Eco-Farmed High Mountain Oolong Tea
This is the organic farm from which our new Eco-Farmed High Mountain Oolong Tea is sourced. "Eco-Farmed" is the term we use to designate tea that is sourced from a certified organic farm, but we do not represent the organic certification. This farm is located on the periphery of Yushan National Park in southern Nantou County at about 1200m elevation. They have another plot of tea nearby that is at 1400m. This is one of the most remotely developed residential farming regions on the island, in the vicinity of Taiwan's highest peak — Yushan, or "Jade Mountain".
Edan is the heir of this farm, and has managed it together with his wife Dudung for the last 25 years or so — transitioning it to a certified organic farm in the last decade. Pictured above, Edan is salvaging the root bases of the previous year's crop of artichoke that he grows for a health food company. So while his main produce is tea — from the tea farm that his father developed almost 30 years ago, he also has a 5 year contract with this company who buys his artichoke produce in full to make into a herbal tisane. Below we can see the artichoke plants interspersed with the tea trees.
Edan and Dudung are Taiwanese Aboriginal, of the Bunun Tribe. They were born an raised in the village nearby, and after many years of health issues resulting from commercial vegetable farming as well as managing a guest house, they have settled down in the last decade to manage this humble, yet precious certified organic farm in this pristine, remote mountain region.
The leaves above are from their fall 2020 harvest. This is the same harvest that we shared as Batch 59 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club last October. Our current in store batch was roasted slightly differently, which provides a subtle difference in flavor, but it's the same stock. It offers an exceptionally substantial brew, with a balanced honey, pastry and savory flavor profile. It also has brewing endurance, and can be brewed up to ten times when brewed Gongfu style.
We have never felt more privileged and excited about representing a tea source than we do about this one. We feel so strongly about this farm and its owners that we are making a documentary film of their lives that led them to the place where they are now. We look forward to sourcing tea from them for years and years to follow! If this tea sounds interesting to you, grab some here!
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Batch 63 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club was harvested in November 2020, processed, and then sorted to remove stem material and any discolored leaves in preparation for the winter 2020 competition and the New Taipei City Farmers's Association.
The distinctive quality of Baozhong Tea is that the leaves are shuffled well to induce uniform oxidation, but they are only minimally rolled. This keeps their physical composition in tact. The leaves are not damaged by pressure rolling. This locks in a fresh, green quality that put Baozhong Tea in a category of its own.