Eco-Cha Does Aged And Charcoal Roast Tea Tasting In Taipei

January 19, 2016 2 Comments

On Sunday, we traveled up to Taipei to present a selection of aged and charcoal roasted Oolong teas that we sourced for the occasion, hosted in an antique and art collector's home. We brewed leaves of eleven different batches of tea ranging from the most recent winter harvest to leaves harvested over forty years ago. We brewed the tea from different sources in separate rounds of two or three at a time for comparison and expedience. The first two were a Muzha Tieguanyin Oolong aged over 25 years, and an Alishan High Mountain Oolong harvested about 20 years ago.

So we sat and brewed and appreciated the look, smell and taste of leaves from batches that each had its own distinct character. It was quite an exploration that went for about three hours continuously. As one friend put it, "What better way to spend a rainy Sunday afternoon?". 

We proceeded to taste a Wenshan Baozhong Oolong aged over 30 years, a Mingjian Qing Xin Oolong harvested in the mid-1970's, and a sample of tea that won the Silver Medal Award in the 2012 National Tea Trade Association's Aged Tea Competition. Each tea had a completely different profile of flavor and aroma, yet all shared a quality of smooth, rich texture and balanced composition that makes aged tea a favorite of connoisseurs . Our final round of aged teas were all Dong Ding Oolongs between 25 and 30 years old. Even these three had very different compositions, based on everything from the harvest to initial processing and roasting to subsequent low-heat roastings over the years, which for one batch included several charcoal roastings. 

Our fourth round was charcoal roasted Qing Xin Oolong from the recent winter harvest. One batch was from Alishan and the other from Shanlinxi. They had been first low-heat oven roasted twice to prepare them for extensive rounds of charcoal roastings — the Alishan batch was charcoal roasted 5 times total, and the Shanlinxi 8 times. The flavor and character of these teas were still distinct and complex, and not at all overtaken by just the roasted flavor. The multiple roastings offered a depth of flavor and a balanced, rich, smoky texture — but the original Oolong tea flavor was still well intact. These teas represented the traditional art of charcoal tea roasting at its best. 

There was a lot of experiential learning to be had by all of us as we explored this array of teas that represent an elite class of traditional specialty tea that can only be found in Taiwan, and even here these teas are quite exclusive.





2 Responses

Marcin
Marcin

January 21, 2016

Had the same feeling as Jim. I feel like jumping in a plane and moving to Taiwan. :D

Jim
Jim

January 20, 2016

Just blows my mind trying to imagine the beautiful experience of this assortment of fine teas.
I am so grateful you are taking the time to share these types of experiences and discoveries. And even though you are reporting so well, I can feel as though I am missing out on really important and meaningful things.
So grateful!

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in News

Spring 2021 Harvest | Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Oolong Tea
Spring 2021 Harvest | Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Oolong Tea

May 14, 2021 2 Comments

We went up to film on the first day of spring harvest by our source of Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Oolong Tea. The early morning was sunny, but the fog rolled in early, and we were socked in by noon, diminishing our aspirations for getting lots of scenic drone footage! But this is representative of the daily weather — particularly in this micro-climate of a ravine that faces northeast. 

View full article →

Fo Shou Oolong Tea
Fo Shou Oolong Tea Tasting Notes | Eco-Cha Tea Club

May 10, 2021

The complex and somewhat addictive (it's very easy to drink copious amounts at one sitting!) character represents an authentic artisanal tea. This cultivar is not easily processed into a tea with this level of refined character. We attribute its quality to the man who unquestionably puts more effort and heart into producing extremely small batches of tea than anyone else we've met — by far!

View full article →

Fo Shou Oolong Tea tea leaf
Fo Shou Oolong Tea | Eco-Cha Tea Club

May 10, 2021

Batch 66 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club is a Fo Shou Oolong Tea produced in Pinglin, Taiwan. The Chinese Fo Shou (佛手) means Buddha Hand. The name refers to the tea plant, or cultivar, which classifies as a large leaf type. This puts it in the category of Assam, and wild strains of tea, along with the Taiwanese hybrid cultivar — Red Jade #18.

View full article →