Yesterday I visited Eco-Cha's source of Tsui Yu Jade Oolong, Jin Xuan Milk Oolong, and Four Seasons Spring Oolong. These are three hybrid oolong varietals that thrive in the foothills of Nantou County.
I went to pick up the rest of the bulk 40 lb. bags that we had bought some of just after winter harvest. Upon my arrival I learned that my friend had won first place in both the Tsui Yu Dong Ding Oolong category and the Jin Xuan Dong Ding Oolong category in the 2013 Nantou County winter tea competitions.
Hard at work preparing for winter competitions:
He received the rare “Double Champion Award” for being the first place winner of the Jin Xuan Dong Ding Oolong category in two consecutive competitions - spring and winter 2013.
Our current batch of Tsui Yu Jade Oolong is from the same harvest that produced his champion tea - just picked and processed on a different day. We couldn’t ask for better credentials!
Tea grown at high altitude is known for its substantial composition and smooth texture, particularly when the leaves have been sufficiently oxidized. This batch of tea offers that creamy texture and subtle complexity of flavor as a base, with a pronounced charcoal roasted component at the forefront. The charcoal roast is prominent in the first few brews, and the underlying complexity of the tea flavor comes through more and more with each brew.
Spring growing season had a long slow start this year, due to almost no rain until the beginning of April. The long awaited rain gave the tea trees what they needed to bring their spring buds into maturity. And we got a full week of good weather toward the end of the month, which turned out to be perfect timing for both our Shan Lin Xi and Alishan High Mountain Oolong sources.
We feel that the constitution of these tea leaves that were grown at high altitude with optimal farming methods, and crafted by some of the top tea producers in the industry, is what makes this batch so special. We cherish both the knowledge and the quality tea that Mr. Zhuang generously shared with us. We will miss him dearly.