Eco-Farmed Dong Pian Jade Oolong Tea Tasting Notes | Eco-Cha Tea Club

May 13, 2018

Eco-Farmed Dong Pian Jade Oolong Tea leaves in their rolled and dried form

Our friend who is an organic tea farmer kept this batch separate from his normal practice of combining winter and spring harvests for his high grade produce for retail sale. We discovered that he still had a small amount of this harvest left when we visited his farmhouse a few months ago and inquired if he had any unique batches of tea to share. In classic local manner, he modestly replied that he had a batch of Dong Pian Tsui Yu that was harvested last January. Dong Pian in Chinese basically means late winter harvest, and Tsui Yu is a hybrid strain that is translated as Jade Oolong. We tasted it and were captivated by its character, and were delighted to be told that there was enough tea be shared with the Eco-Cha Tea Club!

Gaiwan teapot brewing Dong Pian Jade Oolong Tea leaves

The late winter growing season causes slow growth rate and results in a distinct composition in the tea leaves. Typically, Dong Pian harvests are processed as a very lightly oxidized tea, due to the fact the the leaves are a bit "tougher" and are not as prone to oxidation. But this batch is sufficiently oxidized, giving it a broader spectrum of flavor and depth of character. The brewed leaves exude a heady herbal bouquet, with a balanced vegetal/mineral character on the palate. The tea has a smooth, full-flavored mouth feel, and offers a bold savory/minty finish.

Overhead view of Eco-Farmed Dong Pian Jade Oolong Tea in a tea cup

The name Jade Oolong comes from its registered name in Taiwan as Tsui Yu, or Tai Cha #13. It's a hybrid strain that was developed by the Taiwan Research and Extension Station at the same time as Jin Xuan/Tai Cha #12, aka Milk Oolong. Jade Oolong was determined to be worth registering and marketing as a viable tea strain due to its distinct floral character in its flavor profile. It also offers a 20% higher yield than Qing Xin Oolong, the classic "original oolong" cultivar that is still most prevalent in Taiwan for Oolong Tea production.

Jade Oolong is now becoming increasingly rare however, as a result of the popularized Four Seasons Spring strain that offers a much higher yield than Jade Oolong, and also has a very prominent floral character when made as a "Green Oolong", i.e. a lightly oxidized, unroasted tea. It is generally acknowledged that Jade Oolong makes a distinctly better quality tea than Four Seasons Spring, especially when processed as a Dong Ding Oolong, i.e. more oxidized, and roasted. But it is a less hardy strain than Four Seasons Spring, produces less yield, and has a shorter life span. We feel that the distinctive flavor of Jade Oolong makes for a better quality tea than both Jin Xuan (Milk Oolong) and Four Seasons Spring. This is another reason why we were excited to find this batch of Eco-Farmed Dong Pian Jade Oolong Tea to share with the Eco-Cha Tea Club.

Eco-Farmed Dong Pian Jade Oolong Tea brewed and served Gongfu style

We look forward to hearing about your experiences of this month's batch of tea being shared with the Eco-Cha Tea Club. Please post your comments, photos and tasting videos here in the comments below for all of us to appreciate. Thanks for being with us, and we'll see you next month!

Eco-Farmed Dong Pian Jade Oolong Tea brewed leaves for visual assessment





Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in News

Roasted High Mountain Black Tea Tasting Notes | Eco-Cha Tea Club
Roasted High Mountain Black Tea Tasting Notes | Eco-Cha Tea Club

June 16, 2021

We continue to be captivated by the character of Batch 67 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club. From the appearance of these dried leaves above to the color of the brewed tea, and of course, most prominently — its flavor profile, it's a unique tea. This is what we most appreciate about the Club — finding something that we truly excited to share. The flavor of this tea is not something we can say we have had before. It really has a lot going on!

View full article →

Roasted High Mountain Black Tea | Eco-Cha Tea Club
Roasted High Mountain Black Tea | Eco-Cha Tea Club

June 16, 2021

Eco-Cha first met Mr. Zhan in 2016, when we smelled tea being roasted beside the historical train station in Shuili — one of our favorite mountain towns in central Taiwan. We learned that he had been transitioning his family tea farm to natural farming methods for several years already. We said that we looked forward to learning more about his work, and hoped to have the chance to procure some tea! Well, some things take time... and 5 years later, here we are — finally able to share a batch of his tea with the Eco-Cha Tea Club!

View full article →

Gateway to the Alishan High Mountain Tea growing region in Taiwan
Alishan High Mountain Jin Xuan Oolong Tea Sourcing (Summer 2021)

June 11, 2021

This year's second crop of Alishan High Mountain Jin Xuan Oolong began to be harvested last week, before rains that lasted several days. Then resumed earlier this week. We first visited our primary source of Alishan High Mountain Tea to taste their first two days of summer harvest. 

View full article →