Higher elevation farmers that we've asked have all said that it has been a late season (longer winter), but so far conditions are favorable for spring harvest. They estimate that harvest will simply be one or two weeks later than usual. Farms at around 1000m elevation in Nantou County are preparing to harvest in the second week of April. At 1500m, harvest will begin in the beginning of May. Higher elevations will be later yet, so presumably the highest farms on Lishan and Dayuling will not be harvested until mid-June.
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The most commonly referred to trait in Leafhopper Tea is a honey-essence note in the fragrance as well as the flavor profile. This hint of honey varies greatly from batch to batch of "bug bitten tea", as it is also referred to locally. But the most general characteristic of this tea type is its bold complexity of aroma and flavor. It simply has a substance that clearly distinguishes it from a standard High Mountain Tea.
Above we see a local tea picker turning in freshly picked leaves to be weighed and recorded for commission. These new-growth, tender leaves were harvested on a beautiful sunny day at about 1500 meters elevation in the Shan Lin Xi tea growing region in southern Nantou County, central Taiwan.
Our expressed intention in sharing this batch of tea is to offer Eco-Cha Tea Club members a chance to experience the original unroasted flavor profile of a tea type that, in the local Taiwanese dialect, is simply called "Leafhopper Tea".