Spring Tea: Final Harvest In, About Ready To Share!

June 02, 2015 0 Comments

We know that many of our loyal customers have been waiting patiently for us to announce the arrival of our spring tea selections. There are specific reasons why our spring teas arrive when they do, and we thought we'd share the main ones. The most basic reason however, is that we like to offer our full seasonal menu at once, rather than in stages, so that our customers have a full range of selections to choose from. The good news, in short is, our spring teas will be up for sale this week!

Spring tea harvest season in Taiwan typically spans over 3 months. It starts in March at low elevation, and continues through April and May as the tea leaves reach maturity at successively higher elevations. Some years, the highest elevation teas are not harvested until early June. True Lishan or Dayuling tea is almost never harvested before mid-May. So waiting for these high elevation crops to be harvested and cured brings us to the end of May before we are ready to present our spring selections.

There are other reasons that influence our procurement of spring teas. Namely, tea roasting (which can be a month-long process before the leaves are ready to be vacuum-sealed), and the "tea competition season".

We have learned to wait until right after the time for entering batches of teas in local competitions has past, particularly the largest and most prestigious competition at the Lugu Farmers' Association. This is because our sources are extremely busy and stressed out trying to deal with many different tasks at once. They are busy tasting and determining which batches of tea they will enter for competition, and then preparing them for entry. This preparation includes destemming the tea leaves, and depending on the competition, can involve up to 40 hours of roasting to be done, per entry. Many artisans enter several batches per competition, and there are many regional competitions. They are also busy meeting the demands of persistent local merchants doing their best to source competition grade teas.

So if we can be patient and wait until this work is done, we have found it to be to our advantage. We do not wish to compete with the local competition players. It's just not our game. We have learned that the tea that is available after the artisans have submitted their entries to be comparable, if not equal in quality, to what they have chosen. We have also learned that we are given a lot more time and consideration from our sources if we let them get through their frantic rush time and visit them when the pressure is off. We also know that we will get flat rates for the tea that has not been entered into competition (often simply because there wasn't time to prepare it).

In short, we've found it to be a win-win situation to scout out the overall harvest situation, starting with the earliest harvests, and wait until harvesting is done and competition entries have been submitted. This brings us into May. Then, within the next 2-3 weeks, we can source our highest elevation teas that have just been freshly harvested. These teas are made to be left unroasted, so are available immediately after harvest. This is why we offer our spring teas as late as June – simply because it's when all we have to offer of the best spring tea we can find is ready to share. So, within a matter of days, we will post our fresh spring selections for you to peruse and choose!

 






Also in News

Eco-Farmed GABA Oolong Tea Tasting Notes | Eco-Cha Tea Club
Eco-Farmed GABA Oolong Tea Tasting Notes | Eco-Cha Tea Club

January 15, 2022 0 Comments

Batch 74, six plus years of sourcing singular batch teas to share with the Eco-Cha Tea Club each month ... And we find ourselves just sitting and staring at these dried leaves.... Reminding us that we are not at all tired of exploring the world of boutique tea, and sharing our experience of the things we find to be particularly special. This batch of Eco-Farmed GABA Oolong Tea pretty much covers the bases in this respect. It is very small batch, harvested by a family of organic tea farmers that are literally trailblazers in their community. AND, we think they make the best GABA tea we've ever tasted!

View full article →

Eco-Farmed GABA Oolong Tea | Eco-Cha Tea Club
Eco-Farmed GABA Oolong Tea | Eco-Cha Tea Club

January 14, 2022 0 Comments

Batch 74 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club is an Eco-Farmed GABA Oolong Tea. We coined the term Eco-Farmed to represent tea that is sourced from a certified organic tea farm, without representing the certification itself. This farm is not only certified organic, but it is managed with the most natural farming methods we've seen in the local tea industry here in Taiwan. He has pioneered these farming methods, and after 20 years of challenging research, is now successfully managing several plots of tea and producing specialty types of organic tea.

View full article →

Taiwan high mountain tea harvest in a tea field
Top 5 Taiwan Teas in 2021 | Eco-Cha Teas

January 13, 2022 0 Comments

Taiwan many kinds of tea but have you ever wondered what's the most popular? Well, we've compiled an overview of our top 5 best selling Taiwan Teas of 2021 to offer some perspective on the popular names in Taiwan Tea.

View full article →