These leaves were harvested from young tea trees that were ready for their very first trimming, prompting them to sprout more branches before growing taller. This premier harvest of organically cultivated Jin Xuan Tea plants is what we have chosen to share on the occasion of Chinese New Year with the Eco-Cha Tea Club. The character of this tea conveys the vibrant, nutrient-rich, new growth of young tea trees growing on an organic farm.
The harvest took place in early December, so these leaves are the most recent growth on plants nearing 2 years old. This primary trimming of the plants is a necessary stage of their cultivation, and provided a mere 27kg of cured tea leaves. This newest leaf growth on the young plants at the end of the year produced a batch of tea with a substantial, balanced flavor profile. It's a unique batch of Jin Xuan tea in our experience, offering a fresh, green vegetal base with an amazing combination of floral and herbal overtones.
The aroma coming off the leaves in their first steeping offers garden fresh vegetable notes, followed by an exceptional floral and herbal complexity in the flavor profile. There is a smooth, balanced vegetal character in the body like steamed artichoke with a hint of butter. The lasting finish holds a savory bouquet of fresh herbs. The overall character of this tea is especially vibrant, while remaining smooth and balanced throughout the brew, with almost no bitter/astringent edge.
We feel that sharing this premier batch of organic Jin Xuan Oolong Tea at the Chinese New Year is an auspicious beginning of the Year of the Earth Dog! We've undeniably felt our connection with this farmer grow from business to friendship in the span of time since this plot of tea was planted. This is the heart of the matter that continues to sustain and inspire our efforts to share our life in tea through the Eco-Cha Tea Club.
We look forward to hearing about your experience of this tea, so please remember to share your comments, photos, and tasting videos here for all of our tea club members to appreciate. Happy Chinese New Year!
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Red Oolong offers a smooth, balanced, mildly sweet, rich but not quite bold flavor profile, with elements of fruit compote, pumpkin pie, and a hint of dried flowers. This ultra-friendly character, combined with the fact that almost all Red Oolong is cultivated naturally on the southeast coast of Taiwan, facing the wide open Pacific, which reminds a North American of Washington State or British Columbia, is no wonder why it is rapidly gaining popularity on the international market. Once again, Taiwan leads the way in Oolong Tea innovation!
This month's batch of tea being shared with the Eco-Cha Tea Club was made by Mr. Su — an 80 year-old artisan of traditional Dong Ding Oolong Tea. He planted a plot of the Tie Guan Yin strain in his backyard several years ago, and this is the second time we've sourced this tea type from him. Mr. Su is our favorite representative of traditionally made tea in Taiwan, and it brings us a special kind of joy to be able to share his tea with our tea club members.
This batch has a particularly sweet character, with slightly tangy, fruity notes and a pleasantly clean lingering aftertaste. It has just enough of that cured, almost fermented character that makes it reminiscent of a traditionally made Tie Guan Yin Oolong. But given that it was only roasted once, it maintains a mild flavor profile similar to a Hong Shui Oolong.