Traditional Lugu Oolong Tea | Eco-Cha Tea Club

March 07, 2020 0 Comments

Batch #52 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club is a Traditional Lugu Oolong Tea from the most recent winter harvest in November 2019. This the second batch of tea Eco-Cha has sourced from this farmer. We first shared the winter 2018 harvest with the Eco-Cha Tea Club last June. This independent tea farmer is a prime example of local artisan tea culture. 

Lugu tea farmer on his high mountain tea farm

Mr. Zhang's father cultivated tea on their homesteaded land in Xiaobantian, on the southside of Lugu Township, where he grew up in the midst of traditional tea making. At 20 something, Mr. Zhang decided to embody his local tradition by clearing his uncle's yet-to-be farmed land to cultivate his own plot of tea higher up and deeper into the mountains. 

Since this time, he also acquired seasonal work in tea factories in Lugu, Shanlinxi, Alishan, Fanzaitian, and Lishan. In a word, he learned the ropes of tea making in a comprehensive way, like most tea farmers of his generation. Lugu Township hosts the highest concentration of both traditional Oolong and High Mountain Tea makers in Taiwan, and is a hub of specialty tea making culture.

Lugu elder tea maker serving his guests

Above is a photo of Grandpa Zhang when we recently visited to pick up this month's batch of tea. He was excited about our visit, and especially prepared a healthy winter snack of sweet soup with taro he grew himself. Grandpa is true country folk, and we were his honored guests!

The recent winter yield was very minimal all over Taiwan, but especially from farms like this one that rely solely on rain for irrigation. After heavy rains at the very beginning of the growing season in September, it stopped raining altogether — for two months! Mr. Zhang's winter yield was about a third of the normal amount. The only good thing about this is that the tea leaves that did grow made some very good tea! We got a sample in January, after he roasted the leaves 3 times over almost two months, and immediately called him up to reserve just enough to share with the Tea Club. 

View of Lugu Township from high mountain tea farm

 Above is the view from the farm, overlooking Xiaobantian in the foreground and downtown Lugu beyond. This farm is at the foot of Dalunshan (Big Wheel Mountain), which is the beginning of the Shanlinxi High Mountain Tea growing region. Mr. Zhang employs relatively sustainable farm management, with minimal fertilization and pest control. This allows his tea trees to be more self-sufficient, even though it compromises the volume of his seasonal yield. He is committed to keeping it real by spending less on farm products, and accepting the lower volume of more natural produce. He believes that this has resulted in his trees producing leaves with more substance, which make better quality tea.

LET US KNOW!

If you liked this article, please leave a comment in the comments section below or leave any questions you may have as well.

SUBSCRIBE!

If you enjoyed this post 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!






Also in News

Lishan High Mountain Oolong Tea Tasting Notes | Eco-Cha Tea Club
Lishan High Mountain Oolong Tea Tasting Notes | Eco-Cha Tea Club

September 12, 2021 0 Comments

The summer batch is noticeably less oxidized than the spring batch, and has maintained its fresh green character that Lishan tea is most renowned for. The leaves were sufficiently oxidized in order to remove the green grassy character that is inherently in the leaves. This is what distinguishes Oolong from Green Tea. Just a minimal amount of oxidation resulting from gently shuffling the leaves intermittently over long periods of wilting transforms the chemical compounds in the leaves, offering a more complex and substantial flavor profile. This batch of tea offers a buttery, savory aroma — especially upon moistening the leaves, but also throughout subsequent brews. The flavor profile is mildly sweet fresh cream, with herbal notes. The finish is clean, soft, yet lingering and subtly heady, with floral undertones.

View full article →

Li Shan High Mountain Oolong Tea | Eco-Cha Tea Club
Li Shan High Mountain Oolong Tea | Eco-Cha Tea Club

September 11, 2021 0 Comments

he climate in the Lishan region is strikingly different from other tea producing regions. At 2000m elevation, and a valley situated in a direction that allows the north-easterly wind patterns to offer drastic diurnal temperature variations — tea leaves produced here are of a different caliber. We are thrilled to be sharing a batch of tea from the area that really is most impressive in terms of its "high mountain" character!

View full article →

Taiwan Tea Masters Seminar 2021
Taiwan Tea Masters Seminar 2021

September 09, 2021 0 Comments

Taiwan's Tea Research and Extension Service (TRES) recently hosted a seminar that showcased the tea making skills of 15 champion prize winning tea masters from throughout Taiwan. Each shared his skill in making a particular type of tea. Here we give a behind-the-scenes look at what went down at this one of a kind event.

View full article →