Light Roast Concubine Oolong Tea | Eco-Cha Tea Club

March 08, 2019 1 Comment

View of Tai He from Zhangshuhu, Meishan Township, Taiwan

The image above shows the ridges and valleys of northern Meishan Township in Chiayi County, where this month's batch of tea was grown. Tai He Community is a small, remote development of residential farms at around 1000 m elevation. We were first introduced to this particular farm in 2015 by Eco-Cha Andy's next door neighbor, who had been buying tea from this farmer on annual basis for years.

Eco-Cha at their source of Concubine Oolong Tea

Above is a selfie that Andy took on his second visit to the farm, when the younger brother showed him their family plots of tea. The photo above shows the conventionally farmed plot of tea managed by the younger brother, located below the older brother's plot of tea that is at the top of the farmland.

natural vs. conventional tea farms

Andy visited the farm a second time because the older brother had told him that he had transitioned his own plots of tea to completely natural farming, i.e. not using any chemical pesticides or fertilizers. The image above clearly shows the contrast of a transitional plot of tea in the foreground, compared to the commercially farmed plots of tea on the neighboring farm below in the background.

Taihe farming community in Meishan Township, Taiwan

On this visit in May 2016, Andy brought back samples from 3 different days of harvest, and tasted them with his mentor Lisa Lin. Lisa brewed the samples, tasted each of them, and immediately decided to purchase all 3 days of the harvest! This was because they were of good quality, but especially because the flavor profiles all had subtle indications of the leaves being bug bitten. In other words, this crop of tea had noticeably been affected by the Green Leafhopper — a tiny little insect that likes to feed on tender leaf buds, and is responsible for the making of both Oriental Beauty in northern Taiwan, and Concubine Oolong in central Taiwan. And when Lisa roasted these batches of tea, the honey character that results from the bug bitten effect became much more pronounced. This was the beginning of Eco-Cha sourcing Concubine Oolong Tea produced on this farm and masterfully roasted by Lisa!

This month's batch of tea being shared with the Eco-Cha Tea Club was harvested in spring 2018. It just so happened that Andy visited Lisa the day after she opened and roasted one bulk bag (about 18kg) from this harvest. Normally, Concubine Tea is roasted at least twice, and sometimes several times before the desired character is achieved. But bug bitten tea is always an anomaly in that each batch is different. Andy took one sip of this tea after its first roasting, and knew that it was worth sharing just as it was. And so, we have it — a light roast Concubine Oolong Tea!

View of Zhangshuhu from Taihe, Meishan Township, Taiwan

Above is a view of Zhangshuhu, looking out from the farm that we sourced this batch of tea. Zhangshuhu produces some of the best quality Alishan High Mountain Tea available. The increasingly high demand for this community's produce has made it a less sustainable source for quality High Mountain Tea. We have opted to source our Alishan High Mountain Oolong Tea from neighboring communities that are still relatively "under the radar", more sustainable, and still make great High Mountain Tea !

LET US KNOW !

What did you think of this article? Have any questions? We really want to know what you think! Leave any thoughts or questions in the comment section below!

SUBSCRIBE!

If you found this post useful 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

Nicholas Kusanto
Nicholas Kusanto

March 26, 2019

Love the tea! Definitely taste the honey notes, even an hour after my tea session!

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in News

Alishan high mountain jin xuan oolong tea farm
Alishan High Mountain Jin Xuan Oolong Summer 2020: Buttered Love

June 21, 2020

This batch of Alishan High Mountain Jin Xuan Oolong summer 2020 harvest has a very pronounced buttery character. Starting with the leaves put into the pre-heated tea judging cup, they exuded a pronounced buttered toast/popcorn aroma. But the flavor profile is replete with an uncanny buttered popcorn note, it's almost unbelievable! How can tea leaves do this?! It's not only buttered popcorn either! There are distinct floral and vegetal notes that balance out the incredulous and delicious buttered popcorn flavor. OK, enough repetitive description! Click here to get your share.

View full article →

Wenshan Bazhong dried tea leaves
Competition Grade Wenshan Baozhong Tea Tasting Notes| Eco-Cha Tea Club

June 18, 2020 1 Comment

This is what an award winning Wenshan Baozhong Tea looks like, in its dry leaf state, of course. Notice the uniformity in the size and coloration of the leaves. The yellow hues are only in the spine of the leaves, which would naturally protrude into a stem, but the stems have been removed, along with the larger, lighter colored, over-matured leaf stock. This uniformity of leaf material offers a pure flavor profile. It allows for a complexity of aromatic and flavor notes, but it comes from a uniform stock which is essential in producing a purity of character. This is a fundamental aspect of competition grade tea. It's not muddled. It's refined.

View full article →

Wenshan Baozhong tea field
Competition Grade Wenshan Baozhong Tea | Eco-Cha Tea Club

June 14, 2020

Batch #55 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club is an award-winning Wenshan Baozhong Tea that was entered in the recent spring tea competition of the local Farmers' Association. Preparation for competition involves removing the bulkier stems from the leaves, and also sorting the leaves by coloration to achieve the most uniform stock of leaf material possible. 

View full article →