Batch 76 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club is a first for us, in the sense that we have never sourced tea from the Lalashan region before. Lalashan is the northernmost high elevation tea growing area on the island of Taiwan, and has a significantly colder and usually wetter climate than all other regions. Snowfall on Taiwan's High Mountain Tea farms is a rare occasion. In fact, only a small portion of Taiwan tea farms have ever seen snow. We share this image to represent the location and climate in the Lalashan that sets it apart. The photo above was taken in 2016.
Higher elevations offer greater diurnal temperature variations — basically warm sunny days and cold nights. This is very beneficial to producing tea leaves with more substantial constitution. Hours of sunshine followed by afternoon fog and chilly nights are ideal climate conditions for quality tea. This is why Taiwan's tea farmers have taken great pains to develop tea farms in remote regions.
For its size, Taiwan has an amazingly diverse geography and climate. Northern Taiwan is much colder than the south, and the mountainous terrain feels closer to a temperate, rather than subtropical climate. This is what intrigues us about Lalashan. The most famous name among Taiwan High Mountain Oolongs is unquestionably Li Shan — because it's both the highest elevation region and its prime climate conditions. Lalashan is far north of Lishan, so while its tea farms are at lower elevation, the climate is often comparable.
The owner of this farm is our neighbor in southern Nantou County. This tea farm is 4-5 hour drive away! So he goes up to the farm every month or two and lives in the tea factory for several days while maintaining the farm, and of course during harvest. His grandfather and father developed a farm in the famous Shi Zhuo area of the Alishan region before migrating north to Lalashan. We feel good about this newly made connection, and look forward to getting to know this family more. Read about the tasting notes here!
LET US KNOW!
Please post any questions or comments you may have in the comments section below!
If you enjoyed this post and would like to hear more about the specialty tea industry here in Taiwan, follow us on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram and please subscribe to our newsletter. Subscribe now and get $5 off your first order!