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.
Batch #50 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club starts off 2020 with a freshly harvested Alishan High Mountain Oolong Winter Tea from our ongoing source in Meishan Township. This very small batch of tea was their final day of winter harvest. The leaves were not yet fully mature, and offer a fresh, distinctly aromatic and complex flavor profile.
The photo above is this month's batch of the Eco-Cha Tea Club undergoing solar withering on November 11, 2019. This was the final day of winter harvest for our source of Alishan High Mountain Oolong Tea, and we were able to procure enough of this very minimal batch to share with our Tea Club. This date was 3 days after Li Dong (立冬) in the lunar calendar, and the winter harvest of High Mountain Tea had for the most part been completed in central Taiwan.
This summer 2017 crop of naturally cultivated and well bug bitten and matured leaves were processed as a traditional Oolong, which mainly means that they were well oxidized. The work that went into oxidizing these leaves was considerable as well as skillful. The leaves needed to be worked, and they got worked well! The result is a full-bodied, substantial brew that offers a very satisfying balance that starts with a mild smokiness, leading into a fruity body with mineral notes, and finishing with something reminiscent of old school Charms lollipops. It really does have a distinct plum powder/confectioner's sugar finishing note that is cushioned by that smoky mineral base. It's a mouthful!