Eco-Cha Tea Club: Leafhopper High Mountain Tea Tasting Notes

November 08, 2017

The noticeably yellowish hue on many of the tightly rolled dried leaves shown above is a tell-tale indicator of the Green Leafhopper's presence during the growing season. Tea leaves that are bitten by the Leafhopper undergo a kind of oxidation while they are still growing. The tea tree's immune response to this minute scarring of the leaf is apparently what gives us the unique, robust complex flavor profile of what is simply called "Leafhopper Tea" in the local Taiwanese dialect.

The most commonly referred to trait in Leafhopper Tea is a honey-essence note in the fragrance as well as the flavor profile. This hint of honey varies greatly from batch to batch of "bug bitten tea", as it is also referred to locally. But the most general characteristic of this tea type is its bold complexity of aroma and flavor. It simply has a substance that clearly distinguishes it from a standard High Mountain Tea.

The constitution of bug-bitten leaves offers a challenge to the tea maker that varies from batch to batch. The leaves must be "read" much more carefully, and processed with an intuition that comes only from experience. This skill in processing these batch-specific leaves is as much of a claim to fame as the bug that is responsible for producing them. A successfully made batch of Leafhopper tea is well-balanced and particularly hearty in character. These leaves have significantly more brewing power along with their unique flavor profile. It is the hearty complex character that defines Leafhopper Tea.

Less leaves can be used in brewing this tea as a result of its robust character. And when the brewing concentration is just right, a heady, rich full-flavored profile is attained. We are excited to share this unroasted batch of Leafhopper tea in order to allow Eco-Cha Tea Club members to experience its original character. We find it to be quite distinct from its relatives Oriental Beauty and Concubine tea in that there is a fresh, clean vibrant profile in these lesser processed leaves.

We look forward to hearing our Eco-Cha Tea Club members' experiences of this batch, along with any questions or reflections that may ensue from enjoying this unique tea type. Please post your comments, photos and videos here for all of us to learn from!





Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in News

Eco-Cha Tea Club: Jin Xuan GABA Black Tea Tasting Notes
Eco-Cha Tea Club: Jin Xuan GABA Black Tea Tasting Notes

April 11, 2019

Mr. Xie has been producing significant quantities of GABA Oolong Tea for several years, but this is the first batch of GABA tea that he processed as a Black Tea. After sharing his hand-picked, naturally farmed GABA Oolong that had been aged for a full year last July, we are excited to share this batch that was harvested last June, and aged 9 months. While these time periods do not qualify as "aging" tea, they do allow the composition of the leaves to mellow and offer a richer, more full-bodied character.

View full article →

Tea plant flower
Red Jade Black Tea: Taiwan's Black Tea Specialty

April 03, 2019

What is called "red tea" (紅茶 / 红茶) in Chinese is known as Black Tea in English. Taiwan has its own special Black Tea named Red Jade Black Tea due to its luminescent reddish-ochre brew. Also known as Taiwan Tea No. 18, Red Jade Black Tea is a hybrid of the Assam tea plant and the wild tea tree that grows naturally in the mountain forests of Taiwan.

View full article →

Eco-Cha Tea Club: Jin Xuan GABA Black Tea
Eco-Cha Tea Club: Jin Xuan GABA Black Tea

April 02, 2019

After years of honing his GABA tea making skills using Oolong processing methods, Mr. Xie decided to process this harvest as a GABA Black Tea for the first time. The entire harvest amounted to less than 20 kg, and by the time we found out about it, there was barely enough to be shared with our Tea Club members!

View full article →