The Premier Batch of the Eco-Cha Tea Club

November 17, 2015

We are super-psyched to be initiating the Eco-Cha Tea Club! Considering what type of tea best qualifies as our premier batch was no easy matter here in Taiwan. We made the choice based both on our roots in the tea industry and what we consider a prime example of a Taiwanese traditional specialty tea.

Sign up for the Eco-Cha Tea Club Now 

And the winner is... The remainder of a batch of Dong Ding Oolong that was awarded 3rd place category at the spring 2015 Lugu Farmers' Association Dong Ding Oolong Tea Competition. This tea type is a medium oxidized, medium roasted Oolong. It maintains its fresh, vibrant flavor while achieving a full-bodied, complex character through masterful curing and roasting skills.

Tea judges hard at work at this year's competition

Why Is The Remainder So Small?

In the Lugu competition, 22 jin (one jin = 600g) are submitted per entry. This 35 jin bag of unroasted tea had to go through repeated roastings, losing mass and volume in the process, as well as many tastings along the way, and most significantly, destemming. When it was finally done being roasted and destemmed and sifted to remove the smaller broken leaves, 22 jin were entered in the competition and less than 8 jin (4+ kg) remained.

Some of the 6000 entries in last year's winter tea competition

This batch was awarded Third Place Category in the spring 2015 Lugu Farmers’ Association Dong Ding Oolong Tea Competition. Without going into a complex, detailed account of the grading system of this competition, Third Place Category ranks within the top 16% of about 6000 entries. Third Place Category and higher awards are usually sold out by the the time the competition fair is held, when the public can visit the Farmers' Association and buy directly from the prize-winning tea makers. Eco-Cha is only able to procure this tea because of our friendship with one of the top players in the competition industry here in Taiwan. He has agreed to provide us with the leftovers from batches that win awards. Sometimes these amount to only one kilogram. In this case he started with a slightly larger amount (35 jin instead of the standard 30 jin bulk-size bag for wholesale).

History of the Competition

Beginning in 1976, the Lugu Farmers’ Association developed the Dong Ding Oolong Tea Competition in an effort to preserve the value and quality of its local cash crop (Lin Hsien-tang, 2004). This event has developed over the last forty years to become the world’s largest and most prestigious Oolong Tea competition, with prize-winning teas demanding the highest price of any Oolong Tea in the world. It is arguably the most impactful method of preserving the value and quality of a Traditional Oolong Tea that has been implemented in the history of the Taiwan tea industry. With roughly 6000 entries per bi-annual competition, and first place prize winning tea currently attaining around NT$250,000 per jin (600g), it has brought a local traditional specialty product to unprecedented heights of value and quality. (Excerpted from Andy Kincart's MBA thesis.)





Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in News

Roasted High Mountain Black Tea Tasting Notes | Eco-Cha Tea Club
Roasted High Mountain Black Tea Tasting Notes | Eco-Cha Tea Club

June 16, 2021

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!

View full article →

Roasted High Mountain Black Tea | Eco-Cha Tea Club
Roasted High Mountain Black Tea | Eco-Cha Tea Club

June 16, 2021

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!

View full article →

Gateway to the Alishan High Mountain Tea growing region in Taiwan
Alishan High Mountain Jin Xuan Oolong Tea Sourcing (Summer 2021)

June 11, 2021

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. 

View full article →