The Lugu Farmers' Association Dong Ding Oolong Tea Competition

December 08, 2019

The Lugu Farmers' Association Dong Ding Oolong Tea Competition was the first modern tea industry competition to be established in Taiwan in 1976, and has been the primary model for other competitions to follow.

In the initial phases of the judging process, the teas are categorized into four levels of quality: A,B,C, and D. By the end of the initial phase, those entries that fall into the D category (up to 45% of the total entries!) are disqualified from the competition. Those rated in the C category (roughly 20% of the total entries) are given the grade of two plum blossoms and are marketed at a significant margin above the standard regional market price. Those in the B category (about 15% of the total entries) are given the grade of three plum blossoms and can be sold for significantly more than their two blossom competitors.

The remaining A category (about 20%) qualifies for further judging and ranking by the senior team of judges. From this category, approximately 5% will be removed from the A category by the senior judges to receive a three plum blossom ranking. The final 15% or so of total entries will be ranked among 3rd Class (8%), Second Class (5%), and First Class (頭等 - 2%) with only the remaining top ten of the First Class entries along with the Champion Prize Winning Tea to be ranked.

Above is a snapshot of the final stage of judging being conducted by our most respected tea professionals in Taiwan. Each of these individuals has generously offered their time and expertise on numerous occasions, accommodating our questions about their work. Respect!

Pictured above is our friend and source of some of our most popular tea selections receiving 3rd Place Prize (頭等貳) in last year's competition. We were offered the opportunity to share this Award Winning Tea at that time, and we look forward to the opportunity to share another Top10 Award Winning Tea again — perhaps in the weeks to come!

Here is a shot of what a typical Tea Competition Fair looks like, following the Award Ceremony. This is when participants in the competition have the opportunity to sell directly to retail customers who attend the event, facilitated by the Farmers' Association following each spring and winter tea competition.

And for a historic perspective, here is a birdseye view of the competition fair with the landmark of Dong Ding Mountain in the background, viewed from the Lugu Farmers' Association. 

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

Tea sourcing trip by motorcycle to the Alishan region of Taiwan
Alishan High Mountain Oolong Fall 2020 Tea Sourcing Trip

September 24, 2020

It was a beautiful morning, and although the sun was quite strong, it felt so good to be doing what we love most — riding into the hills to source quality Taiwanese Tea! We've ridden this rode at dozens of times over the last 20+ years, and it never gets old. Each time we take this trip, we see these mountains in a different light. As far as we recall, this is the first time we stopped at this awesome spot on this bridge!

View full article →

Hong Shui Oolong Tea
Traditional Hong Shui Oolong Tea Tasting Notes | Eco-Cha Tea Club

September 11, 2020

The full flavored character reflects the mastery that evolved from pre-modern tea producing methods — which our friend learned from his grandfather as a teenager. It's a rich, fruity, complex flavor profile with classic mineral notes, and a vibrant, truly satisfying finish. This, this is the real deal when it comes to traditionally made Oolong Tea from Nantou County, Taiwan!

View full article →

Grandma Chen maker of Traditional Hong Shui Oolong Tea
Traditional Hong Shui Oolong Tea | Eco-Cha Tea Club

September 07, 2020

Batch 58 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club is a Hong Shui Oolong made in the traditional fashion by our friend in his home factory in Phoenix Village, Taiwan. He let his family plot of tea behind their traditional 3-sided farmhouse continue to grow after spring harvest in April until the last few days in July. This allows the tea trees to rejuvenate by growing naturally during the most vegetative phase of their annual cycle. He then harvested just the tops of the new growth before pruning his trees for fall harvest.

View full article →