Traditional Lugu Oolong Tea | Eco-Cha Tea Club

March 07, 2020 1 Comment

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!





1 Response

Yu Ju
Yu Ju

March 15, 2020

Really appreciate the traditional notes of this tea with the right combination of the oxidation and roasting level with such complexity of flavour and rhythm! Thank you so much for introducing traditional farmers like this with their artistic creations for us to enjoy!

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in News

Roasted High Mountain Black Tea Tasting Notes | Eco-Cha Tea Club
Roasted High Mountain Black Tea Tasting Notes | Eco-Cha Tea Club

June 16, 2021

We continue to be captivated by the character of Batch 67 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club. From the appearance of these dried leaves above to the color of the brewed tea, and of course, most prominently — its flavor profile, it's a unique tea. This is what we most appreciate about the Club — finding something that we truly excited to share. The flavor of this tea is not something we can say we have had before. It really has a lot going on!

View full article →

Roasted High Mountain Black Tea | Eco-Cha Tea Club
Roasted High Mountain Black Tea | Eco-Cha Tea Club

June 16, 2021

Eco-Cha first met Mr. Zhan in 2016, when we smelled tea being roasted beside the historical train station in Shuili — one of our favorite mountain towns in central Taiwan. We learned that he had been transitioning his family tea farm to natural farming methods for several years already. We said that we looked forward to learning more about his work, and hoped to have the chance to procure some tea! Well, some things take time... and 5 years later, here we are — finally able to share a batch of his tea with the Eco-Cha Tea Club!

View full article →

Gateway to the Alishan High Mountain Tea growing region in Taiwan
Alishan High Mountain Jin Xuan Oolong Tea Sourcing (Summer 2021)

June 11, 2021

This year's second crop of Alishan High Mountain Jin Xuan Oolong began to be harvested last week, before rains that lasted several days. Then resumed earlier this week. We first visited our primary source of Alishan High Mountain Tea to taste their first two days of summer harvest. 

View full article →