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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We recently visited Mr. Liu when we hosted a visitor from Italy who was keen on experiencing the local tea culture. Our guest was truly elated to be served tea by a true artisan of the trade. Mr. Liu served us three different teas that were all locally harvested this past spring. They varied only in their degree oxidation and roasting. And the one that was sufficiently oxidized, but only lightly roasted, immediately impressed us.