Free global shipping on orders $35 or more!

Eco-Cha Tea Club: Light Roast Concubine Oolong Tasting Notes

March 14, 2019 1 Comment

Eco-Cha Tea Club Light Roast Concubine Oolong brewed tea in pitcher and cup

It's an especially exciting occasion when we are able to offer a batch of bug bitten tea with the Eco-Cha Tea Club. Namely because each batch of tea that has been affected by the Green Leafhopper is by definition unique. The extent to which this magical equation of the tea plants reacting to the bugs feeding on their young leaves results in endless variations from leaf to leaf. In other words, each leaf is affected to a different degree, and by the time it is harvested and processed, it is impossible to know how it will actually taste. And the truth is, not all bug bitten batches of tea end up tasting delicious, but this one did!

Eco-Cha Tea Club Light Roast Concubine Oolong brewed tea in a cup

Concubine Tea is a name that was coined by the Lugu Farmers' Association, following a major earthquake in 1999 in central Taiwan. Many farms were left untended for months afterwards, which resulted in a lot of "bug bitten tea" by the time tea farmers were able to harvest again. It's a name used to describe tea that is made from leaves that were affected by the Green Leafhopper , and processed in the fashion of Dong Ding Oolong Tea, but slightly less roasted. This month's batch of tea was only roasted once, and we just happened to taste it just after it came out of the oven for the first time, so we are calling it a light roast.

We were captivated by the flavor profile with the first sip when our mentor Lisa Lin brewed for us on an impromptu visit to her home. It's vibrant, fresh, complex, and also smooth and balanced. Its overall profile carries delicate floral aromatic notes, and a distinct honey-like flavor suspended in a thick, smooth composition. The most distinctive aspect of this batch is that it maintains a very fresh character while having no green vegetal or herbal qualities. It's an amazing balance of delicate floweriness and freshly baked scones. In sum, it's a proper tribute to the magic of bug bitten tea!

Eco-Cha Tea Club Light Roast Concubine Oolong brewed tea leaves

We feel that there is some authentic serendipity in the opportunity to share this month's batch of tea for a couple of reasons. First, we just happened to stop by after Lisa completed the initial roasting of the tea, and got to taste it, and ask if we could purchase it just as it is, without further roasting to bring it closer to the standard of Concubine Oolong. Secondly, Eco-Cha's Andy originally connected his mentor to this source of tea 3 years ago, and Lisa has been buying bug bitten tea from them ever since. She then proceeds to roast the leaves with a deep intuitive attention to their character that is batch specific. It's this mix of factors that we continue to find our inspiration from, not to mention that we can share it with our Tea Club members around the world!

Eco-Cha Tea Club Light Roast Concubine Oolong Gong fu brewing method

LET US KNOW !

What did you think of this article? Have any questions? We really want to know what you think! Leave any thoughts or questions in the comment section below!

SUBSCRIBE!

If you found this post useful and would like to hear more about the specialty tea industry here in Taiwan, follow us on YouTubeFacebook, and Instagram and please subscribe to our newsletter. Subscribe now and get $5 off your first order!





1 Response

Nicholas Kusanto
Nicholas Kusanto

March 26, 2019

Hi eco cha,

Was quite excited to try this. The descriptors you use helped me actually identify similar flavor profiles to a lishan tea I had tried somewhere else. Makes me think that while it might not have been marketed as a jassid bitten tea there might be some evidence of such. Just received the package yesterday and here are a couple notes from my first two sessions.

I am new so take my recommendations with a grain of salt!

Don’t over stuff your gaiwan. It can get a bit bitter if you dont control leaf to water ratio.

It has an agava syrup sweetness rather than a honey sweetness. I mean that its a but more subtle, which gives you a nice balance with the astrigency. I still feel I can taste faint vegetal notes in the tea that remind me of taiwanese gaoshan cha.

It tastes darker than it looks. Can be steeped multiple times. The flavor profile is much more interesting than a typical gaoshan cha.

Any help with tasting technique will help a lot!
Thanks again!
Nick

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in News

Eco-Cha Tea Club: Light Roast Concubine Oolong Tea
Eco-Cha Tea Club: Light Roast Concubine Oolong Tea

March 07, 2019 1 Comment

Andy visited the farm a second time because the older brother had told him that he had transitioned his own plots of tea to completely natural farming, i.e. not using any chemical pesticides or fertilizers. The image above clearly shows the contrast of a transitional plot of tea in the foreground, compared to the commercially farmed plots of tea on the neighboring farm below in the background.

View full article →

Eco-Cha Roasted Tsui Yu Oolong Tea leaves
A Roasted Tsui Yu Oolong Tea

February 28, 2019

Great news for roasted tea lovers! We have a new roasted tea selection on our shelves that is both affordable and delectable! Our new Roasted Tsui Yu Oolong is the perfect coffee alternative, for those looking to cut down on their caffeine intake. It has a rich, bold, hearty character that makes it a great coffee sub

View full article →

Pure caffeine
How Much Caffeine is in Taiwan Oolong Tea

February 17, 2019 2 Comments

How much caffeine is in Oolong Tea or tea leaves in general isn't as cut and dry as many articles out there would have you believe. The majority of articles simply state how many milligrams of caffeine are in a cup of tea and ignore important factors like brewing temperature, ratio of water to leaves, brewing method, and the specific type of tea. Here, we look at the factors that affect how much caffeine there is Oolong Teas with a look at Taiwan Oolong Teas in particular.

View full article →