Roasted High Mountain Black Tea | Eco-Cha Tea Club
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!
We felt it was time to search out a special batch of Black Tea, since the last batch was about a year ago. Mr. Zhan had just what we were looking for! This batch of tea is a combination of last year's spring and summer harvests that were processed as Black Tea, destemmed, and then stored. When we tasted a sample of this batch that he had roasted, we were intrigued by its distinctive character. This tea is naturally cultivated Qing Xin cultivar at 1450m elevation in the Yushan High Mountain Tea growing region. Our friend Isabella Lin (@Ciao Cha Tea 敲敲茶), who is serving tea in the photo above, took this photo of the farm during the recent spring harvest just a few weeks ago.
As we sat and drank tea and chatted about the local tea industry between Yushan and Sun Moon Lake, we discovered that we have many mutual friends — all connected by tea. We are grateful for this chance to get to know Mr. Zhan better, and truly admire his continued efforts to manage this farm on his own, well into his sixties. It's a modest operation that yields less than 500 kg annually. But this is just the kind of production that Eco-Cha strives to support and encourage in the tea industry here in Taiwan. It's also where interesting artisanal teas can be found!
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We have become close friends, and this is a unique connection in our 25 years of involvement with tea producers in the local Taiwan tea industry. This farm is a rare resource, given its environment and micro-climate. The owners have faced many challenges and only in the last few years have developed their organic farming to a stable situation. Now, with some support and guidance, we believe they will soon be producing some of the best organic tea in Taiwan!