FREE GLOBAL SHIPPING ON ORDERS OVER $75

The Eco-Cha Tea Club: Heirloom Wuyi Oolong Tea

February 28, 2016

In the first three months of the Eco-Cha Tea Club, we shared three distinct types of roasted teas to offer a warming, comforting cuppa through the cold winter months. Now, as the weather gradually warms, we're ready to share a batch of tea that is a prelude to spring. This batch is the very first harvest of a newly planted crop of heirloom Wuyi Oolong that is being cultivated organically. This is a strain of tea that originally comes from the Wuyi Mountains of mainland China, but it was cultivated in Central Taiwan until it was phased out by modern tea production decades ago. Below is a closeup of the new Wuyi tea trees that were pruned in preparation for the new season's growth. We can see the small white flower buds that will ideally be removed so the plant can put its energy into producing more leaves than flowers and seeds.

Here is Mr. Xie showing us the crop as it now looks at three years old, as he takes advantage of the opportunity to pick some flower buds off the plants as we talk. This heirloom strain grows much slower than the hybrid strains currently grown in this region, so the plants will fill out to almost double their current size in the next couple years. Other strains reach almost full size by this age.

Now that the plants are reaching maturity, the plastic tarps that maintain moisture in the soil and prevent invasive weeds and pests during the fragile early growth stage will be removed from between the rows of tea trees. These will be replaced with leaf mulch and peanut shells that will slowly nourish the soil while having a similar effect as the tarps. The adjacent crop of Four Seasons Spring that was planted at the same time as the Wuyi crop have already developed sufficiently for this. We can see the ground space between the rows of tea is significantly less, as these trees have almost reached full size.

Here is a snapshot we took when Mr. Xie led us onto the farm for the first time two and a half years ago. And Andy's selfie he took with Mr. Xie the other day when he got to see the crop at its current stage of development. It was a gratifying experience to see that Mr. Xie and his partner Mr. Chen succeeded in their experimental attempt to organically cultivate an heirloom strain of tea that is now very rare.

 





Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in News

Red Oolong Tea: Gem Of Taiwan's Southeast Coast
Red Oolong Tea: Gem Of Taiwan's Southeast Coast

February 23, 2018

Red Oolong offers a smooth, balanced, mildly sweet, rich but not quite bold flavor profile, with elements of fruit compote, pumpkin pie, and a hint of dried flowers. This ultra-friendly character, combined with the fact that almost all Red Oolong is cultivated naturally on the southeast coast of Taiwan, facing the wide open Pacific, which reminds a North American of Washington State or British Columbia, is no wonder why it is rapidly gaining popularity on the international market. Once again, Taiwan leads the way in Oolong Tea innovation!


View full article →

Eco-Cha Tea Club: Premier Crop Organic Jin Xuan Oolong Tasting Notes
Eco-Cha Tea Club: Premier Crop Organic Jin Xuan Oolong Tasting Notes

February 06, 2018

These leaves were harvested from young tea trees that were ready for their very first trimming, prompting them to sprout more branches before growing taller. This premier harvest of organically cultivated Jin Xuan Tea plants is what we have chosen to share on the occasion of Chinese New Year with the Eco-Cha Tea Club. The character of this tea conveys the vibrant, nutrient-rich, new growth of young tea trees growing on an organic farm.

View full article →

Eco-Cha Tea Club: Premier Crop Organic Jin Xuan Oolong
Eco-Cha Tea Club: Premier Crop Organic Jin Xuan Oolong

February 02, 2018

Mr. Xie made a life-changing decision 20 years ago by committing to transition the tradition he inherited from his father and grandfather before him to organic tea farming. He did this solely by his own conviction that it was the right thing to do. He came close to failing at first, but his farm survived, and through many years of pioneering experimentation, he succeeded. He is now a leading representative of organic tea farming in his community, and has formed a co-op of neighboring farms to develop his business. In recent years, a younger generation of local farmers are following his example. This is the latest chapter on the local scene that we find truly exciting.

View full article →