Tasting Notes

Eco-Cha Tea Club: Leafhopper High Mountain Tea Tasting Notes

The most commonly referred to trait in Leafhopper Tea is a honey-essence note in the fragrance as well as the flavor profile. This hint of honey varies greatly from batch to batch of "bug bitten tea", as it is also referred to locally. But the most general characteristic of this tea type is its bold complexity of aroma and flavor. It simply has a substance that clearly distinguishes it from a standard High Mountain Tea.

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November 08, 2017

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Shan Lin Xi Winter Harvest Pictorial

Shan Lin Xi Winter Harvest Pictorial

Above we see a local tea picker turning in freshly picked leaves to be weighed and recorded for commission. These new-growth, tender leaves were harvested on a beautiful sunny day at about 1500 meters elevation in the Shan Lin Xi tea growing region in southern Nantou County, central Taiwan.

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November 03, 2017

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Eco-Cha Tea Club: Leafhopper High Mountain Oolong Tea

Eco-Cha Tea Club: Leafhopper High Mountain Oolong Tea

Our expressed intention in sharing this batch of tea is to offer Eco-Cha Tea Club members a chance to experience the original unroasted flavor profile of a tea type that, in the local Taiwanese dialect, is simply called "Leafhopper Tea".

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October 06, 2017

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Eco-Cha Tea Club: Ying Xiang High Mountain Black Tea Tasting Notes

Eco-Cha Tea Club: Ying Xiang High Mountain Black Tea Tasting Notes

This month's of tea being shared with the Eco-Cha Tea Club is a a first in our experience of sourcing tea in Taiwan for well over 20 years. In recent years, Taiwan's High Mountain Tea Farmers have dedicated a short growing season following their spring harvest to making Black Tea. The original Qing Xin strain along with modern hybrids are cultivated for the production of High Mountain Tea. These strains are generally distinguished from Assam and Taiwan's indigenous wild strain of tea by simple using the term "Small Leaf Type". So Black Tea made with leaves with anything other than Assam or Wild Tea is referred to as Small Leaf Black Tea. This is the first time we've sourced a batch of High Mountain Small Leaf Black Tea that was made with the newer hybrid strain called Ying Xiang #20.

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October 03, 2017

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Eco-Cha Tea Club: Ying Xiang High Mountain Black Tea

Eco-Cha Tea Club: Ying Xiang High Mountain Black Tea

Batch #23 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club was harvested in early summer from a plot of Ying Xiang #20 on Big Wheel Mountain in the Shan Lin Xi tea growing region of Central Taiwan. The leaves were picked when they were young, just a bit more than half as mature as leaves that are picked to make Oolong Tea. It is becoming increasingly popular to allow the leaves that were too young to pick at spring harvest to grow for another month or so, and then harvest them at about half-mature size to be made into Black Tea. The younger leaves are able to be oxidized more optimally, to produce an especially aromatic, mildly sweet character of Black Tea that is easily distinguished from both Assam and Chinese Black Tea types.

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September 04, 2017

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Eco-Cha Tea Club: Gold Medal Award Jin Xuan High Mountain Tea Tasting Notes

Eco-Cha Tea Club: Gold Medal Award Jin Xuan High Mountain Tea Tasting Notes

The leaves were delicately roasted to meet the competition quality standard, offering a mild, smooth, well-balanced, buttery-sweet brew. The light roasting can be observed in the color of the brewed tea above, which is more golden than an unroasted High Mountain Tea. We have very much appreciated this standard set by the Meishan Farmers' Association Competitions, as it offers a flavor profile that is between a fresh, green, floral unroasted High Mountain Tea and a rich, bold, complex traditionally made tea, such as Dong Ding Oolong.

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September 01, 2017

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Eco-Cha Tea Club: Gold Medal Award Jin Xuan High Mountain Tea

Eco-Cha Tea Club: Gold Medal Award Jin Xuan High Mountain Tea

The quality standard for the Meishan competition calls for a lightly roasted High Mountain Tea character. This is a relatively new flavor profile that stands between an unroasted High Mountain Tea and the more traditional, medium roasted Oolongs. Taiwan's national tea judges set this standard to promote a different style of tea making that has its own specialty quality. The art of roasting is added to the value of expert farming methods and processing of High Mountain Tea. In order to achieve optimal roasting results, the leaves need to be sufficiently oxidized, but not too much — perhaps 5-10% more than a standard unroasted "green" High Mountain Tea.

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August 11, 2017

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Behind The Scenes Of A Taiwan TV News Show

Behind The Scenes Of A Taiwan TV News Show

Behind the scenes of a tv show about Eco-Cha

Eco-Cha is featured on a Taiwan TV News station's lifestyle program called "Building Dreams For A New Taiwan"  (築夢新台灣)  broadcasting tonight. When the station called to notify us of the broadcast, I was prompted to go back take a look at the behind-the-scenes snapshots I took during the shoot. I discovered that they captured a personal story that I'm inspired to share.

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August 07, 2017

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Eco-Cha Tea Club: Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Concubine Oolong Tasting Notes

Eco-Cha Tea Club: Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Concubine Oolong Tasting Notes

Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Concubine Tasting Notes

Pictured above is the Little Green Leafhopper (小綠葉蟬), the tiny insect that is responsible for the creation of Concubine Oolong Tea. It's a bit of Nature's magic at work. Only about 0.5 cm in length, this "mini grasshopper" loves to feed on the sap of tender tea leaf buds. Bug-bitten Tea (as it is called in Taiwanese), has a distinct honey-like note in its flavor profile. Concubine Tea is made from bug-bitten tea leaves that are processed in a similar fashion to traditional Dong Ding Oolong Tea. The name was chosen in reference to the original, or at least the most renowned form of bug-bitten tea — Oriental Beauty.

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August 04, 2017

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Eco-Cha Shares Tea At The First Annual Portland Tea Festival

Eco-Cha Shares Tea At The First Annual Portland Tea Festival

Eco-Cha shares tea at the PDX Tea Fest

Eco-Cha looks forward to further collaborations with these pioneering artists of fine wood-fired tea wares, and hopefully we will even get to make an appearance at the PDX Tea Fest in years to come. To show our enthusiasm, we will share the coupon code here as well — it offers a single purchase 20% discount off anything in our store! Let's all work together in cultivating a global tea culture! 

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