FREE GLOBAL SHIPPING ON ORDERS OVER $75.

Eco-Cha Tea Club: Hong Shui Oolong Tasting Notes

June 12, 2017

Traditional processing methods are indicated in the appearance of the leaves shown above in two easily recognizable ways. A significant degree of oxidation is noticed by the light-brown hues on the stems and outer edges of the leaves. Secondly, the leaves are not as tightly rolled as the more modern versions of High Mountain Tea and competition grade Dong Ding Oolong. The size of the dried leaves also shows that they were allowed to mature on the plant before being harvested. Modern commercial tea production typically harvests the leaves when they are younger.

We recently heard a leading representative in the industry say that he believes the rich substantial flavor that we enjoyed up until 20 years ago, but is rarely found nowadays is primarily due to harvesting immature leaves. There is simply less substance in younger leaves, which are more easily processed to produce consistent quality when making lightly oxidized tea. Traditional tea production involves fewer harvests annually, with longer growing seasons. This obviously compromises the annual yield, which is a primary reason why traditionally made teas are not widely produced.

The rich reddish-amber hue of the brewed tea is also a clear indication of substantially oxidized tea leaves, especially since they were left unroasted. Hong Shui Oolong tea leaves are more heavily oxidized than its close cousin, Dong Ding Oolong. Dong Ding Oolong reaches a comparative level of rich, robust character due to the additional roasting process. Hong Shui is a more pure character in that the flavor profile is derived directly from the constituents in the leaves, whereas roasting is a type of "flavor enhancer",  just as it is in the culinary world.

So Hong Shui Oolong has a slightly milder and sweeter character than Dong Ding, with a tangy, fruity profile that is reminiscent of fruit pastries or dried fruit. It has a robust, complex aroma, with a mild, sweet flavor profile. It also carries enough substance to offer a heady, yet clean finish. It's a character that, once it's familiar, it never gets old or boring.

We are excited to have the privilege to source this tea directly from local artisans who are proudly representing their tradition. We've been wanting to share this prototype of traditionally made Taiwanese tea with the Eco-Cha Tea Club since its beginning, and we finally made it happen! Please share your experience of this tea in the comments below, and we'll see you next month!





Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in News

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 →

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

April 02, 2018

This month's batch of tea being shared with the Eco-Cha Tea Club was entered into the winter 2017 Nantou County Tea Trade Association's Dong Ding Jin Xuan Tea Competition, and received the Gold Medal Award. This award ranks within the top 5% of all entries. This competition has been in existence for almost 25 years. It began with the development of Jin Xuan tea production in the early 1990's.

View full article →

Eco-Cha Teas cold brew tea bottle
Cold Brew Tea Bottle

March 21, 2018

Contrary to what the recent weather has indicated, spring IS on its way! And while all those pots of freshly brewed hot tea provided warmth and well-being through the winter, it's time to start getting out and about. But there's no need to leave your beloved tea at home. From now until March 31st, order $50 or more of tea and you'll get this free cold brew tea bottle (retail value $15.99) to take your tea along with you! Make your order $75 or more, you'll also get free global shipping!

View full article →