Light Roast Yushan High Mountain Oolong Tea | Eco-Cha Tea Club

February 04, 2020 0 Comments

Dongpu Hot Springs Gateway Teapot Monument

Batch #51 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club was sourced from an organic High Mountain Oolong Tea farm located at the trailhead to Taiwan's highest peak — Yushan, or Jade Mountain. This plot of tea is situated high up in a gorge that is the source Dong Pu Hot Springs. The teapot monument above is at the gateway to Dongpu Village.

The photo above was taken just a few weeks ago at sunrise, when we slept out on the farm. The frost covered trees at the top of the ridge above the waterfall glistened in the first rays of morning sun. At about 1400m, this farm has the rare luxury of an uphill source of irrigation at this elevation. There is a waterfall further up the gorge, and small tributaries into the gorge on the side slopes. The tea farm gets morning sun, and is socked in with fog most afternoons. The diurnal temperature variation is more extreme than most micro-climates at this elevation. This temperature variation is the primary asset of high elevation tea farms in terms of tea quality.

Tea harvest at organic tea farm in Dongpu Hot Springs

The farm is allowed to become overgrown with weeds between harvests, and then cut back to become fertilizer, along with leaves gathered from desiduous trees. There is no development above the farm other than an outdoor hotspring and a small guest house run by the same family that owns and manages this tea farm that was established almost 30 years ago, and transitioned to organic over 10 years ago. The tea trees are Qing Xin Oolong strain, with some grown from seed produced by the trees on the farm. So there are variants of the strain as a result of naturally growing from seed. The leaves of these variants are larger and rounder than the original cloned strain. 

Above is the farm in its recent dormant winter  phase, after the trees were pruned back for the first time in 4 years. This will allow for a burst of new growth this coming spring. The pristine, isolated environs of this farm make it a prized source of organic high mountain tea in Taiwan. Originally, the winter crop was reserved to be sold as raw produce to an organic tea brand, but the growing conditions this past winter produced so little yield that the deal was forfeited. This is why we were fortunate enough to procure enough to share with the Eco-Cha Tea Club!

Not only were we fortunate enough to procure part of the recent winter harvest, but it was also sufficiently oxidized to be suitable for a light roasting. We decided to call on our favorite tea maker, Grandpa Liu (with the help of his grandson) to do the roasting for us. We specifically requested a light roast — just enough to remove any remaining moisture in the leaves, and bring forth the flavor constituents within. We discovered a subtle bug bitten influence in the flavor profile after the roasting. It's a batch of tea that has been a long time coming from this source, and we are proud and honored to share it!

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 →