Eco-Cha Artisan Teas

Recent Tasting Notes


“Final Eco-Cha review. I’ve had such a great time reviewing teas from them, their teas are great and the people who are behind it are great. Special thanks to Nick for putting this all together.

The dry leaves smell pretty nutty and vegetal for a Taiwanese Oolong. The wet leaves are nutty and buttery smelling. This tea steeps out into a light yellow with a floral scent.

This tea is surprisingly thick-bodied, with a syrupy mouthfeel (god I hate that word) and very little sweetness, which is quite refreshing in a way. It’s nutty and floral in flavor, kind of reminding me of a dragonwell green tea crossed with an Alishan oolong. The aftertaste is perfumey, which makes this seem like a good candidate to make a Jasmine Oolong or Rose Oolong from. The nuttiness makes it seem like a good candidate for a traditional Dong Ding. IIRC this is actually a common cultivar for making Dong Ding with.

Since I still have a lot of this, I think I’m going to cold brew it, as per their suggestion.

thanks for reading, everyone!"

Flavors: Flowers, Jasmine, Nuts, Nutty

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from reddit (note that i wrote all of these)

“Aroma: What little aroma there is is sweet and buttery, though it’s subtle. This isn’t a bad thing, as I’ve had great experiences with teas unusually lacking in aroma (see my 2nd review: the Ruby Red). This goes for the dry and wet leaf and the liquor.

I accidentally steeped the first steep for 3mins. 3 minutes for 5 grams of tea in a 100ml gaiwan. After a second of panic, I poured it out, hoping for the best and preparing for the worst. It was the best. This tea is SMOOTH, no astringency at all. It brings to mind a certain classic hip-hop song by A Tribe Called Quest.

This tea is smooth like Butter.

“It’s like butter, it’s like butter baby, Not no Parkay, not no margarine, Strictly butter, strictly butter, baby." - Q-Tip

Really, this tea is clean, smooth, thick, buttery, creamy, and sweet. Like milk and honey, with the swirls. A cooling hint of flowers pops up in the background. This tea is super easy to drink, it’s not bitter at all and has a mellow and simple flavor profile. No hot knife through this butter. It’s DELICIOUS. Eco-Cha does it again. Every tea I’ve tried from them is a home run. Strictly butter, baby."

Flavors: Butter, Cream, Flowers, Honey, Milk

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From Reddit Dot Com:
Wow…. So I headed over to the post office today to pick up my mail that was on hold this week. They brought out the mail and then the guy working there went on his computer. He told me to wait a minute and then I see him with this huge envelope with the Eco-Cha logo on it. Holy shit. I get home and open the envelope and pull out a box…the legendary Taiwan Tea Tour box.

I decided to try this tea first, because I love ShanLinXi teas and leafhopper teas. I loaded the gaiwan up, 6g of leaf. The leaves are a greyish-green, indicating the light roast. They smell honey sweet. The unfurled leaves are medium-large and smell sweet.

The liquor is golden and its aroma is sweet and floral. It is slightly fruity and honey like. The aftertaste is characteristic of ShanLinXi teas, a cooling floral/pine needle sensation. There is also an intriguing spiciness to this tea, like crushed red peppers.

Overall this is a very interesting tea with sweet and spicy notes. I can’t wait to try the rest of my Eco Cha teas!

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From Reddit:
“Two reviews in one day? I’m crazy and you can’t stop me. I run these parts, the tea review game is mine now. The table’s flipped, now I’ve got all the coconuts b*tch (still mourning over the Death Grips breakup)

Crazy music references aside, the dry leaves on this one are tightly rolled balls colored a combination of black and greed. They smell like roasty nuts. The wet leaves are a bit greener, and they smell super sweet. Strangely not like the dry leaves at all.

The liquor of this tea is tan, as expected for a rolled, medium roasted oolong. It smells of buttered popcorn, a very pleasant aroma to find in a tea.

This tea is super nutty in the early infusions, and then becomes a floral, sweet gaoshan. I like this better than other roasted oolongs I’ve had (a particularly good Traditional TGY comes to mind.) The finish is great, not overly floral but just enough to cool your mouth and throat. This tea isn’t super sweet, but it’s sweet enough.

I’m having this as a night tea and it fits the bill perfectly. It’s warming and soothing. The full body and low fragrance make this great for laid back drinking. This could be my go-to tea for night drinking.

This tea is $10 an ounce, which I believe is a pretty good value, but not a steal either. I’d definitely restock this one, it’s a really nice tea. The two teas that I’ve tried from Eco-Cha have been incredible, I can’t wait to try the rest (in a week)"

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From my review on Reddit:
“I’m going to try and finish my tasting of my Eco-Cha teas today so I know what to reorder. So far I’ve decided to reorder the Concubine Oolong. The Concubine Oolong is amazing grandpa style, by the way.

Based on my love for the Concubine Oolong and ShanLinXi oolongs in general, I cracked open the ShanLinXi oolong bag today. The dry leaf is incredibly sweet, with some butter and sweet vegetables going on. Maybe sweet potato or summer squash? Either way, this smells DELICIOUS. The liquor smells buttery and fruity, as do the wet leaves.

This tastes very floral. Floral the entire time. It’s also quite sweet and buttery. This is a complex tea, the flavor profile evolves in your mouth. From floral to buttery to sweet to pine needles. All of these flavors work together and create a nice, balanced, easy-going flavor profile. This is a shining example of high-mountain oolong, this is probably the tea I’d reach for if I was introducing someone to this type of tea."

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This is my second bug-bitten oolong, and since Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Oolong form Eco-Cha is one of my favorite teas, I’m excited to try this. After the rinse I get aromas of toast, apples, and cannabis. The main difference here from the other concubine oolong I had is that this one has been roasted more so I’m getting more toasted notes.

The taste is sweet and mellow, a wonderful honey and apple flavor with notes of toast. This tea is so sweet and tastes like candied apples with a bit of spice. It’s a real treat so far. The second steeping seems to release more spice-like notes of cinnamon to combine with the sweet apple tones. There are subtle woodsy tones in the background, but this tea is much less foresty all-around than the original Shan Lin Xi Oolong from Eco-Cha. The third and fourth steepings are similar and build on the richness of this tea.

Overall this is a very lovely tea. It doesn’t have the bright floral notes of a lot of similar oolongs, so it stays very mellow, rich and sweet. I really love this tea! I think it would make a really wonderful tea to drink in Autumn.

Steeped in a gaiwan: 15 seconds + 15 for repeat infusions, 194F/90C, 4.5g tea per 100ml water

Flavors: Apple, Cannabis, Caramel, Cinnamon, Toast, Wood

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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The Oolong balls are medium/large in size and are made up of brown, dark green, burnt yellow and medium green coloured leaves. I can see no impurities on the leaves such as spots or loss of colour nor can I see twigs/sticks amongst the balls. A quick sniff-spection reveals a wonderful sweet grass and floral scent which is lightly perfumed and vegetal.

Once steeped the tea is yellow in colour with a sweet grass scent. In flavour this is of medium strength with pure sweet grass and sweet flower notes. Also some vegetal notes too. Sweetpea, sweetcorn, fresh asparagus and buttercup all in one delicious, smooth yet vibrant tea.

I found the Shan Li Xin High Mountain the tastiest and it has everything I look for in a low oxidised Oolong. It’s freshness and purity makes it one of the nicest I have tried.

For more information and pictures please visit my blog.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 5 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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The Oolong balls are medium/large in size and are made up of brown, dark green, burnt yellow and medium green coloured leaves. I can see no impurities on the leaves such as spots or loss of colour nor can I see twigs/sticks amongst the balls. A quick sniff-spection reveals an elegant sweet and floral scent with a touch of grass.

Once steeped the tea is golden yellow in colour with a sweet floral and grassy scent. In flavour this is of medium/strong strength with sweet floral and grassy yet vegetal notes. The somewhat greenness flavour makes this taste very fresh. Quite earthy vegetables but green like string bean or sweet pea.

For more information and pictures please view my blog.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 5 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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The Oolong balls are small/medium in size and are made up of brown, dark green, burnt yellow and medium green coloured leaves. I can see no impurities on the leaves such as spots or loss of colour nor can I see twigs/sticks amongst the balls. A quick sniff-spection reveals a beautiful sweet and floral scent with a touch of cream and butter.

Once steeped the tea is yellow in colour with a highly buttery and floral scent. In flavour this is of medium strength with sweet floral and creamy butter notes that melt in the mouth and leave a fresh yet fragrant after taste. Also has some vegetal notes that resemble sweetcorn. Very fresh and delicious overall, more floral than milk and I think the balance is perfect.

For more information and pictures please view my blog entry.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 5 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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Ooh! This roasted Dong Ding starts out with this wonderful mild roasted nutty flavor like a Houjicha, but then it opens up to the dried fruit and honey like qualities of Dong Ding, with so much lingering sweetness. For a roasted tea, this one tastes very clean and leaves a nice clean feeling in the mouth and a tingly minty kind of freshness.

On the second steeping the roasted flavor has died off quite a bit revealing more of the sweet, nectar-like qualities of the tea. The more steepings in you go, the more creamy and mellow it gets, and the more it gives way to subtle floral, fruit and honey notes. This is a wonderful oolong for enjoying gongfu style to see how the many infusions change.

Flavors: Dried Fruit, Floral, Honey, Nutty, Raisins, Roasted

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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This tastes like a dark tomato soup. It’s crazy!

There’s the fruitiness and tartness of a nice grape tomato. There’s some herbal medicinal thing going on as well. I can possibly imagine the mint. I can’t imagine any clove or cinnamon.

It’s not a bad cup but I’m not keen to repeat the experience.

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Red Jade Tea from Taiwan (also known as No. 18):
This is a prize-winning tea from Eco-Cha, using little to no fertilisers or pesticides. I believe the leaf comes from a hybrid of the assam plant and wild tea plant.
The character of Red Jade is unique among black teas. The taste is complex and lacks the astringency or bitterness of classic blacks.
The smell of the dry leaf was strongly of ‘warmed spaghetti (from a can)’, but there were notes of mint beneath. The leaf is long and large, twisted tightly along middle vein, reasonably intact. Once water is added the leaf slowly unfurls, unlocking each layer of the taste.
The scent comes through into the flavor of Red Jade. It is slightly pungent: savoury with winter vegetables (mint) and spices (cloves, cinnamon). The after-taste is of brown sugar and lingers long in the mouth. There is no dryness.
The infused leaf has notes of minty sweetness, sandalwood, cinnamon.
This is a good winter tea, but its strong unique taste may take some getting used to.

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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This Spring 2013 oolong hails from Dong Ding Mountain. It is not high altitude (1000ft), but the terrain is steep and often covered with fog. The soil is incredibly rich. In addition, this region is home to the most concentrated population of the most skilled oolong tea artisans in Taiwan.
The tea is hand-picked in small batches.
The dry leaf looks amazing – tiny coils that resemble snails – and the scent is wood and spring shrub or vegetative, plus some smokiness.
The taste is mellow, sweet syrupy, chestnut notes with slight raisin and smoked notes. There is a definite English floral note that lingers. It could be hyacinth (green, sweet, floral). There is minimal astringency, no dryness.
The second infusion delivered a sweeter flavor – time for those raisin notes to shine.
Overall, it delivers a complex taste – as well as many cups (up to four infusions last count).

Flavors: Chestnut, Floral, Raisins, Toasted, Vegetal, Wood

195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 30 sec 2 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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drank Shan Lin Xi by Eco-Cha Artisan Teas
295 tasting notes

I’ve really enjoyed this one today at work. I think oolong is my new thing. I’ve been drinking an awful lot of oolong lately. This one is really nice. Slightly sweet, slightly fruity, really smooth. Resteeps well. It’s kept me company through multiple mugs during a crazy frustrating day at the office. I don’t get piney from this one, like the description says, but I am really enjoying it. I’m debating on ordering more right now, or if I need to hold off as I have way way way too much tea on its way. This one will probably wait for a while, but Eco-Cha, you are on my list.


You can do oolongs western style?


Yep. I do a lot of them western style in a mug. As I’ve started drinking more oolongs, I’ve been wishing I had a smaller mug at work. That way, I could drink multiple infusions without drinking the same tea all all all day long.


I might have to try that, I have avoided oolongs because I thought they had to be done in a gaiwan, and that’s really inconvenient for me while I work.


Most of the Oolongs I’ve had actually have western directions and not gongfu directions on them.


why not try doing gong fu and western combination? small amts of water and short steeps. works out pretty well for me, though I have a gaiwan coming in soon…

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This is from the January 2014 Steepster Select Box.

I have trying my best to drink all the little odds and ends of tea that I have sitting around. Everything that is in the 2-4 cup range. I have significantly reduced the number of teas in my cupboard, but then more tea just keeps coming in:)

I have been using my new gaiwan to brew oolongs lately. I have always been an oolong fan and now with the start of summer and the gaiwan, the more green oolongs seem to be something I am starting to crave. This one is really hitting the spot tonight. It is light, floral, slightly buttery, and I get a bit of tang at the end of the sip. I really need to do a green oolong sampler one of these days to see if I can detect more subtle flavors. With the greenish oolongs, the flavor for me seems to vary by the amount of floral, buttery-ness, and the slight bitterness at the end of the sip. Sometimes I get a slight hint of fruit, other times the bitterness overtakes the fruity notes. This seems to be a nice balance between all the components.


Yay for green oolong tastings! Join the club, it’s a fun experience! And that is awesome you got a gaiwan. Do you notice a significant difference brewing tea that way compared to western-style? I have been considering getting one for a while, but just haven’t yet.


I haven’t done a taste off yet. What I do notice is that I get a wider range of flavors as I go through the multiple steepings. I also notice that I get to enjoy a tea for longer and I am not constantly warming up my cup in the microwave. I have been doing a lot of one samples lately. When I get to some of the teas where I have a lot left I will do a side by side comparison.

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This is a weird one, good just strange. Not sure were this tea falls caffeine wise but since it is Gao Shan Cha it still possesses the tea drunk aromatic oils :) so I am super mellow and smiley. I’ve western brewed in the past but decided to gongfu today. The first few steeping I got tart dark cherries sour sweet and tart plum at the tail, later a strong berry flavor appeared and remained constant for the rest of the steepings. A sort of piney, woody maybe fruit branch flavor accompanied the fruity flavor. I say fruit branch since it still had the berry taste it reminded me of berry branches that some time make it through the sorting in the frozen berry mix I like to buy.

An interesting tea, not something Id reach for daily (also just realized it was $11/oz yikes) but definitely enjoyable and glad I got to try this one.

Flavors: Berries, Cedar, Plant Stems, Wood

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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There are so many aromas from this tea that it is difficult to pick them out. I am getting floral notes, peach, resin, corn, and even what I can only describe as butter. Despite the complex layers of aroma it is a very pleasant smelling tea. The floral and peach carry over into the flavor of the tea as well. It is amazing to have a tea this complex, but not be overwhelmed by it. In addition to the fruit and peach, there is a slight citrus, almost grapefruit, towards the end which keeps the tea from getting too sweet. I will be buying more of this tea as one cup is not enough to fully explore it.

Flavors: Corn Husk, Flowers, Orange Zest, Peach, Pine

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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This tea’s immediate intoxicating effect is stunning. The tea has a rich aroma of floral plants and sweet depths that penetrate the senses. While the tea is on the tongue it has a flowery presence that morphs into a botanic secondary taste. The taste remains after swallowing and changes, like all Oolongs of this type. The effect is one of a vigorous efflorescence in the back of the mouth. This is a truly transcendental occurrence. The fermentation process has removed any bitter sharpness that the leaves may have initially possessed leaving a sweet penetrating liquor.


I read all 23 tasting notes for this tea and yours is the only one so vividly and thoroughly described the entire experience that I could almost feel it myself.
And the phrase “transcendental occurrence” is just adorz!

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I got this tea a little while ago when Eco-Cha had some good discounts on their older teas. This one was harvested in Spring 2013 so it is roughly a year old.

The age, I think, doesn’t matter, because this oolong is heavenly. Extremely fragrant (as much as I love fragrant teas, I don’t think I could drink this one when having a headache!), smelling like the purest, freshest, off-the-comb honey that was gathered from orchids and fruit blossoms. It tastes very sweet with a tiny amount of roastiness that balances the sweet notes out. The second resteep was even bolder in roasty notes (but they were still really mild) and also brought some vegetal notes.

This has everything I look for in an oolong. Because of its age, and because I have relatively a lot of it, I am going to make this one my evening staple… And I don’t know, but if it’s even better when it’s fresher, perhaps I am glad I got the older one :D So I don’t get too excited over it :D

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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