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.
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This month's batch of tea being shared with the Eco-Cha Tea Club was made by Mr. Su — an 80 year-old artisan of traditional Dong Ding Oolong Tea. He planted a plot of the Tie Guan Yin strain in his backyard several years ago, and this is the second time we've sourced this tea type from him. Mr. Su is our favorite representative of traditionally made tea in Taiwan, and it brings us a special kind of joy to be able to share his tea with our tea club members.
This batch has a particularly sweet character, with slightly tangy, fruity notes and a pleasantly clean lingering aftertaste. It has just enough of that cured, almost fermented character that makes it reminiscent of a traditionally made Tie Guan Yin Oolong. But given that it was only roasted once, it maintains a mild flavor profile similar to a Hong Shui Oolong.