Eco-Cha Tea Club: Da Yu Ling High Mountain Oolong Tasting Notes
This month's batch of Da Yu Ling High Mountain Oolong tea being shared with the Eco-Cha Tea Club is sufficiently oxidized and unroasted. This style of processing transforms the fresh, green character into a more balanced, sweeter, full bodied brew while maintaining the delicate floral and vegetal aromatic notes.
The brewing arrangement shown above includes a spouted gaiwan brewing pot and two pitchers. This allows each brew to be poured into an empty pitcher to be tasted on its own. Then, the remainder of each can be poured into a second pitcher to be enjoyed later, after each successive brew has been experienced.
We used 9g of tea leaves in a 150ml porcelain gaiwan, and brewed it for about 1 minute per brew, extending the brewing time slightly each time. Using this method, these leaves can be brewed at least six times, or more.
The aroma of the brewed leaves is a deep, foresty green combined with subtle sweet pastry and floral notes. The brew is smooth on the palate, balanced, with creamy vegetal and delicate flowery notes, and a vibrant, lingering finish.
In addition to the broader spectrum of fresh vibrant notes that the highest elevation teas offer, there is a substantial consistency and smoothness of texture that these thicker heartier leaves produce. The main reason for this is the greater daily temperature changes between night and day, which results in higher concentrations of particular compounds in the leaves that produce these flavor characteristics.
We look forward to hearing about our Tea Club members' experiences of this batch of tea that we are proud to be able to share in both a sustainable and an exclusive way.
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The medium oxidized leaves have undergone extensive, repeated roastings that have resulted in a very balanced, integrated character. The initial steepings offer a freshly cut wood aroma with a toasted nutty flavor. This proceeds to open up into a sweeter, more complex profile that is strikingly reminiscent of roasted winter vegetables, including parsnip, caramelized onion and butternut squash.
Mr. Zhang's father cultivated tea on their homesteaded land in Xiaobantian, on the southside of Lugu Township, where he grew up in the midst of traditional tea making. At 20 something, he decided to embody his local tradition by clearing land to cultivate his own plot of tea. For the last 20 years, he has managed his own humble, privately owned plot of tea. Throughout this period, he also acquired seasonal work in tea factories in Lugu, Shanlinxi, Alishan, Fanzaitian, and Lishan. In a word, he learned the ropes of tea making in a comprehensive way, like most tea farmers of his generation. Lugu hosts the highest concentration of tea makers in Taiwan, and is a hub of specialty tea making culture.