Spring Harvest 2014 Report #1 - Winter into Spring
April 03, 2014
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.
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!