屏東縣港口茶 Pingtung Port Tea: A Historical Anomaly From The 19th Century

June 26, 2015

We finally got the chance to explore a site that has piqued our curiosity for many years. A tiny village at the southern tip of Taiwan that has cultivated tea since the 1880's! While it is well known that Oolong tea has been cultivated on the northern tip of the island since that time, this micro-production of a unique type of tea in the south has mostly been a local secret.

The Zhu family clan that has kept the tradition alive for over 130 years has continued to mostly cultivate the original strain of Wuyi tea that was initially brought over from Fujian, China. This tea strain is rare in Taiwan and considered a specialty. Adding to this the micro-climate of being right on the southern coast produces a unique type of tea.

While the local tradition has been to process these leaves as a green tea, we found one farmer who has innovated his processing methods to make a unique type of Oolong. His tea making is similar to Dong Ding Oolong in that he oxidizes the leaves enough to be suitable for roasting. He offers a freshly roasted version (below right) as well as an aged version (below left). His aged tea is 10 years old, and is lightly roasted at low temperature every two years. This craftsman is obviously not fussed about rolling his tea leaves as tightly and uniformly as other more modern Oolong producing areas of Taiwan have done in acquiescence to commercial standards. We can appreciate this more traditional style.

The experience of the overall scene here is quaint and authentic. These people are (still) just doing what they do, and it truly feels like a living exhibit of traditional culture. While they've implemented modern innovations such as irrigation systems and machinery to process their leaves, they have simply kept their inheritance in tact. It's truly a traditional product of regional origin that is unique in the world of tea.

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in News

Eco-Cha Tea Club: Gold Medal Award Dong Ding Jin Xuan Oolong Tea Tasting Notes
Eco-Cha Tea Club: Gold Medal Award Dong Ding Jin Xuan Oolong Tea Tasting Notes

April 03, 2018

With the first brew poured off, the leaves offer a distinctly roasted character with nutty, fruitwood fireside notes. After the second brew the aroma of the brewed leaves turns a bit fruity, with a warming spice sweetness reminiscent of pumpkin pie. The tea has a roasted flavor upfront, followed by a sweetness like grilled fresh corn. Then it moves into a more balanced, rich, complex character and smooth texture. The second visual assessment of competition teas is the purity of color and transparency of the brewed tea. It should be clear and luminescent.

View full article →

Eco-Cha Tea Club: Gold Medal Award Dong Ding Jin Xuan Oolong Tea
Eco-Cha Tea Club: Gold Medal Award Dong Ding Jin Xuan Oolong Tea

April 02, 2018

This month's batch of tea being shared with the Eco-Cha Tea Club was entered into the winter 2017 Nantou County Tea Trade Association's Dong Ding Jin Xuan Tea Competition, and received the Gold Medal Award. This award ranks within the top 5% of all entries. This competition has been in existence for almost 25 years. It began with the development of Jin Xuan tea production in the early 1990's.

View full article →

Eco-Cha Teas cold brew tea bottle
Cold Brew Tea Bottle

March 21, 2018

Contrary to what the recent weather has indicated, spring IS on its way! And while all those pots of freshly brewed hot tea provided warmth and well-being through the winter, it's time to start getting out and about. But there's no need to leave your beloved tea at home. From now until March 31st, order $50 or more of tea and you'll get this free cold brew tea bottle (retail value $15.99) to take your tea along with you! Make your order $75 or more, you'll also get free global shipping!

View full article →