Light Roast Phoenix Village Oolong Tasting Notes | Eco-Cha Tea Club
The home of tradtionally made Taiwan Oolong Tea
Phoenix Village is located just above Dong Ding Mountain, and is home to the densest population of traditional tea artisans in Taiwan. Our friend's father, who is a recognized elder of this tradition, supervised the initial processing stages of this batch of tea.
The truth is, our favorite batches of traditionally made Taiwanese Oolongs have come from this community of family owned farms in the foothills of Phoenix Mountain in Lugu Township. We've been told it's the soil, and the mid-elevation climate that is most conducive to making a traditionally made Oolong Tea. But in our own perception, it's the expertise that comes from generations of tea making that results in the character of tea that we love the most.
This batch of tea was processed as a traditional Dong Ding Oolong Tea. But when Grandpa Liu roasted it once, he decided that the flavor profile and overall character of tea offered something unique, so he wisely went no further. And so it is that we tasted a particularly impressive light roast Oolong Tea just in time to procure the remainder of this batch.
The aroma is strikingly reminiscent of fresh scones, cinnamon and brown sugar. The brewed tea offers a thick, smooth mouth feel, with notes of Swiss Chard sauteed in butter. Overall, is has a balanced, sweet and mildly astringent character, with pronounced buttery, brown sugar and savory dark green leafy vegetal qualities. In sum, it's the definition of satisfying! It has the clean, refreshing characteristics of any quality Oolong Tea, but it is so pleasant in its delivery! We find it to be simply delectable.
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Eco-Cha Tea Club's batch #48 is Alishan High Mountain Black Tea. It has a very balanced, integrated flavor profile, and offers subtle notes of a Qing Xin Oolong. The brewed leaves still have a greenish hue, even though the stems are quite reddish, indicating nearly full oxidation. It is an interesting hybrid of tea types, but definitely acts more like a Black Tea made from the small leaf type Qing Xin strain.
This very small fall harvest of naturally cultivated Oolong leaves was painstakingly processed by a father and son team who are top representatives of their local tea industry. The most inspiring fact is that the son is wholeheartedly inheriting his family's tradition, and this small batch of tea is testimony to that.
The name "Hong Shui (Red Water) Oolong" has been a buzzword in Oolong circles in recent years. But the tea makers who have inherited their local tradition say that this is simply a new name for tea processed like their grandfathers taught them. It used to just be called "Oolong Tea"!