Our source of Tsui Yu Jade Oolong (台茶13號) had an interesting story to tell when we asked him about spring harvest.
Due to the late arrival of spring proper in Taiwan, and colder, dryer weather at the beginning of growing season, the farmer trimmed his first growth on his plants that amounted to sparse shoots on the plants early in the season. This will allow him to harvest a more even growth that proceeded with the arrival of more typical weather a few weeks later. So what normally would have been harvested weeks ago at 400m elevation will start to be harvested in the next week for our Tsui Yu source. We look forward to tasting this "alternative" spring harvest.
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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.