On October 10th, Double Ten Day — National Day of the Republic of China, as we began winding down the 6th annual Global Tea Expo, we had the opportunity to host some tea people from New York! Michele, Jo, and Darlene had just attended an international Arts conference and were heading back to Taipei that afternoon to fly back to the USA the next day.
Our guests only had a couple hours to spend at the expo before catching the high speed rail to Taipei, and were clear about wanting to shop for tea and tea ware. So I escorted them through the throngs of shoppers and dozens of tea stalls in an attempt to meet their requests. They were able to pick up some interesting items in the short time they had, and appreciated my assistance in guiding and translating for them in their conversations with the tea farmers they met. Hopefully next time they will have more time to participate in the various cultural events that are an essential aspect of the Nantou Global Tea Expo.
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!