Inaugural Harvest Tasting Notes

December 04, 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

Eco-Cha Tea Club: Charcoal Roasted High Altitude Oolong Tea Tasting Notes
Eco-Cha Tea Club: Charcoal Roasted High Altitude Oolong Tea Tasting Notes

May 14, 2019

Tea grown at high altitude is known for its substantial composition and smooth texture, particularly when the leaves have been sufficiently oxidized. This batch of tea offers that creamy texture and subtle complexity of flavor as a base, with a pronounced charcoal roasted component at the forefront. The charcoal roast is prominent in the first few brews, and the underlying complexity of the tea flavor comes through more and more with each brew.

View full article →

Shan Lin Xi high mountain tea harvest
New High Mountain Teas Are In!

May 09, 2019

Spring growing season had a long slow start this year, due to almost no rain until the beginning of April. The long awaited rain gave the tea trees what they needed to bring their spring buds into maturity. And we got a full week of good weather toward the end of the month, which turned out to be perfect timing for both our Shan Lin Xi and Alishan High Mountain Oolong sources.

View full article →

Eco-Cha Tea Club: Charcoal Roasted High Altitude Oolong Tea
Eco-Cha Tea Club: Charcoal Roasted High Altitude Oolong Tea

May 08, 2019

We feel that the constitution of these tea leaves that were grown at high altitude with optimal farming methods, and crafted by some of the top tea producers in the industry, is what makes this batch so special. We cherish both the knowledge and the quality tea that Mr. Zhuang generously shared with us. We will miss him dearly.

View full article →