Spring Rains Have Finally Arrived in Oolong Country!
March 26, 2015
Now into the second lunar month of the Goat Year, farmers and tea lovers alike were beginning to wonder if spring rains would ever arrive. We are happy to announce that they have indeed, and classic spring weather has commenced. This is good news for the first oolong tea crop of 2015. Almost daily rain with interspersed fog and sunshine have put our minds to ease in recent days, and new leaf buds growing visibly day to day bring hopeful anticipation for the harvest to come.
Spring harvest will be a bit later than usual this year as a result, but then again, Chinese New Year was unusually late too. And since the local farmers traditionally base their cycles of planting, pruning, and harvesting on the lunar calendar, maybe things are right on time in the cultural scheme of things!
We'll keep you posted on the progress of spring tea and the upcoming harvest. Here are a couple pics taken yesterday in the heart of Dong Ding Oolong tea country in Nantou, Taiwan:
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 hereto get your share.
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.
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.