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!

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!





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 →