Spring Harvest Report 2014 #9 - Spring Rain's Late Arrival
May 06, 2014
Central Taiwan has finally gotten some rain this past week, but interspersed with some bright sunny mornings in tea country.
This photo was taken on Sunday morning in the Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Oolong region from the balcony of a tea factory. On Saturday afternoon a storm came through when we first arrived, but had cleared by nightfall. Our tea farmer friends got lucky in scheduling their harvest for this sunny morning, as Monday morning brought more rain.
We had planned to visit our Organic High Mountain tea source on He Huan Mountain today to observe and assist in their spring harvest, but rain in northern Nantou County delayed their harvest. Now they must scramble to schedule a team of tea pickers for a later date. This is no easy task, as tea pickers are in highest demand for the remaining of the harvest season. We hope to be able to join them for their rescheduled date.
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!