Thursday, July 31, 2014

Eco-Cha Da Yu Ling High Mountain Oolong

Country of Origin: Taiwan
Leaf Appearance: deep green, tightly rolled
Ingredients: oolong tea
Steep time: 30 seconds
Water Temperature: 212 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Liquor: gold

When it comes to "green" rolled oolongs Taiwanese high mountain teas are definitely my favorites. Although this is the 2013 harvest, my sample was vacuum sealed and still seemed very fresh. The taste was wonderfully complex and exactly what I needed after overloading on some very heavy teas earlier in the day. It was incredibly smooth and sweet with interchanging fruity and floral notes. The finish had just a hint of creaminess to it. Its aroma lingered in my palate long after each sip. Later infusions developed a bit more of a vegetal quality but it never crossed the line into unpleasantness. One of the things I love about +Eco-Cha Artisan Teas is that they explain exactly how their tea sourced. Here is what their website says about this tea:

This batch of tea was procured through a friend whom we've known for almost 20 years. He grew up on a tea farm in Lu Gu and is now a professional tea judge and specialty tea merchant. Over the last several years, we have gained particular respect for his discernment of quality tea and unique tenacity in sourcing it. He has been a valuable teacher in this respect, sharing his knowledge and experience - as well as his tea with us.
He reserves batches of tea and has them specially processed as per his request from farmers he chooses carefully and with whom he builds working relationships. Without this kind of history of connections in the local industry, it is quite difficult to source this level of exclusive quality. Being a consistent customer with discriminating taste, the farmer contacts him on a given day when weather conditions are favorable for harvesting. He then gives the go-ahead to purchase the day's harvest if it is processed to his specifications. These requirements are mainly in relation to the amount of oxidation that the leaves undergo, and other detailed guidelines that will produce the character of tea that he seeks. The producer and the buyer share their tea making experience and mutually agree on the methods to be employed.
It's important for tea drinkers to have an element of trust with their suppliers. Eco-Cha certainly accomplishes that.

Da Yu Ling High Mountain Oolong sample provided by Eco-Cha.