The Advantages of Being Based in Taiwan for Eco-Cha and Its Consumers
October 20, 2015
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 batch of Alishan High Mountain Jin Xuan Oolong summer 2020 harvest has a very pronounced buttery character. Starting with the leaves put into the pre-heated tea judging cup, they exuded a pronounced buttered toast/popcorn aroma. But the flavor profile is replete with an uncanny buttered popcorn note, it's almost unbelievable! How can tea leaves do this?! It's not only buttered popcorn either! There are distinct floral and vegetal notes that balance out the incredulous and delicious buttered popcorn flavor. OK, enough repetitive description! Click hereto get your share.
This is what an award winning Wenshan Baozhong Tea looks like, in its dry leaf state, of course. Notice the uniformity in the size and coloration of the leaves. The yellow hues are only in the spine of the leaves, which would naturally protrude into a stem, but the stems have been removed, along with the larger, lighter colored, over-matured leaf stock. This uniformity of leaf material offers a pure flavor profile. It allows for a complexity of aromatic and flavor notes, but it comes from a uniform stock which is essential in producing a purity of character. This is a fundamental aspect of competition grade tea. It's not muddled. It's refined.
Batch #55 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club is an award-winning Wenshan Baozhong Tea that was entered in the recent spring tea competition of the local Farmers' Association. Preparation for competition involves removing the bulkier stems from the leaves, and also sorting the leaves by coloration to achieve the most uniform stock of leaf material possible.