The Early Beginnings and How Eco-Cha Started Sourcing Tea

October 26, 2015



This was originally posted as a vendor profile interview on TeaDB. Click here for the full profile.

Eco-Cha was born not only out of a great love for tea, but also out of a life-long friendship. 

Our history of sourcing tea began in 1993, when Eco-Cha co-founder Andy Kincart returned to Taiwan after having lived here for a couple years. He returned to Taiwan determined to source tea directly from farms that he knew were only a short distance from his residence in Taichung County.

This conviction was brought about by his experience living in Los Angeles in 1992-93, and combing the city for a source of quality Taiwan tea. He found only over-priced, mediocre quality tea at one store in LA's Chinatown. This actually influenced his decision to move back to Taiwan. He was compelled to be back in the world of tea that he was enamored by in his previous sojourns on the island.

As destiny would have it, Andy was introduced to a family in Lugu, Nantou County during their winter tea harvest of 1993. And this has become his adopted Taiwan family. (In fact he is writing this from their dining room table right now.) He began visiting Lugu and hauling backpacks full of freshly harvested Oolong back to Taichung on a seasonal basis to share with his friends.

Andy ended up returning to the States a few years later, and began importing tea from Taiwan as the sole proprietor of one of the first English websites to export Taiwan tea, “Black Dragon Teas”. He visited Taiwan during spring tea harvest from 1997 to 2000 and had tea shipped to him at winter harvest time. He returned to Taiwan in 2001 and lived has here since. Teaming up with good friends who have also made their home in Taiwan, Eco-Cha was founded to support the artisan tea industry in Taiwan and to share this life-long connection to Taiwan tea culture.

As you can see, Eco-Cha has been growing and developing for a great number of years. We are passionate about tea, and the culture from whence it comes. We hope to inspire this passion in you.





Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in News

Hong Shui Oolong Tea
Traditional Hong Shui Oolong Tea Tasting Notes | Eco-Cha Tea Club

September 11, 2020

The full flavored character reflects the mastery that evolved from pre-modern tea producing methods — which our friend learned from his grandfather as a teenager. It's a rich, fruity, complex flavor profile with classic mineral notes, and a vibrant, truly satisfying finish. This, this is the real deal when it comes to traditionally made Oolong Tea from Nantou County, Taiwan!

View full article →

Grandma Chen maker of Traditional Hong Shui Oolong Tea
Traditional Hong Shui Oolong Tea | Eco-Cha Tea Club

September 07, 2020

Batch 58 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club is a Hong Shui Oolong made in the traditional fashion by our friend in his home factory in Phoenix Village, Taiwan. He let his family plot of tea behind their traditional 3-sided farmhouse continue to grow after spring harvest in April until the last few days in July. This allows the tea trees to rejuvenate by growing naturally during the most vegetative phase of their annual cycle. He then harvested just the tops of the new growth before pruning his trees for fall harvest.

View full article →

Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Oolong Fall harvest
Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Oolong Fall 2020

September 02, 2020

In the end, each seasonal crop has its own unique combination of contributing factors that give it a slightly different aromatic and flavor profile than other seasons. We really enjoy experiencing these seasonal variations from the same plot of tea processed in the same basic way. We encourage our High Mountain Oolong fans to follow suit in order to more fully understand this type of tea and how it can vary from season to season. 

View full article →