This past year has been an exciting adventure for our Eco-Cha Tea Club members and there have been a lot of great rare teas and fun extras. Here are a few that really stand out for us.
A really unique tea that defies categorization - Tieguanyin tea trees grown in the heart of Dong Ding Oolong country. It really stood out because of the tangy citrus notes paired with a sweet roasted character. The flavour of this tea embodies the complexity of traditional Oolong tea. It's a great example of how tea masters in this region are using their depth of knowledge about tea to create new styles.
This tea really stood out because this farmer doesn't normally produce tea from this garden in the summer. In this rare situation he decided that a selective harvest would benefit the plants. The tangy sweetness and peach cobbler notes of this tea was balanced by a very light roasted character. The light roasting and higher levels of oxidation add complexity to the flavour profile of the tea.
Bug-bitten tea leaves are very unpredictable and it takes a lot of skill and experience to bring out the right characteristics in the finished tea. This farmer decided that it would take higher degree of oxidation to bring out the honey notes in the tea. We love this tea because he really hit the mark. There was a distinct honey fragrance with balanced sweet and bitter properties making a complex heady brew. A pure joy to drink, especially in the colder weather.
What was your favourite tea from the club this year? If you're not a member, which one would you most like to try?
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Red Oolong offers a smooth, balanced, mildly sweet, rich but not quite bold flavor profile, with elements of fruit compote, pumpkin pie, and a hint of dried flowers. This ultra-friendly character, combined with the fact that almost all Red Oolong is cultivated naturally on the southeast coast of Taiwan, facing the wide open Pacific, which reminds a North American of Washington State or British Columbia, is no wonder why it is rapidly gaining popularity on the international market. Once again, Taiwan leads the way in Oolong Tea innovation!