Eco-Cha Artisan Teas

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Recent Tasting Notes

An afternoon tea session care of a tea friend via a tea swap.

I seriously want to marry this tea and make little tea babies. A mixture of brown sugar toffee, almond, cocoa and sweet yam in both the aromatics and flavor notes. I’m in love.

5g, 120ml, boiling temperature with a 30s first, 10s second and climbing 5-10s with each subsequent steep with an eventual 120s final infusion.

The dry leaf:
https://instagram.com/p/BHSdktshXoW/

The session:
https://instagram.com/p/BHSknsnBB4r/

Preparation
Boiling 5 g 4 OZ / 120 ML
Daylon R Thomas

I wish they sold that still on the website. It’s only been available in the really expensive gift packs. Though it’s pared with a Shan Lin Xi which has become a favorite, it’s still so expensive…but I do spend that much per month on teas lol.

CWarren

I am fortunate that this was a sample from a kind and generous tea friend. Those gift packs are pretty cool though especially the reusable boxes.

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A late afternoon tea session that went into late evening.

Dry leaf aromatics like fresh baked bread and roasted coffee beans. The liquor, a beautiful golden yellow hue, was just simply smooth roasted dong ding goodness. Some roasted peanut notes with extremely subtle florals trying to peek through.

6.6g, 100ml Purion, 190F with a 30s first, 10s second and climbing in 5-10s intervals from there.

The dry leaf:
https://instagram.com/p/BHQAJpQBDVQ/

The session:
https://instagram.com/p/BHQmbhKhdyb/

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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An evening tea session care of a tea friend via a tea swap.

Aromatics like fresh out of the oven honey baked bread. Flavor notes of chocolate, light malt and hot buttered caramels. Simply intoxicating. Major tea high.

6g, 100ml, 190F, 45s, 10s, 15s, 20s, 30s, 45s, 60s and 120s.

The dry leaf:
https://instagram.com/p/BHLJC0ChCPH/
https://instagram.com/p/BHLLZ75BDWY/

The liquor:
https://instagram.com/p/BHLL3DbhJZY/

The wet leaf:
https://instagram.com/p/BHLLnnbB6Wd/

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Daylon R Thomas

I’ve wanted to join the Eco-Cha club I’ve had myself. 75 gram samples is still a little bit much for me as much as I enjoy them, if I am in fact correct about the monthly serving. It would be nice to get a constant serving of their Shan Lin Xi. I’m also very excited about trying their regular Jin Xuan.

CWarren

@Daylon R Thomas I just joined the club but from what I gather it is a 75g sample and some other item such as a teacup, etc. I tend to drink anywhere from 5-10g a session so it would go pretty quick for me, plus the occasional gifting and/or tea swap. So far the teas that I’ve received as tea swaps have been phenomenal.

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A late night tea session thanks to a tea friend who provided me this tea via a tea swap.

Creamy smooth mouthfeel and buttery flavor notes meets vegetal goodness with a nice buttery popcorn finish. Aromatics of fresh made butter and honeysuckle. Beautifully bright buttercream yellow hued liquor.

6g, 100ml, 190F with a 30s wake up and a 5s next with 5s climbs till the leaf waned which was at least seven good steeps of nice flavor.

So good that I joined the Eco-Cha tea club immediately. I look forward to the other samplings I received as part of this tea swap as well as the monthly club offerings.

The dry leaf:
https://instagram.com/p/BHBc0HMhcEe/

The liquor:
https://instagram.com/p/BHBeJE0B5Kv/

The wet leaf:
https://instagram.com/p/BHBfMw9BqFa/

The final leaf:
https://instagram.com/p/BHBpyzyBOvl/

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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88

I was turned off from trying Jin Xuans for a while because I don’t care for the heavy butter taste that most of them have but this one was a real winner. It’s wonderfully floral and has a sugarcane like sweetness that complements the hint of milky flavor. Honestly, there’s not a whole lot of milkiness to this tea, which suits me just fine. This and Shan Lin Xi are my favorites of the Eco-Cha teas I’ve sampled so far.

Flavors: Floral, Sugarcane, Sweet

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 45 sec 4 g 4 OZ / 130 ML

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86

This is a step above most generic four seasons oolong teas. The flavor profile is a little difficult to pin down as it changes every time. Sometimes it reminds me of TGY. It has the same sweet floral essence but not in your face. Thinner body and more delicate. Using more leaf accentuates its fruitiness and nectar especially when brewed in a yixing teapot.

Though I enjoyed this tea, it pales in comparison to BTT’s four seasons oolong which has a far more complex and memorable flavor.

Flavors: Floral, Sweet

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 45 sec 4 g 4 OZ / 130 ML

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82

Bought from a reddit tea sale. Used 3g in a 60mL gaiwan with 185 degree water.

Got a lot of floral and some vegetal flavors with a nice creamy texture – not super thick, but noticeable mouth feel. Pretty sweet tasting as well. Leaves seem like they’re pretty high quality, good vibrant green color and not too beat up or anything. In the later steeps I started getting a bit of a crisp, almost fruity note – may be what some have referred to as apple. This is my first Eco-Cha tea – may have to make an order with them at some point.

Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Fruity, Vegetal

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 2 OZ / 60 ML

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95

I didin’t use any specific steeping times with this since they lack suggestions for gongfu brewing. So I went with feeling and what seemed right, it turned out pretty good actually.

Nuggets are emerald green with light brown stems. They are small and even size. As a winter batch the leaves are quite small. Opened leaves are vegetal green.

Clear light green brew, latter steeps turn more orange/yellow hue. Mild scent. Full-bodied taste with notes of cream, vanilla, milk, fruit, osmanthus and some burnt sugar with woodsy notes. Terrific with really nice silky, thick and creamy mouthfeel. I can already say after couple steeps that this is the best Jin Xuan oolong that I’ve tasted. Others have been too milky or not milky at all, but this is in perfect balance. I’m definitely buying more after I’ve emptied my stash a bit.

Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Butter, Cream, Fruity, Milk, Osmanthus, Vanilla, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 OZ / 65 ML

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Not what I expected. I should have realized that this four season was a high mountain tea and not the usual Tie Guan Yin. I’ve never had a fruitier four seasons tea that yielded so many cups gong fu. I’d guess eight or nine.

Perfume, asian pear, apple, cinnamon, flowers, and honey were the kind of things I tasted. The fruity taste also had a tropical character which I loved. The cinnamon is a bit of an exaggeration, but there was an odd spiciness that I could at least approximate as cinnamon. Like the Shan Lin Xi, I particularly enjoyed this and would get some more Eco-Cha myself.

And this was all thanks to LuckyMe.

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Lion

I am very eagerly awaiting the 2016 spring harvest, which was supposedly in early May, so should be for sale soon. It is my favorite rolled oolong!

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Thank you Luckyme! Finally got to try this!

It actually yielded several cups with about 2 grams in 3 ounces of water, seven to be precise and all of them were fairly consistent in flavor. I did not count the seconds, I just brewed by impulse that was not quite western nor Gong Fu. The third steep was a little over two minutes and the rest were closer to western. I didn’t taste as much coconut as I thought I was going to, but it was there. The tea had a strong floral and fruity smell, and had a light creaminess with a heavy nectar quality. Honey, pineapple, and other tropical fruits were the kinds of things I was tasting with the florals and slight creaminess. This tea reminded me of Hawaii.

I might have to get some of this myself eventually. I may even join their tea club….

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It is a beautiful day! Perfect weather, intermittent cloud cover with a pleasant breeze, 75 degrees (the perfect temperature for me) and the hint of possible storms in the future. Of course I am spending the day watching Fighting Games on the West Coast Warzone Stream and have been doing that since yesterday. I am using a break in stream (by break I mean it is a game I don’t care about, sorry Guilty Gear) to blog about some yummy tea.

Today I am looking at one of the teas from Eco-Cha’s most awesome club which I am a member of, I joined at the beginning and paid for the whole year because I know Eco-Cha has good tea, so far I have been very pleased. I plan on writing about all of the teas I have gotten at some point, but this one needed blogging about now because Taiwanese Black Teas are a thing of epic beauty. ShanLinXi Black Tea (the link takes you to their blog post, very informative) comes from, you guessed it, Shan Lin Xi Mountain, one of my favorite mountains in Taiwan to procure tea from. The aroma of these curly leaves knocked me out of my chair from first sniff, seriously, I am so easily floored by red teas, it is a bit embarrassing. There are notes of lychee, mango, papaya, cocoa, cream, and nutty almost coconut water undertones, this tea smells tropical and immensely sweet and rich.

Into my beloved ruyao gaiwan the leaves go, the aroma keeps up the tropical fruit notes with papaya, longan, lychee, mango, and a touch of cherries. There is also an undertone of chocolate and cream, it is so sweet, it is almost cloying but manages to sneak right under the cloying radar and fall happily into richness. Wow, somehow the liquid manages to smell even sweeter, but still manages to not be cloying, probably because it smells like fruit juice rather than candy, with notes of papaya, cherry, and lychees, with a woody and cocoa undertone and a delicate hint of cream.

Wow, just wow, this tea is sooo sweet! It is a bit mind boggling! It is very smooth in the mouth with a tiny bit of bright crispness at the finish that let’s you know there might be some tannins somewhere in this tea, but only a hint. It starts with papaya and lychee, then moves on to woody and creamy with cocoa undertones. The finish is a bit of autumn leaves and mineral. Then the real fun, the aftertaste on this tea goes on forever, super sweet tropical fruit creamy goodness that just does not quit.

Second steep, the aroma keeps up the intense sweetness, but it also has a distant floral note that took me forever to pin down, at first I thought maybe the spring flowers outside my window were playing with my sense of smell so I took the tea elsewhere to sniff where I was able to determine it has a subtle peony and plumeria notes. The taste also has a hint of that floral quality, it is almost ghostly dancing in and out of taste. The fruity and creamy cocoa notes stay strong, and woody notes become a little more pronounced, along with a mineral quality to the finish. The aftertaste is not quite as long lasting as the first steep, but it was still long lasting.

The third steep’s aroma has a stronger floral note, definitely picking up on that peony and plumeria, though it is woodier this steep, the cocoa notes are also more prominent. Wow, the mouthfeel on this steep is super smooth, which goes well with its nectar like sweetness. The tropical fruit notes are not as strong this steep, mostly the lychee note sticks around, it is joined by strong creamy cocoa and coconut water and a woody finish. The aftertaste is still strong but not as strong as previous steeps. And perfect timing, as I wrap this post up Mortal Kombat Top 8 is starting, so I shall take my tea and stare at the stream happily. Happy weekend everyone!

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2016/04/eco-cha-tea-club-batch-5-shanlinxi.html

Daylon R Thomas

Sounds so good.

Alexsia 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

It is, I wish they had it in their shop because I am going to cry when I drink it all…and it will be soon since it is so yummy!

Daylon R Thomas

Good black teas are to be savored. I’d be upset as hell too. I even hesitate whenever I drink Mandala’s Milk. I could drink it all the time, but it is so expensive. I’ve been so tempted to join one of their clubs solely for their Alishan, Shan Lin Xi, and Lishan blacks. Plus I’m curious about their greener oolongs-which Luckyme will send a sample of to try.

Alexsia 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

I really need to try more of Mandala’s teas, all I have had is their puerhs

Daylon R Thomas

There’s a reason why Mandala’s Milk Oolong is one of the top teas on here. It’s probably the best Milk that I’ve had thus far because of how naturally thick and sweet it is.

Daylon R Thomas

It’s just pricey-which is a given. The re-steep value makes up for it though.

Matt Warren

I just got this for my first Eco-Cha tea club shipment. At first I was like, what the hell? A black tea from my Taiwan Tea Club? Then I brewed it up. Outrageous. I can’t wait until next month.

Alexsia 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

I know!! I hope we get more black teas, Taiwan’s black teas are a thing of magic :D Though of course I will be quite happy with all the oolongs too!

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90

Resbonsibly sourced artisan tea that looks really great. How can you pass that? I recently ordered samples of unroasted green oolongs from Eco-cha. Couple of them were already sold out so I picked best of the rest; Jin Xuan, Tsui Yu and this one, Four Seasons Spring. Today I picked them up from post office and I’m already amazed. They came in vacuum sealed bags (like most oolongs do) and they even had this tiny thing that keeps moisture out. I don’t remember the word. :D
Anyways, Four seasons spring oolong has quite mild aroma, but still fresh and floral. Every nugget seems to have picked with passion. They’re even sized, quite small and look just fabulous. Shiny and glossy.
The brew is delicate, aromatic, floral and crisp with nice fruity finish. Longer brews bring out some spicy notes, especially cinnamon like stated in eco-cha website. Really clean and buttery mouthfeel. The color of it is also very pretty, pale green.
Really, really nice tea. One of the best four seasons I’ve tried.

Flavors: Apple, Cinnamon, Floral, Flowers, Fruity

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 tsp 3 OZ / 100 ML
Whiteantlers

Lovely review. The tiny thing you mentioned is a dessicant. It is full of granules that absorb moisture.

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85

Okay I’m upping the rating on this one after an enjoyable session this afternoon. I steeped it gongfu and then combined the steeps into my travel tumbler. The tea is much improved by compounding the steeps this way. Sweet orchid aroma and flavor and a honeyed orange blossom like aftertaste as it cools.

I still think it’s too expensive for what it is. Glad I got to try it but likely will not revisit it in the future.

Flavors: Floral, Nectar, Orange Blossom, Orchid

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 45 sec 3 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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85

This was less impressive than Eco-Cha’s other lower priced offerings. It’s light and buttery with an orchid and steamed vegetables flavor. Nothing mind-blowing or memorable, just a decent jade oolong. I don’t get the hype about Da Yu Ling. This is the second one I’ve tried and both were underwhelming. Maybe it’s the scarcity of the tea, but to me its not worth the price it commands. Fortunately there are far better Taiwanese oolongs out there that don’t cost an arm and a leg.

Flavors: Orchid, Vegetal

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 45 sec 3 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Rasseru

I have had ones with definite fruit fragrance, or light taste as well as the vegetal & floral. pear or apple I have noticed. But I agree it’s expensive for what it is, and prefer some of the more interesting oolong for a lot less

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93

I love straight teas that taste flavored. This one smells and tastes very tropical and fruity. The wet leaf has an strong aroma of juicy fruit and honeycomb. The tea starts off with white peach and coconut, gentle florals and a soft body. Steeped further, pineapple and a little creaminess develops. There’s a bit of minerality and a delicious lingering fruitiness. The pina-colada flavors remind me a lot of WP’s Golden Lily. Come to think of it, it has some milky tones too.

Only negatives are some rather large twigs and the flavor runs out pretty quickly. By the 4th steep, most of the flavor had been wringed out. All in all, a very pleasant and satisfying tea!

Flavors: Coconut, Floral, Milk, Peach, Pineapple, Tropical

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 45 sec 3 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Rasseru

twigs arent necessarily a bad thing, they add sweeter flavour

LuckyMe

@Rasseru – interesting, i thought all the flavor was in the leaf. they’re just a little annoying because the gaiwan lid won’t stay closed

Daylon R Thomas

Now I know to get that one.

Rasseru

the stem part has catechins that add ‘mellow sweetness and aesthetically undesirable’

LuckyMe

@Daylon – let me know if you’d like a sample. it really is a good tea.

Daylon R Thomas

I’d love a sample. I’ve been debating on whether or not I wanted to try more from that company.

Whiteantlers

If you want a mind changer regarding twigs, get some Malawi Satema Antlers white tea from What-Cha. It is almost all twigs and sweet as your first kiss.

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86

I was quite happily surprised by the quality and intense flavor of the brew from this lightly oxidized and lightly toasted tea. Very refreshing and yet lush with buttery tones and a natural floral green-ness that is very uplifting and a pleasure to drink. Generally I have not been a fan of most Milk Oolongs, but this one could become quite addictive. And the number of re-steeps from the leaves was phenomenal, making it quite economical as I savored cup after cup.

Flavors: Butter, Floral, Green

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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70

“Light” really describes this one best. It tastes a bit like a light Oriental Beauty. I noticed some strawberry notes and many lemon juice notes. Unfortunately, this didn’t endure very many infusions. Refreshing and nice, but not as Oolong-long-lasting as I expected.

EDIT: A Retry with some more leaves got it fixed up to 7 infusions now.

Read the whole thing on my blog:
http://chazichaxi.blogspot.de/2016/02/tea-tasting-organic-spring-2015-light.html

Flavors: Baked Bread, Lemon, Strawberry

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 45 sec 2 tsp 4 OZ / 120 ML

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95

I honestly felt like this deserved more of a ninety today, but that’s just because of how I brewed it. And how much tea I already had. Yet I noticed something. It has the same weird nutty aftertaste of a greener dong ding. In fact, it reminded me of the same aftertaste I get from the Old Style Dong Ding and Misty Mountain. A smooth, nectary buttered nuttiness. Or it could just be my own oddity. I can say, though, that I did not have either of those teas today at the same time as this one.

Just thought I’d share my oddity with you guys.

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95

Okay, I now REALLY love this tea. And of course, that is due to it being there in a time of need. If you just want to read about the tea, scroll past this next paragraph.

So here’s the story of the morning. I wake up at 6. Get ready for an Anthropology Department Field Trip to the Chicago Field Museum for a new exhibit on Ancient Greece. We are supposed to meet a bus stop far away. I go to my car when it is 31 degrees outside. It’s frozen shut. And. Frozen LOCKED. I call my good friend for an emergency pick up. He cannot pick me up. But. He tells me that the bus is reconvening at the other side of campus. I.E. A 25 minute walk from where I am in 32 degrees. A 10 minute run in 32 degrees with my veins pumping 99 degrees in frustration.

Finally. I get to the hall. And my tea is ready in my lovely sixteen ounce tumbler, white foaming at the top in a deep, amber red color. I take a sip of my incidentally Grandpa Styled oolong, and it tastes just like chestnuts and malted butter. It is sooooo good. I chugged it down.

I really love this tea for its sweetness and thick nuttiness. It is also INCREDIBLY strong and complex. I put approximately a tablespoon, maybe less of the leaves and it makes the most balanced and thick bodied sweet chestnut drink that I’ve ever had.

I highly recommend this tea to try something different and something to have if you are giving up coffee. The roast has a quality like coffee, but it doesn’t quite taste like coffee. It is also REALLY sweet for a straight tea. Like brown sugar sweet. I might even be bad and make a chai out of it…

Back to the tea by itself, it works great Gong Fu, but I personally prefer it Western because soaking it for long periods of time collects all the flavor notes on here and compiles them into one harmonizing brew. The same Grandpa as witnessed here. The Gong Fu actually makes it too strong for me even with smaller leaf amounts.

With all of that said, I think this is more for an experienced drinker or for someone looking for a possible coffee alternative. I would also look at all the notes on here. Each give an accurate description and all of them are slightly different. I personally think that a black tea drinker might like this, but a green tea drinker would love the nutty qualities. An oolong lover more than likely would enjoy this. As for someone trying tea for the first time, he or she might not recognize the taste. Nutty or roasted might come to their mind, but again, the flavor for this tea is complex and fairly unusual for a every day palette (unless you’ve had Rui Gui’s or Dong Dings). You experienced drinkers who know what you are looking for, I recommend this tea. For those of you beginning your addiction, I’d maybe wait on this one and try it later a long your path…unless you’ve liked darker oolongs already.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Butter, Butterscotch, Chestnut, Roast nuts, Roasted, Scotch, Sweet

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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95

This is incredibly strong even with 3 grams. And it is still sooooooo sweet. I love the warm chestnut and coffee smell dry leaf, but I need to figure out a better way to brew this. I’ll Gong Fu when I use three grams again. Heck, I might use four leaves for one cup because it’s so strong. I actually felt like I was drinking the oil from cashew butter.

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95

I got it today, and I overleafed my cup this morning for Gong Fu. But I have a lot of this tea, so I’m much freer for mistakes. Chesnut, coffee, honey, salt, and dried fruit are what I’m getting. There’s also a weird astringency that is not sitting well on my stomach. I was hoping for something kinda like WP’s Tie Guan Yin Dark Roast, but it’s a lot closer to the Roasted Osmanthus I have from Mountain Tea. I loved that one the first time I tried it, but later, I could barely drink it because of it’s fatty after taste and intense amount of caffeine. It also had an astringency that distinctly reminded me of salt. I’m currently drinking this on an empty stomach. Salty and caffeine= bad idea.

Nuts and roasted nuts is the taste I get throughout, and as it cools down, a very strong vanilla note pops out. This is a HIGHLY complex tea. It is also WAY too strong for me right now. Granted, I wanted fewer leaves anyway. So I’m really lowering the amount of leaves next time Gong Fu, and I also need a very few leaves western or grandpa.

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