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:
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!