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September, 24, 2020

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Alishan High Mountain Oolong Fall 2020 Tea Sourcing Trip

It was a beautiful morning, and although the sun was quite strong, it felt so good to be doing what we love most — riding into the hills to source quality Taiwanese Tea! We've ridden this rode at dozens of times over the last 20+ years, and it never gets old. Each time we take this trip, we see these mountains in a different light. As far as we recall, this is the first time we stopped at this awesome spot on this bridge! View full article →
September, 11, 2020

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Traditional Hong Shui Oolong Tea Tasting Notes | Eco-Cha Tea Club

The full flavored character reflects the mastery that evolved from pre-modern tea producing methods — which our friend learned from his grandfather as a teenager. It's a rich, fruity, complex flavor profile with classic mineral notes, and a vibrant, truly satisfying finish. This, this is the real deal when it comes to traditionally made Oolong Tea from Nantou County, Taiwan!

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September, 7, 2020

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Traditional Hong Shui Oolong Tea | Eco-Cha Tea Club

Batch 58 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club is a Hong Shui Oolong made in the traditional fashion by our friend in his home factory in Phoenix Village, Taiwan. He let his family plot of tea behind their traditional 3-sided farmhouse continue to grow after spring harvest in April until the last few days in July. This allows the tea trees to rejuvenate by growing naturally during the most vegetative phase of their annual cycle. He then harvested just the tops of the new growth before pruning his trees for fall harvest. View full article →
September, 2, 2020

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Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Oolong Fall 2020

In the end, each seasonal crop has its own unique combination of contributing factors that give it a slightly different aromatic and flavor profile than other seasons. We really enjoy experiencing these seasonal variations from the same plot of tea processed in the same basic way. We encourage our High Mountain Oolong fans to follow suit in order to more fully understand this type of tea and how it can vary from season to season.  View full article →
August, 25, 2020

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Li Shan High Mountain Oolong Fall 2020

The fall harvest of high elevation farms is somewhat of a well kept secret in terms of the value for the money. Like all High Mountain Oolong growing regions, the local market price is more than a third cheaper than spring and winter harvests. But the fact remains that the difference in these harvests in only a few months apart! Different growing seasons have clearly noticeable influences on the constitution of the new leaf growth, and as a result — of the character of tea that is made from them. However, while the differences are notably significant, they are not at all drastic!  View full article →
August, 18, 2020

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Red Jade Black Tea Upgrade

Our source of Red Jade Black Tea (Tai Cha 18) is a success story in progress. And his most recent advancement in his operations has been to optimize the quality control of his Red Jade production. He is only using his prime summer produce for making his Red Jade Black Tea, and designating the early and late harvests for Ruby White Tea making. He has also begun to be more precise in timing of harvests, and picky (no pun intended!) about the selection of hand-picked leaves to reap only the proper degree of maturity in the new leaf growth.  View full article →
August, 13, 2020

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5 Refreshing Homemade Iced Tea Recipes to Beat the Heat

A refreshing glass of iced tea made from freshly brewed loose-leaf tea is a delicious and satisfying way to beat the summer heat, and it's easy too! You can use your leftover hot brewed tea and shake it up in a cocktail shaker. Here are five spontaneous gourmet iced-tea creations that we've recently concocted, and enjoyed immensely! View full article →
August, 11, 2020

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Top Award Winning Dong Ding Cui Yu Oolong Tasting Notes | Eco-Cha Tea Club

This batch of award-winning Dong Ding Cui Yu is made from well cultivated and skillfully processed tea leaves from the hybrid cultivar Tai Cha #13, or Tsui Yu (Cui Yu). Our friends then sorted the leaves to use only the best quality portion of this harvest to roast to perfection. The brewed tea offers a complex balance of fresh vibrant tea leaf character and toasted grains and nuts flavor notes, with a fruity/smoky finish. If you like a tea with a hearty character, this one's for you! View full article →
August, 8, 2020

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Top Award Winning Dong Ding Cui Yu Oolong | Eco-Cha Tea Club

Batch 57 of the Eco Cha Tea Club is a Top Award winning tea that was entered into the spring 2020 Nantou County Tea Trade Association's Dong Ding (Ton Tin) Cui Yu Oolong Tea competition. This association focuses on promoting tea production in lower elevation regions, namely Zhushan and Mingjian Townships in southern Nantou County. These towns are at the foot of the mountain below Lugu Township and the Shan Lin Xi high mountain tea growing region. Zhushan and Mingjian, along with Lugu are home to the densest population of tea makers in Taiwan. View full article →
July, 15, 2020

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Pinglin Qin Xin Black Tea Tasting Notes | Eco-Cha Tea Club

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. View full article →
July, 12, 2020

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Pinglin Qin Xin Black Tea | Eco-Cha Tea Club

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. View full article →
June, 21, 2020

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Alishan High Mountain Jin Xuan Oolong Summer 2020: Buttered Love

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 here to get your share. View full article →
June, 18, 2020

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Competition Grade Wenshan Baozhong Tea Tasting Notes| Eco-Cha Tea Club

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. View full article →
June, 14, 2020

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Competition Grade Wenshan Baozhong Tea | Eco-Cha Tea Club

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.  View full article →
June, 7, 2020

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Tie Guan Yin Oolong Spring Tea Is Here!

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. View full article →
June, 2, 2020

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Li Shan High Mountain Oolong Spring Tea Is Here!

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! View full article →
May, 21, 2020

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Wenshan Baozhong Tea Back in Stock!

We kept in close contact with our source of Wenshan Baozhong through the harvest, so that we could show up at his doorstep as soon as he was done processing his spring tea. View full article →
May, 9, 2020

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Honey Hong Shui Oolong Tasting Notes | Eco-Cha Tea Club

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. View full article →
May, 9, 2020

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Honey Hong Shui Oolong Tea | Eco-Cha Tea Club

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 Tea in recent years. They also made Batch #33 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club which 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. View full article →
May, 6, 2020

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What's Special About Taiwan High Mountain Tea?

Wonder what makes Taiwan high mountain tea special? Find out as we take you behind the scenes in our latest sourcing trip for Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Oolong! View full article →
May, 1, 2020

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5 Easy Cooking with Loose Leaf Tea Recipes

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. View full article →
April, 25, 2020

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How High Mountain Oolong Tea is Sourced

How do we source our sustainable tea? Out of all the tea that's produced in Taiwan, how do we decide on what batch to buy? Find out as we take you along on our latest sourcing trip of spring Alishan High Mountain tea! View full article →
April, 10, 2020

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10 Things Tea to Do at Home During COVID-19

Looking for something to do because you're stuck at home due to COVID-19? Well, it's never been a better time to learn about tea!  We've compiled a list of things to do to learn more all about tea from the comfort and safety of your home!  View full article →
April, 6, 2020

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Early Spring Bi Luo Chun Green Tea Tasting Notes | Eco-Cha Tea Club

We can see in the photo of the dried leaves above that they were hand-plucked while still very young and tender. This is evident not only by the size of the leaves, but also in the protective fur that is still on the whitish colored leaf buds. It is this stage of leaf growth, along with the heirloom cultivar of tea tree that give Bi Luo Chun its distinctive character among Green Teas — especially when it is from the first flush of spring tea buds!

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April, 3, 2020

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Early Spring Bi Luo Chun Green Tea | Eco-Cha Tea Club

The earliest days of spring harvest are known to produce the most complex and delicately flavored Bi Luo Chun Green Tea. The leaves have more substance as a result of growing more slowly, combined with a fresh spring floral quality that comes from the plants entering their heightened phase of spring vegetation. View full article →