Batch #56 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club is a Pinglin Qing Xin Black Tea — summer 2019 harvest, from the same source as last month's edition of award winning Wenshan Baozhong Tea. This is the first batch of Black Tea we have sourced from the Pinglin region in northern Taiwan, and it is further supporting evidence of the fact that high quality tea can be made from low to mid-elevation farms. We were lucky to have sourced the remainder of two consecutive days of last summer's harvest that were combined to provide just enough to be shared with the Eco-Cha Tea Club! Black Tea reaches it peak of quality after at least one year of aging.
Batch #56 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club is a Black Tea made from the Qing Xin cultivar, grown in the Pinglin tea growing region in northern Taiwan. This Black Tea is made by the same artisan tea maker who made the top 5% award-winning Baozhong Tea we offered as Batch #55 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club. His spring and winter crops are made into Wenshan Baozhong tea, for which his family has a legacy, and his summer crops are made into high-grade Black Tea.
This batch of Alishan High Mountain Jin Xuan Oolong summer 2020 harvest has a very pronounced buttery character. Starting with the leaves put into the pre-heated tea judging cup, they exuded a pronounced buttered toast/popcorn aroma. But the flavor profile is replete with an uncanny buttered popcorn note, it's almost unbelievable! How can tea leaves do this?! It's not only buttered popcorn either! There are distinct floral and vegetal notes that balance out the incredulous and delicious buttered popcorn flavor. OK, enough repetitive description! Click hereto get your share.
This is what an award winning Wenshan Baozhong Tea looks like, in its dry leaf state, of course. Notice the uniformity in the size and coloration of the leaves. The yellow hues are only in the spine of the leaves, which would naturally protrude into a stem, but the stems have been removed, along with the larger, lighter colored, over-matured leaf stock. This uniformity of leaf material offers a pure flavor profile. It allows for a complexity of aromatic and flavor notes, but it comes from a uniform stock which is essential in producing a purity of character. This is a fundamental aspect of competition grade tea. It's not muddled. It's refined.
Batch #55 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club is an award-winning Wenshan Baozhong Tea that was entered in the recent spring tea competition of the local Farmers' Association. Preparation for competition involves removing the bulkier stems from the leaves, and also sorting the leaves by coloration to achieve the most uniform stock of leaf material possible.
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.
Our spring Li Shan High Mountain Oolong Tea is now in, completing the final installment of our spring 2020 Taiwan high mountain teas! Read on to find out more about this spring batch of Li Shan High Mountain Oolong!
The Chinese "hong shui" means "red water", and the term has been adopted (or revived, depending on who you ask) as a name for heavily oxidized Oolong Tea. The name is used to designate a type of Oolong to stand on its own, and not be devalued by popular judging standards and marketing trends in Taiwan. The popular High Mountain Oolong Tea is a lightly oxidized tea with a bright golden, yellowish-green color. And even the competition standards set for Dong Ding Oolong Tea are a lighter golden-orange. But Hong Shui is, in fact, a proper tea on its own, and the level of oxidation is simply a variation in processing, not a fault or shortcoming in terms of its value. The processing methods to make this type of tea are actually how tea was made in Lugu (and many other places most likely), Taiwan, before tea became a commercial commodity.
This month's batch #54 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club is a Honey Hong Shui Oolong Tea sourced from our friends who have provided our Dong Ding Oolong Tea and our Small Leaf Black Teain recent years. They also made Batch #33 of the Eco-Cha Tea Clubwhich we shared in August 2018. Batch #33 was similar to this month's batch in that they were both made with the help of the Green Leafhopper.
With a lot of people stuck at home due to COVID-19, many folks are now cooking their own meals. To help out, we've compiled a list of five easy cooking with loose leaf tea recipes to add a different flavor to your dining experience.