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

February 04, 2020

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!





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 →