Eco-Cha Sourcing Director Andy Lectures At Ji Nan National University
March 25, 2016
Andy got take advantage of the only morning that it wasn't raining this week and take a 55 km scenic ride from his home on the southern border of Nantou County to the National University just north of Sun Moon Lake. Here's a roadside snapshot overlooking Shuili, a township that fittingly is named "In Water".
He was invited to be a guest lecturer to a class of non-university students who are learning about creative cultural representation in the tourism industry, including the sale of local specialty produce, such as tea. It was a great group of people of all ages and backgrounds. Some were B&B owners, others worked in farmers' associations and local governments, and there were a few tea farmers who were developing their own brands.
It was really a pleasure and an honor to see the interest the class had in Eco-Cha's story and learn of our perspective on the local specialized industry of tea and tea culture. Even more rewarding however, was the friendly, modest manner in which the students introduced themselves during the intermission. Andy was offered home-made cookies and many invitations to come visit their homes, farms and businesses. He was even given a document of the occasion at the end of the class!
Batch #50 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club starts off 2020 with a freshly harvested Alishan High Mountain Oolong Winter Tea from our ongoing source in Meishan Township. This very small batch of tea was their final day of winter harvest. The leaves were not yet fully mature, and offer a fresh, distinctly aromatic and complex flavor profile.
The photo above is this month's batch of the Eco-Cha Tea Club undergoing solar withering on November 11, 2019. This was the final day of winter harvest for our source of Alishan High Mountain Oolong Tea, and we were able to procure enough of this very minimal batch to share with our Tea Club. This date was 3 days after Li Dong (立冬) in the lunar calendar, and the winter harvest of High Mountain Tea had for the most part been completed in central Taiwan.
This summer 2017 crop of naturally cultivated and well bug bitten and matured leaves were processed as a traditional Oolong, which mainly means that they were well oxidized. The work that went into oxidizing these leaves was considerable as well as skillful. The leaves needed to be worked, and they got worked well! The result is a full-bodied, substantial brew that offers a very satisfying balance that starts with a mild smokiness, leading into a fruity body with mineral notes, and finishing with something reminiscent of old school Charms lollipops. It really does have a distinct plum powder/confectioner's sugar finishing note that is cushioned by that smoky mineral base. It's a mouthful!