Last Sunday was the annual gathering of tea lovers from all over Taiwan to partake in the largest tea party on the island, and perhaps in the world. Roughly 2500 people of all ages sat down on a field to simply enjoy tea together. Each designated host brought their own style of tea brewing to the event to share with their guests. Here is our friend Penny, the national champion in the Elementary School Tea Brewing Competition representing her local culture from Lugu, Taiwan.
This is the first year since the event began 6 years ago that I did not brew tea, but instead was part of the working staff. This afforded me the opportunity to walk around and see the seemingly endless variety of tea brewing styles that each host designed and performed for their guests. It was really an amazing spectacle to behold. And it represented in living form the pervasive tea culture that is alive and thriving in Taiwan.
We continue to be captivated by the character of Batch 67 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club. From the appearance of these dried leaves above to the color of the brewed tea, and of course, most prominently — its flavor profile, it's a unique tea. This is what we most appreciate about the Club — finding something that we truly excited to share. The flavor of this tea is not something we can say we have had before. It really has a lot going on!
Eco-Cha first met Mr. Zhan in 2016, when we smelled tea being roasted beside the historical train station in Shuili — one of our favorite mountain towns in central Taiwan. We learned that he had been transitioning his family tea farm to natural farming methods for several years already. We said that we looked forward to learning more about his work, and hoped to have the chance to procure some tea! Well, some things take time... and 5 years later, here we are — finally able to share a batch of his tea with the Eco-Cha Tea Club!
This year's second crop of Alishan High Mountain Jin Xuan Oolong began to be harvested last week, before rains that lasted several days. Then resumed earlier this week. We first visited our primary source of Alishan High Mountain Tea to taste their first two days of summer harvest.