The Advantages of Being Based in Taiwan for Eco-Cha and Its Consumers
We live in in the heart of tea country in Taiwan. We've been here for over 20 years, and this why are valued by our loyal customers. We believe there is no substitute for being here on the ground in terms of immersion in and representation of contemporary Taiwanese Tea Culture.
We have an ongoing direct involvement in some of the most progressive aspects of the tea culture and industry here. It’s the level of ongoing contact and relationships formed with families of tea farmers and representatives of tea culture that is the foundation Eco-Cha is built upon.
These connections allow us to source unique, small batches of some of the best tea available here that typically do not make it into stores even here in Taiwan. We have been visiting the homes, farms and factories of tea farmers in Central Taiwan for 20 years and have developed life-long friendships and observed generational shifts within the industry. This is not a just business connection, it is a cultural orientation that has been sought out and absorbed by a deep yearning for traditional culture.
Eco-Cha aspires to share this rich culture by documenting in video, images, and writing our involvement here on the ground. We want to share the tea, its origins, and its ever-evolving culture with the world.
This was originally posted as a vendor profile interview on TeaDB. Click here for the full profile.
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The medium oxidized leaves have undergone extensive, repeated roastings that have resulted in a very balanced, integrated character. The initial steepings offer a freshly cut wood aroma with a toasted nutty flavor. This proceeds to open up into a sweeter, more complex profile that is strikingly reminiscent of roasted winter vegetables, including parsnip, caramelized onion and butternut squash.
Mr. Zhang's father cultivated tea on their homesteaded land in Xiaobantian, on the southside of Lugu Township, where he grew up in the midst of traditional tea making. At 20 something, he decided to embody his local tradition by clearing land to cultivate his own plot of tea. For the last 20 years, he has managed his own humble, privately owned plot of tea. Throughout this period, he also acquired seasonal work in tea factories in Lugu, Shanlinxi, Alishan, Fanzaitian, and Lishan. In a word, he learned the ropes of tea making in a comprehensive way, like most tea farmers of his generation. Lugu hosts the highest concentration of tea makers in Taiwan, and is a hub of specialty tea making culture.