Dong Pian Oolong Tea | Eco-Cha Tea Club

March 11, 2021 0 Comments

Eco-Cha Tea Source Mr. and Mrs. Chen at home

Batch 64 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club comes from this family farm/home factory in Phoenix Village, Lugu Township, Taiwan. It's a late winter harvest of their plot of Ying Xiang #20 that was processed in the local fashion. Ying Xiang is a hybrid cultivar developed by Taiwan's Tea Research and Extension Station (TRES) that was made public less than 10 years ago. It has a character that is regarded as closest to the classic Qing Xin Oolong strain among the populare TRES hybrid strains.

Dong Pian is the name given to batches of tea that are harvested any time later than the two week cycle following Li Dong (立冬), which designates the middle of winter tea harvest. Any time two weeks prior to or after Li Dong is traditionally the winter harvest season. Li Dong fell on November 7, 2020 — and this batch of tea was harvested in the first week of December.

Home of Mr. Chen Phoenix Village Taiwan

We've known Mr. and Mrs. Chen for well over a decade and have learned a great deal about the local tea industry from them. Mr. Chen is our ongoing source of Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Oolong Tea, and finally we are able to offer his home produce of Traditional Dong Ding Oolong Tea. We've spent many nights in the small factory that makes up one side of their traditional 3-sided house, watching tea being cured and lending a hand when we can... It's become one of our favorite overall tea spots.

Eco-Cha visits tea farmer friend in his traditional home in Lugu, TaiwanThe central altar room of the Chen family home still maintains the original hand-crafted wooden doorway and roof beams. It truly represents the generations of tea making tradition that have transitioned into the 21st century. This is yet one more example of how we feel privileged to have found a niche in this local culture. It's an honor to represent this living tradition.

Eco-Cha on the farm in Lugu, Taiwan

On the day that we picked up this month's batch of tea, we went down to the farm to talk about what "Dong Pian" actually is, and how the term has been misused in the last decade or so. We examined the leaf growth on the trees, and heard (once again) about how this name is now given to bumper crops of tea leaves that are gleaned after winter harvest, but have become toughened and even discolored by their age.

In a word, Dong Pian is often used to represent the desperate final harvest of an annual cycle that doesn't really qualify as its own growing season. Rather, it's the remainder of leaves that weren't mature enough to pick at winter harvest. This stands in contrast to this month's batch of the Eco-Cha Tea Club. This crop of tea was the new growth that matured following the previous harvest on October 10. And given that this plot of tea is at a low to mid-elevation of about 500m, the climate remained conducive to further growth through November and into December.

Ying Xiang #20 Tea Garden in  Lugu, Taiwan

This is an isolated plot of tea surrounded by bamboo and betelnut groves, a few hundred meters above a river in an undeveloped valley below Phoenix Mountain. This elevation and climate is where traditional Oolong Tea evolved in central Taiwan. This batch of tea represents generations of tea making experience coupled with 21st century systematized farming practice. It's the cutting edge of local artisan tea culture in Taiwan.

Eco-Cha sourcing tea in Lugu Taiwan

And here we are, bringing this geographically unique central Taiwan tea culture to you. Let's all continue to work together in support of yet another fragile artisan culture that will otherwise disappear in the wake of modern consumer trends... unless we make a concerted effort to support it. Heartfelt thanks to all our Tea Club members for your support in our efforts to create a demand for Taiwan's tea tradition that we have inadvertently grown to love.


Please leave a comment in the comments section below or leave any questions you may have about as well about Batch 64 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club.


If you enjoyed this post and would like to hear more about the specialty tea industry here in Taiwan, follow us on YouTubeFacebook, and Instagram and please subscribe to our newsletter. Subscribe now and get $5 off your first order!

Also in News

Hong Oolong Tea Tasting Notes | Eco-Cha Tea Club
Hong Oolong Tea Tasting Notes | Eco-Cha Tea Club

October 13, 2021 0 Comments

We can see from the brewed leaves above that they resemble an Oolong Tea much more than a Black Tea. The bulk of the leaves still maintain their structural integrity, indicating that they have not been rigorously rolled, like a Black Tea would be. Only a portion of the leaf material was torn and squeezed to expose the sap, resulting in a more thorough oxidation. Most of the leaf material was treated with the skill and tact that an artisan Oolong Tea is made from. We feel that this is a more specialized batch of Hong Oolong in this respect.

View full article →

Hong Oolong Tea | Eco-Cha Tea Club
Hong Oolong Tea | Eco-Cha Tea Club

October 12, 2021 0 Comments

Batch 71 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club is a Hong Oolong Tea made by our source of Traditional Dong Ding Oolong as well as our Small Leaf Black Tea. Both of these teas that we regularly procure from this family-run farm are closely related to this month's batch of the Eco-Cha Tea Club. This is the premier batch of Hong Oolong Tea made by this Dong Ding Oolong artisan however, and it exists only because of our encouragement (not nagging!) about trying out a new recipe!

View full article →

Top-4 Taiwan High Mountain Tea Regions
Top-4 Taiwan High Mountain Tea Regions

October 07, 2021 0 Comments

Taiwan is famous for High Mountain Oolong Teas, teas grown above 1000m elevation. The island actually has a number of High Mountain Tea regions, but only a few stand out as being world-renowned. Here we provide a brief overview of the top-4 Taiwan High Mountain Tea areas.

View full article →