Taiwan's Tie Guan Yin Oolong, as it is made in the Muzha tradition, is the most heavily oxidized and heavily roasted of all Taiwan's renowned Oolong (partially oxidized) tea types. The photo above shows the leaves when they are approaching the desired degree of oxidation, before the tumble heating/kill green step of Oolong Tea making.
Given the fact that Tie Guan Yin Oolong Tea entails the most extensive processing methods, offering a rich, bold, and complex character — we've found that letting a newly made batch settle for a few months allows it to achieve optimal results. So, we only just now offering our winter 2021 batch. And just for fun, we did a cupping together with our winter 2018 and our spring 2020 past batches
Eco-Cha is launching a new category of Taiwan Tea in our store! More often than not, our favorite teas are only available in small quantities. This means that they are likely to sell out occasionally, until we are able to procure the next batch. Each batch is noticeably different from each other, while being the same type of tea. So we decided to create a "Limited Edition" category designated to distinctive quality teas that are in limited supply.
The tea name Tie Guan Yin Oolong can represent different things. First, it is the name of a tea tree cultivar that originates from Anxi Province in China. This cultivar was brought to Taiwan generations ago, and continues to be popular, although less commonly found than other tea strains. Since Eco-Cha is an exclusive purveyor of specialty Taiwan Tea, we represent this name as a unique processing method that was developed in Muzha, Taipei over 50 years ago.
Over the course of our chat, catching up on spring harvest, competition, and other tea related topics, we realized that this artisan of Traditional Tie Guan Yin Oolong is the single most patient and painstaking tea maker we know. The amount of time and serious labor he puts into making a very minimal amount of tea is just so far off the charts of any other type of tea production we've seen. Oh, and he won first place prize a year and half ago, amidst top 2% and top 10% prizes that he is awarded consistently in the Muzha Farmers' Association Traditional Tie Guan Yin Oolong Tea competition.
Taiwan is home to some of the finest tea in the world, particularly in the Oolong category. Yet, not all Taiwanese teas are widely recognized or understood by name. So here is an overview of the top ten most famous teas from Taiwan.
The inspiration for this post began when we first tasted our spring batches of tea this year. Especially for the three teas that we'll take a look at here, we immediately thought upon tasting each of them, they are noticeably different from last winter's batch. So first, let's list the main points to observe in comparing seasonal batches from the same source of tea.