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June, 16, 2021

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Roasted High Mountain Black Tea | Eco-Cha Tea Club

Eco-Cha first met Mr. Zhan in 2016, when we smelled tea being roasted beside the historical train station in Shuili — one of our favorite mountain towns in central Taiwan. We learned that he had been transitioning his family tea farm to natural farming methods for several years already. We said that we looked forward to learning more about his work, and hoped to have the chance to procure some tea! Well, some things take time... and 5 years later, here we are — finally able to share a batch of his tea with the Eco-Cha Tea Club! View full article →
June, 16, 2021

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Roasted High Mountain Black Tea Tasting Notes | Eco-Cha Tea Club

We continue to be captivated by the character of Batch 67 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club. From the appearance of these dried leaves above to the color of the brewed tea, and of course, most prominently — its flavor profile, it's a unique tea. This is what we most appreciate about the Club — finding something that we truly excited to share. The flavor of this tea is not something we can say we have had before. It really has a lot going on! View full article →
June, 11, 2021

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Alishan High Mountain Jin Xuan Oolong Tea Sourcing (Summer 2021)

This year's second crop of Alishan High Mountain Jin Xuan Oolong began to be harvested last week, before rains that lasted several days. Then resumed earlier this week. We first visited our primary source of Alishan High Mountain Tea to taste their first two days of summer harvest.  View full article →
June, 3, 2021

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Wenshan Baozhong Spring Tea Sourcing Trip

Above is our choice pick of spring tea from our source of Wenshan Baozhong Tea. It was a surprisingly smooth process of choosing which day's harvest we wanted. At first, when we walked in and saw his tea table maxed out with 10 bowls of  pre-brewed tea, and were invited to taste them and choose which one we want, it was rather intimidating! View full article →
May, 28, 2021

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Taiwan Tea Harvest Overview: Spring 2021

Here's a quick round-up of how our spring 2021 sourcing turned out. You can check the product pages of any of our teas for details and browse our blog as well! All hail Taiwan Tea! View full article →
May, 22, 2021

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Li Shan High Mountain Oolong Spring Tea Sourcing Trip

We are so happy to have been able to show up at the spring harvest time of our Li Shan High Mountain Oolong to really get a sense of what was happening, and also to have first dibs on the day's harvest that we saw being processed. So grateful! View full article →
May, 14, 2021

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Spring 2021 Harvest | Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Oolong 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.  View full article →
May, 10, 2021

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Fo Shou Oolong Tea | Eco-Cha Tea Club

Batch 66 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club is a Fo Shou Oolong Tea produced in Pinglin, Taiwan. The Chinese Fo Shou (佛手) means Buddha Hand. The name refers to the tea plant, or cultivar, which classifies as a large leaf type. This puts it in the category of Assam, and wild strains of tea, along with the Taiwanese hybrid cultivar — Red Jade #18. View full article →
May, 10, 2021

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Fo Shou Oolong Tea Tasting Notes | Eco-Cha Tea Club

The complex and somewhat addictive (it's very easy to drink copious amounts at one sitting!) character represents an authentic artisanal tea. This cultivar is not easily processed into a tea with this level of refined character. We attribute its quality to the man who unquestionably puts more effort and heart into producing extremely small batches of tea than anyone else we've met — by far! View full article →
May, 6, 2021

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Spring 2021 Traditional Dong Ding Oolong Making

Our friend chose to only use one pot, or tumble heater, for the fixing stage. This would make it a slower and more relaxed tea making session, while allowing the leaves that were picked later in the day to oxidize more — resulting in a more uniformly cured batch of tea. View full article →
April, 27, 2021

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Alishan High Mountain Oolong Spring Tea

The photo above shows new leaf growth at the optimal growth stage for harvest, particularly given this year's drought conditions. Normally, the leaves would be a bit larger. But the most essential factor is that there is sufficient new leaf growth that is still in its vibrant growth stage. This is most obviously indicated by pert V-shape contour of the newest growth. The leaves lower down on the newly sprouted branches will eventually flatten out, and settle into their more "permanent" vegetation stage. It's the new,  vibrant leaves that are mature enough to have substance, but tender enough to be optimal raw material for premium Alishan High Mountain Oolong Tea. View full article →
April, 15, 2021

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Tea Farmers Receive Subsidies For Drought In Taiwan

The Chairman of Taiwan's Department of Agriculture made an appearance in our neighborhood (Zhushan) to conduct a field survey of the impact drought conditions have made on crops of spring tea. The Tea Research and Extension Station reported that yield is down 30-50% from average at lower elevations, and higher elevations are not much better. View full article →
April, 13, 2021

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Light Roast High Mountain Oolong Tea Tasting Notes | Eco-Cha Tea Club

Batch 65 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club was initially sourced by our friend for entry into the largest Oolong Tea Competition in the world. The standard of this competition is a medium/heavy roast, so it requires a significant level of oxidation in processing the tea leaves for optimal results. This is where this batch of tea varies most significantly from the market standard of Taiwan's High Mountain Tea. High Mountain Tea is minimally oxidized and unroasted — offering a fresh green character with a floral bouquet. This batch was not only more oxidized, but also delicately roasted to offer a more balanced, sweeter character with fruity and pastry components to compliment the floral notes.

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April, 12, 2021

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Light Roast High Mountain Oolong Tea | Eco-Cha Tea Club

Batch 65 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club was procured by them with the intention of roasting it to the standard of the Lugu Farmers' Association Dong Ding Oolong Tea Competition. It won Second Place Category Award (top 8%) of over 6000 entries. Our batch has only been very delicately roasted — preserving its original fresh character, while balancing out the flavor profile and stabilizing its composition.  View full article →
April, 1, 2021

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How Is Tea Packaged in Taiwan?

A lot of care and know-how goes into the making of fine artisan teas here in Taiwan, and the same can be said about the packaging of tea. Ever wonder how tea is packaged? The local packaging services in tea producing regions are all family-run businesses. In acknowledgement of their important role, we wanted to show you one and how they package tea. View full article →
March, 17, 2021

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Taiwan Green Tea Sourcing Trip

Taiwan produces some of the world’s best teas. Learning when, where and how to procure them only comes from many years of involvement in local tea industry and culture. Here we give you an inside look at what's entailed in bringing you some of the best of Taiwan's teas. View full article →
March, 13, 2021

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Dong Pian Oolong Tea Tasting Notes | Eco-Cha Tea Club

The combination of the cultivar, the late winter growing season, and the processing methods has resulted in a mild character of tea with subtle savory, sweet, and floral notes. It has a substantial mouth feel, and a clean, dry finish that has notes of winter vegetables, such as parsnips and Delicata squash. It's got a soft, balanced, yet substantial flavor profile that can be described as humble. It's not a particularly fragrant or bold character of tea. It simply has substance, along with the essentials of qualifying as a traditionally made Oolong from Lugu, Taiwan.

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March, 11, 2021

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Early Spring Bi Luo Chun Green Tea 2021

These leaves were brought into the factory the afternoon before we showed up at the end of February for our share of early spring Bi Luo Chun Green Tea. The raw leaves in this photo have set overnight, slowly wilting and subtly transforming in their chemical constituents. Our batch was already completely processed, having been picked and delivered to the factory the morning prior. These leaves were picked within 14 days of sprouting. And they will grow faster as spring advances. It is this earliest new spring growth that produces the finest quality Bi Luo Chun, and this year is our earliest spring procurement yet. View full article →
March, 11, 2021

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Dong Pian Oolong Tea | Eco-Cha Tea Club

Batch 64 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club comes from this family farm/home factory in Phoenix Village, Lugu Township, Taiwan. It's a late winter harvest of their plot of Ying Xiang #20 that was processed in the local fashion. Ying Xiang is a hybrid cultivar developed by Taiwan's Tea Research and Extension Station (TRES) that was made public less than 10 years ago. View full article →
February, 18, 2021

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Taiwan Lunar New Year Lanterns

For many people in Asia, the start of the Lunar New Year is what Christmas is to folks in most Western countries. Shops and business shut down for a week so people can go home to spend time with family. Festive decorations abound everywhere you look, and Taiwan was no exception. Here is what things looked like on the ground from Bamboo Mountain (Zhushan), Taiwan. View full article →
February, 12, 2021

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Competition Grade Wenshan Baozhong Tea | Eco-Cha Tea Club

Upon arrival, we were immediately led to the tasting table where there were two bowls of brewed tea leaves on the tea tray with less than 30mL of cold tea in each. We were ordered to taste them without any introduction to what they were. We immediately recognized them as freshly produced Baozhong Tea of high quality, but there was only enough left for two small sips. After first sip, we were told that one of them was much more expensive than the other, and then asked which one we liked. We took the second sip and picked one, saying that it was a bit more fragrant, and were met with a scowl and a sigh. It was the most honest facial expression we've seen in ages. The expression above was probably 10 minutes after that moment, but still holds some of the humor and angst! View full article →
February, 12, 2021

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

Batch 63 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club was harvested in November 2020, processed, and then sorted to remove stem material and any discolored leaves in preparation for the winter 2020 competition and the New Taipei City Farmers's Association.

The distinctive quality of Baozhong Tea is that the leaves are shuffled well to induce uniform oxidation, but they are only minimally rolled. This keeps their physical composition in tact. The leaves are not damaged by pressure rolling. This locks in a fresh, green quality that put Baozhong Tea in a category of its own.

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February, 10, 2021

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What Does Tea Mean to You?

Tea is deeply embedded in the fiber of society in Taiwan. From bubble tea shops to chatting with friends over gong-fu brewed tea, most people here either consume or at least encounter tea in some way in their daily lives. Beyond the fact that it's the most commonly consumed beverage, we wanted to know what tea means to the person on the street in Taiwan, so we started asking them. View full article →
January, 25, 2021

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Eco-Farmed High Mountain Oolong Tea

We have never felt more privileged and excited about representing a tea source than we do about this one. We feel so strongly about this farm and its owners that we are making a documentary film of their lives that led them to the place where they are now. We look forward to sourcing tea from them for years and years to follow! View full article →
January, 10, 2021

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Competition Grade Wuyi Oolong Tasting Notes | Eco-Cha Tea Club

Wuyi was once the specialty tea cultivar of choice in the historical Songboling tea growing region in southern Nantou County. But it got replace with more prolific cultivars in recent decades. We are grateful to have a chance to experience this tea strain that really does stand on its own in comparison to the more popular strains. It has a robust character when made as a lightly oxidized, unroasted tea. And its hardy nature is able to withstand extensive roasting that other strains cannot. View full article →