Free global shipping on orders $35 or more!

Eco-Cha Tea Club: Honey Fragrance Oolong Tea

December 01, 2016

This batch of tea was harvested from the family-run farm where we regularly source our Dong Ding Oolong. They noticed the presence of the Green Leafhopper on this plot, and harvested it independently from other plots so they could specially process these leaves by letting them oxidize more than normal. The leaves were then only roasted once at low temperature to completely cure them. Here is the single, small batch harvest undergoing solar withering in the courtyard of their traditional home factory, followed by indoor withering on bamboo trays below.

Bug-bitten leaves are tricky to process, and have relatively unpredictable results, so the artisan must rely on experience and understanding of the unique condition of the leaves when harvested to achieve the desired result. Our friend decided that heavier oxidation of the leaves would produce a more balanced composition, which proved correct. He then decided not to risk losing the elusive "honey fragrance" by roasting the leaves to the degree of a more standard Concubine or Dong Ding Oolong. The final result is a batch of tea that is similar to a Hongshui Oolong, but with a distinct "honey fragrance" character that puts it in a flavor profile of its own. We were delighted and surprised to be offered a rare batch of bug-bitten tea from a winter harvest at mid-elevation, as it is a very unusual occurrence. And this natural phenomenon combined with the leaves being processed with traditional expertise has produced a unique batch that is an exciting start of our second year of the Eco-Cha Tea Club.

The bright green speck on a leaf in the slightly blurred phone shot above is what makes Honey Fragrance Oolong tea — The Green Leafhopper. A tiny flying insect appears in tea gardens when the combined timing of weather and new leaf growth is just right. It really is a bit of nature's magic at work along with traditional knowledge that provides us with a unique batch of tea like this one. We look forward to hearing about your experience of this winter harvest of Honey Fragrance Oolong!





Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in News

ECO-CHA TEA CLUB: GOLD MEDAL AWARD WINNING DONG DING CUI YU OOLONG TEA TASTING NOTES
ECO-CHA TEA CLUB: GOLD MEDAL AWARD WINNING DONG DING CUI YU OOLONG TEA TASTING NOTES

October 11, 2018

The hybrid strain of Cui Yu (翠玉), a.k.a. Tsui Yu, or Jade Oolong, can withstand traditional processing methods of heavier oxidation and roasting with good results. This hybrid strain that became popular in the late 1980's and 1990's along with Jin Xuan, is now becoming relatively rare. 

View full article →

Eco-Cha Tea Club: Gold Medal Award Winning Dong Ding Cui Yu Oolong Tea
Eco-Cha Tea Club: Gold Medal Award Winning Dong Ding Cui Yu Oolong Tea

October 06, 2018

This month's batch of tea being shared with the Eco-Cha Tea Club was entered into in the spring 2018 Nantou County Tea Trade Association's Dong Ding Tsui Yu (Cui Yu) Tea Competition, and received the Gold Medal Award. This award ranks within the top 5% of all entries.

View full article →

Shanlinxi High Mountain Oolong Tea harvest. Tea leaves being picked by hand.
Taiwan's Top Ten Most Famous Teas

September 14, 2018

Here's a list of the top 10 teas that Taiwan is most famous for, followed by a brief description of each one. The word Oolong refers to any type of partially oxidized tea i.e. from 5% to 85% oxidation. It also refers to specific processing methods that clearly distinguish it from Green and Black Tea types.

View full article →