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.
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.
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!
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.
Reservoir levels in northern and central Taiwan are all almost at full capacity now. This shows Taiwan has had sufficient rainfall, along with traditionally low temperatures through the winter, unlike last year when there was a drought. This all bodes very well for the upcoming spring tea harvest!
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.
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.
We just sourced our winter batches of Alishan High Mountain Oolong and Alishan High Mountain Jin Xuan Oolong, and they are on the shelf now! We decided to do a side by side tasting of these two winter teas to experience how they differ from each other — particularly the two batches that we just procured. We've gradually realized how much more significantly oxidized winter crops of High Mountain Oolong are in recent years compared with decades ago. Especially from our sources of Alishan and Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Tea. There are two main reasons for this.
Taiwan is famous for High Mountain Oolong Teas, teas grown above 1000m elevation. The island actually has a number of High Mountain Tea regions, but only a few stand out as being world-renowned. Here we provide a brief overview of the top-4 Taiwan High Mountain Tea areas.
We brewed our spring batch of Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Oolong Tea alongside the freshly picked summer batch to observe the differences between these two consecutive harvests from the same source. These two batches exhibited the classic seasonal traits of spring and summer high mountain tea.
We went up to film on the first day of spring harvest by our source of Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Oolong Tea. The early morning was sunny, but the fog rolled in early, and we were socked in by noon, diminishing our aspirations for getting lots of scenic drone footage! But this is representative of the daily weather — particularly in this micro-climate of a ravine that faces northeast.