The weather this spring started out cold and dry – basically an extended winter season. This delayed the growing season of spring tea, particularly at higher elevations and in more northern areas. The extended winter conditions are mostly seen as positive - allowing the plants to “hibernate” or remain in their dormant phase. In the last couple weeks spring weather has arrived with warmer temperatures and frequent rainfall. If it continues this way, and does not proceed to rain too much or too little, prospects are looking good – especially for higher elevation areas.
State of growth as of Sunday March 30, 2014 in Lugu Township, Nantou Taiwan. 600m.
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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.