The above garden is our ongoing source of Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Oolong. In July of last year, we began offering a roasted version of our all-time favorite High Mountain Oolong in our limited edition tea series. Read the blogpost here. We initially shared that batch of tea with the Eco-Cha Tea Club, then offered the remaining amount as a limited edition.
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.
It's the above award that inspired us to have the second half of our winter 2021 stock of Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Oolong roasted by our close friend who cultivated it. He entered his own roasted version from this same crop into the Lugu Farmers" Association Dong Ding Oolong Tea competition and received Top Category Award (within the top 2% of all entries). When we heard the news, we promptly requested his services to roast the remainder of our procured share in the same fashion as this top award winning tea!
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.
With the arrival of our spring batch of TaiwanDong Ding Oolong Tea, we were inspired to brew it alongside ourTraditional Dong Ding Oolongas well as our current edition of theEco-Cha Tea Club— which also happens to be a Traditional Dong Ding Oolong. All three teas were harvested this spring from the same community in Lugu, Taiwan.
Dong Ding Oolong Tea Country is the biggest hub of Taiwan tea culture. Soon after the KMT took control of Taiwan, the area on and around Dong Ding Mountain was determined to be the best location to develop tea cultivation.
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.
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.
We taste tested our three new batches of winter High Mountain Oolong Tea -- Shan Lin Xi, Alishan, and Li Shan. We can see the difference in the oxidation levels of the tea leaves in the coloration of the brewed tea. We can see a higher degree of oxidation in the Shan Lin Xi and less oxidation as we move to the Li Shan.
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.
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!