Batch 79 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club is a Roasted Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Oolong Tea. It is the roasted version of our winter 2021 batch we offered in our store. Our friend from whom we sourced this tea submitted a single entry from this same harvest into the Lugu Farmers' Association Dong Ding Oolong Tea Competition and achieved Top Category Award (shown above). When our friend told us this exciting news, we asked him if we could hire his services to roast our reserve stock the same way he roasted his top award winning tea. So this month's edition of the Eco-Cha Tea Club is from the same harvest and roasted the same way as the tea that ranked within the top 2% out of over 5000 entries. This increases its market value manifold!
The tea we procure from this source is our overall favorite High Mountain Oolong. This is due to an ideal climate, responsible and knowledgeable farm management, and processing done by some of the most skilled tea makers in the world. These players also happen to be some of our closest connections in the industry. They have been professional tea judges at the Lugu Farmers' Association for decades, and have been immersed in the local tea culture their entire lives. Lugu is the hub of Oolong Tea making in Taiwan, being home to the biggest population of tea pros by far!
We snapped this shot years ago while loitering in their factory, absorbing the process. It represents a lot to us. These two guys are cousins in a very closely knit family of tea makers. They perceive tea and talk about it on a level that we will never fully understand. They have grown up in this profession, and have never left this local scene their entire lives. They are the living embodiment of artisan tea in Taiwan.
We stayed in the factory until all the work was done that night. Our friend, who makes our Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Oolong every season, worked on his own that night. It was the final day of harvest, and there was only a small batch to cure. We love finding ourselves in this type of situation, because we get to lend a hand and make ourselves useful. This photo was taken at about 4 a.m., when we were just about done, and we heated up the soup our friend made for the workers the evening prior. Check out our video documenting the most recent harvest from this source:
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