With a small batch seasonal product, like artisan tea, flavors change from season to season. The general qualities of a particular type of tea remain but weather, processing, and roasting will effect the character of each batch. This is the beauty of a hand made seasonal product.
For example, here's a quick comparison of 3 batches of Concubine Oolong from Lugu Taiwan:
2013 Summer: very floral, light, subtle fragrance nicely balanced with the viscous, honey flavor that is characteristic of Concubine.
2014 Summer (our current offering): distinct honey flavor of concubine with a slightly more hearty, robust and balanced character that was brought about by a second roasting - making it more similar to a lightly roasted Dong Ding Oolong.
2014 Summer (same batch as above, different roast): a single roasted batch which is more similar to last year's (2013) batch in that it is lighter and more subtle in character which allows the honey flavor to stand out more distinctly without being balanced out by further roasting, as roasting brings a more robust character to the overall composition.
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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".