FREE GLOBAL SHIPPING ON ORDERS OVER $75.

Eco-Cha Tea Club: High Mountain Hong Shui Oolong Tea

December 04, 2017

This month's batch of tea being shared with the Eco-Cha Tea Club is truly a unique find that came to us only via our dear friend and teacher. We met him about 20 years ago, and only in recent years have begun to call upon his expertise and deep roots in the local industry. After decades of managing his family farm and apprenticing under local masters, he has simplified his position by renting out his factory to tea farmers and working with them to support their farming methods and tea making styles.

We see this designated role he has created for himself as a significant contributing factor to the sustainability of specialty tea making. He actively supports farmers and tea makers who are making tea that has a distinctive quality, and we can confidently say that he knows more than most in the industry what defines quality tea. He is a fourth generation tea maker that began his career by studying with the most renowned masters on Dong Ding Mountain and he also worked in factories on Da Yu Ling some 30 years ago. Since then he has been immersed in the industry as a farmer, tea maker and merchant. We feel humbled and privileged every time we are welcomed into his home and educated by his modest but solid comprehension of Taiwanese Tea.

Our friend procured the tea from a farmer friend who sold his fresh produce to the only surviving heir of a family tea making tradition in the Yonglong/Fenghuang community in Lugu. This community is the heart of Dong Ding Oolong Tea along with the lesser known specialty of Hong Shui Oolong Tea. This young tea maker impressed our friend by his careful and arduous processing methods. He observed this 20 something year old heir of his family tradition implementing processing methods that are now rare. Most fundamentally, the oxidation of the leaves took a full 24 hours — with multiple shuffling and tumbling of the leaves to result in an even gradation of oxidation from the periphery inward. This required doubling the cost of labor in order to create this effect. This batch of tea was made to order, and was only made available to us because the owner of the factory was compelled to request a small portion of this batch from the farmer who provided the raw produce. Our friend offered us half of his share in this batch. This is what makes us inspired and especially qualified to facilitate the Eco-Cha Tea Club!





Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in News

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

May 13, 2018

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!

View full article →

Eco-Cha Tea Club: Eco-Farmed Dong Pian Jade Oolong Tea
Eco-Cha Tea Club: Eco-Farmed Dong Pian Jade Oolong Tea

May 06, 2018

Shown above is the more recently planted section of a plot of Tsui Yu, aka Tai Cha #13, aka Jade Oolong. The crop that we are sharing with the Eco-Cha Tea Club this month was harvested in January, which makes it a relatively rare batch of tea in that it was harvested well after the winter harvest. In Taiwan, harvests that occur after December 21st are referred to as "Dong Pian", which is a name that connotes a new leaf growth that is stunted by the winter season. This late winter crop offers a distinctive character based on the slow growth of the new leaves on the tea trees.

View full article →

Eco-Cha Tea Club: Gold Medal Award Dong Ding Jin Xuan Oolong Tea Tasting Notes
Eco-Cha Tea Club: Gold Medal Award Dong Ding Jin Xuan Oolong Tea Tasting Notes

April 03, 2018

With the first brew poured off, the leaves offer a distinctly roasted character with nutty, fruitwood fireside notes. After the second brew the aroma of the brewed leaves turns a bit fruity, with a warming spice sweetness reminiscent of pumpkin pie. The tea has a roasted flavor upfront, followed by a sweetness like grilled fresh corn. Then it moves into a more balanced, rich, complex character and smooth texture. The second visual assessment of competition teas is the purity of color and transparency of the brewed tea. It should be clear and luminescent.

View full article →