Taiwan High Mountain Oolong Teas are typically harvested 3 or 4 times a year. Between the most popular spring and winter harvests, there are usually summer and/or fall crops. In recent years, we've been dedicated to sourcing these "in between" harvests as much as possible. We do this for two reasons.
We proudly announce our Limited Edition series of Eco-Cha Teas! This exclusive selection is comprised of teas that are both top quality and limited in supply. Some are teas that we've offered previously and some are new additions to our in-store menu. All of them represent Taiwan's tea culture and world class professionalism.
We had ideal weather conditions for the summer harvest of Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Oolong, following a growing season that was conducive to uniform new leaf growth on the tea bushes. The previous spring growing season was unusual in that it remained cool through May! So the spring crop was slow growing and somewhat similar to a typical winter growing season, although we had sufficient rainfall.
Eco-Cha's source of Eco-Farmed High Mountain Oolong is the most remote and natural setting of a tea farm that we have seen in Taiwan. Located on aboriginal land, adjacent to Yushan National Forest Park, it's got a lot going for it — thanks to the husband and wife team who manage it. Our spring batch of tea is a 50/50 blend of two days harvest from their two plots of tea. These two days of harvest were entered separately in the this year's national organic tea competition, and both received awards.
Spring 2022 Taiwan high mountain tea harvest is slowly but steadily working its way up the mountain! Lower and mid-elevations were harvested by mid-April. Alishan High Mountain Oolong was mostly harvested by the last week in April, as Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Tea picking began.
Taiwan's Tea Research and Extension Station has produced dozens of hybrid tea cultivars. But there are three hybrid cultivars created in Taiwan which are by far the most popular. These are Jin Xuan(Tai Cha #12), Tsui Yu(Tai Cha #13), and Four Seasons Spring.
Wenshan Baozhong is perhaps the most historical Taiwan tea. Originating in Fujian, China — it was initially exported to Europe and America in the 1800's. It is also the predecessor of Taiwan's famous High Mountain Tea in the sense it is a lightly oxidized, unroasted tea.
Taiwan's Tea Research and Extension Service (TRES) recently hosted a seminar that showcased the tea making skills of 15 champion prize winning tea masters from throughout Taiwan. Each shared his skill in making a particular type of tea. Here we give a behind-the-scenes look at what went down at this one of a kind event.
Our source of Eco-Farmed GABA Oolong Teahas been the most inspiring representative of natural tea farming we've met. He inherited his family tea farm and factory 20 years ago, and has persevered in creating a sustainable production of organic tea by developing natural tea farming methods on his own.
Essentially, Eco-Cha's roots all come from these two individuals. Both Tony and Lisa Lin, in their own distinct ways, have shared their knowledge, connections, and their family in a way that has allowed this life story to unfold — and for Eco-Cha to become a prominent representative of Taiwan's tea industry and culture on the international platform.
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!
Spring is classically the best quality stock of any given year. So it is no surprise at all that it is more flavorful than the summer crop. This is as it should be, given that it costs almost twice as much. So in the end, the value of summer tea wins vs. its cost. It is a prime quality High Mountain Tea from a source we have come to rely on almost solely for our Alishan High Mountain Oolong. And the price is hard to beat. So if you are looking for an everyday drinker that is really quite good quality, this batch is for you!