Charcoal Roasted High Altitude Oolong Tea Tasting Notes | Eco-Cha Tea Club
Batch #42 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club is from the fall 2018 harvest of a plot of tea in Cuifeng in Ren Ai Township, northern Nantou County, at about 2000m elevation. This day's harvest was supervised by our friend to be oxidized significantly more than the standard High Mountain Oolong produce, with the intent of charcoal roasting it.
Tea grown at high altitude is known for its substantial composition and smooth texture, particularly when the leaves have been sufficiently oxidized. This batch of tea offers that creamy texture and subtle complexity of flavor as a base, with a pronounced charcoal roasted component at the forefront. The charcoal roast is prominent in the first few brews, and the underlying complexity of the tea flavor comes through more and more with each brew.
As the fire-roasted smokiness subsides, the rich mellow character of the tea becomes more prominent. And from here, it's a steady substantial roasty, creamy extravaganza! This tea has some serious endurance, so don' stop at the fourth or fifth brew. With a 1:20 ratio, these leaves will offer multiple brews of lasting flavor and substance.
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We can see in the photo of the dried leaves above that they were hand-plucked while still very young and tender. This is evident not only by the size of the leaves, but also in the protective fur that is still on the whitish colored leaf buds. It is this stage of leaf growth, along with the heirloom cultivar of tea tree that give Bi Luo Chun its distinctive character among Green Teas — especially when it is from the first flush of spring tea buds!