Inaugural Harvest Tasting Notes

December 05, 2014

Well, here we are at long last, drinking the brewed tea leaves that grew, were harvested, and processed since we visited the farm with the organic certification inspectors three months ago. It's been a meaningful journey that we will be sharing a lot more about soon. But for now, the tea!

 

As a new crop of organically cultivated hybrid oolong tea, it is a new relationship with the leaves being formed in the making of the tea. There is a balance of oxidation before the leaves are dried and roasting afterward to be foreseen in their processing. This, in effect, is what makes it an artisan oolong tea, and how the leaves respond to roasting is one of the most interesting and intricate aspects.

The first batch was roasted twice to bring out a balance of sweet overtones with a clean astringent finish. The aroma of the brewed leaves is reminiscent of warming spices and roasted vegetables. The brewed tea tastes like toasted grains with hints of floral and leafy notes. It has a subtle yet broad range of flavor that continues to unfold as the leaves are brewed, and organic tea keeps brewing for a while!

The second batch was also roasted twice initially, but starting at a slightly lower temperature. This resulted in this batch having a more distinct aroma and fragrant aftertaste. This tea also brewed just a tad less transparently than the first batch, and the flavor was perhaps less balanced or substantial. These factors made our tea advisor Lisa Lin decide to roast this batch further - to bring it more balance and stability in shelf-life.

On its third roasting Lisa started at an even lower temperature than the initial roast and slowly increased it over the next eight hours until it attained a full, substantially roasted yet mild flavor. At the end of that roast, Lisa felt satisfied, but when she brewed it again the next day, she felt differently. The flavor begged of something that could be brought out even further, and she decided to pursue it by another six hour roasting session. At this stage, the tea leaves produced a subtle yet distinct honey quality that suddenly revealed the characteristic bug-bitten, or Concubine Oolong flavor, after all that roasting! The tea has a woodsy, autumn, straw aroma with a hint of smoky, charcoal roasted sweet potato flavor, and a clean, lingering dried-fruit aftertaste.

We find the two variations in roasting to be representative of a classic organic flavor that is mellow yet substantial, and the brewing capacity of the tea leaves is considerably more than a conventionally grown oolong. They are both very satisfying brews that have a relaxing yet long-lasting energizing and clarifying effect.

We working hard to get the tea all packaged up with all the perks and send them off to you, so please be patient and know that we are on it!

Thank you once again for all your support! 





Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in News

Alishan high mountain jin xuan oolong tea farm
Alishan High Mountain Jin Xuan Oolong Summer 2020: Buttered Love

June 21, 2020

This batch of Alishan High Mountain Jin Xuan Oolong summer 2020 harvest has a very pronounced buttery character. Starting with the leaves put into the pre-heated tea judging cup, they exuded a pronounced buttered toast/popcorn aroma. But the flavor profile is replete with an uncanny buttered popcorn note, it's almost unbelievable! How can tea leaves do this?! It's not only buttered popcorn either! There are distinct floral and vegetal notes that balance out the incredulous and delicious buttered popcorn flavor. OK, enough repetitive description! Click here to get your share.

View full article →

Wenshan Bazhong dried tea leaves
Competition Grade Wenshan Baozhong Tea Tasting Notes| Eco-Cha Tea Club

June 18, 2020 1 Comment

This is what an award winning Wenshan Baozhong Tea looks like, in its dry leaf state, of course. Notice the uniformity in the size and coloration of the leaves. The yellow hues are only in the spine of the leaves, which would naturally protrude into a stem, but the stems have been removed, along with the larger, lighter colored, over-matured leaf stock. This uniformity of leaf material offers a pure flavor profile. It allows for a complexity of aromatic and flavor notes, but it comes from a uniform stock which is essential in producing a purity of character. This is a fundamental aspect of competition grade tea. It's not muddled. It's refined.

View full article →

Wenshan Baozhong tea field
Competition Grade Wenshan Baozhong Tea | Eco-Cha Tea Club

June 14, 2020

Batch #55 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club is an award-winning Wenshan Baozhong Tea that was entered in the recent spring tea competition of the local Farmers' Association. Preparation for competition involves removing the bulkier stems from the leaves, and also sorting the leaves by coloration to achieve the most uniform stock of leaf material possible. 

View full article →