We snapped the photo above as we finally sat down after our work was done, and watched the sun rise over the ridge below Phoenix Mountain in Lugu, Taiwan. The third and final shift of processing the spring crop of Traditional Dong Ding Oolong Tea began at midnight and was completed as the sun rose.
Our Alishan High Mountain Oolong Tea is cultivated on a residential farm, run by a husband and wife team, with their own factory, and surrounded by forest. This couple is most closely aligned with Eco-Cha's premise of sustainability in their farming and tea production practice. We are excited to put their Oolong Tea back on our menu this spring!
Normally, this holiday also marks the beginning of spring harvest in central Taiwan's largest tea producing regions. Due to the lack of rain thus far in 2023, the spring tea growing season has been delayed. The tea growing areas in northern Taiwan seem to be getting enough rain however, and spring harvest is on schedule for Sanxia'sBi Luo Chun, Pinglin'sWenshan Baozhong, and Muzha'sTie Guan Yin Oolong.
Our summer 2022 batch of Alishan High Mountain Jin Xuan Oolong is an exemplary representative of this category of Taiwan Tea! It is lightly oxidized, offering pronounced milky/buttery notes which the Jin Xuan cultivar is famous for. Given the weather patterns through the early spring growing season compared with the late spring growing season — the second flush offers a more classic Alishan Jin Xuan flavor profile.
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 Tea is the most popular among Taiwan's High Mountain Tea fans. Generally speaking, spring harvest offers the most aromatic and fresh flavor profile. In the end, however, each batch of tea has its own unique character. So we are going to take this opportunity to taste all 3 of our spring High Mountain Oolong Teas simultaneously, and while doing so, offer some background information about each growing region and how they differ from each other.
Above we can see the Pinglin District to the southeast of Taipei, but still within New Taipei City limits. Pinglin is not far at all from Taiwan's largest metropolis, but it feels more remote and rural than most developed regions on the island of Taiwan. It really feels like a relic of the past, in stark contrast to the modern city nearby. This rural community that produces a world-renowned tea is a historical landmark in its own right. We are privileged to represent this specialty tea in the international tea community.
Our spring 2022 batch of Li Shan High Mountain Oolong Tea is now on the shelf! Li Shan is a place name that means Pear Mountain. Li Shan High Mountain Tea is the most prestigious name of Taiwan Tea overall. It is home to the highest elevation tea farms on the island of Taiwan, and the climate is ideal for producing the best quality leaf — in the world, arguably!
On the occasion of International Tea Day, Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs posted a video on their Youtube channelabout Taiwanese tea culture in which we participated. Eco-Cha was asked to share a day in the life of our world of tea. So the first introduction was to our tea family and mentors Tony and Lisa Lin. We just sat in the backyard and had tea, like we usually do, and talked with the film makers about the local industry and culture.
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.
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!