Eco-Cha Artisan Teas

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Recent Tasting Notes

90

I used a few more leaves this morning mid gong fu-western. First steep was 50 seconds, 2 min, 1 min so far. I still get the florals and the hyacinth, but now I get the sugar cane sweetness to it. Sugar cane is a weird note for me anyway. It’s sweet without crystals tracing into my stomach. I’d describe it more as a grassy, green sweetess-like the smell of sugar, or the air between sugar crystals in your mouth. Or how Vanilla is sweet without it being, well, straight sugar. Those are the more vivid descriptions brought to you by flowery approximate language.

Like the description says on the website, it’s more like fresh greens than anything else with a cleansing aftertaste. It still reminds me of a Tie Guan Yin. But getting that much out of 20 grams of tea for $2 is awesome.

Now it’s time for the teas demographic: a little description I haven’t included in a while. I would recommend this to a newer drinker as something to try just to know how complex, light, and subtle this tea varietal can be. In essence, it would be an educating tea to say “Jin Xuan’s can be flowery and light, but they taste like buttery fresh greens usually. This is a great example of it. Get more if you like it, or make only a few more stops with other teas if you don’t .”

As for more experienced drinkers, I would think this is more for someone who likes their oolongs, and their Jin Xuans light. Or someone who likes delicate teas. After going through MANY Jin Xuans, this is probably one of the better flavored ones. I am biased to the florals, which is another thing that might deter or welcome drinkers.

I’m curious if the winter crop is any creamier or sweeter, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this is more floral overall.

Important note: it is a spring crop from 2016.

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90

I need to try this tea again. I attempted gong fu, but I did not use enough leaves for that session. What I’ll write is very similar to what Luckyme described.

I tried 45 seconds, and I get a very light creamy floral-something that reminds me of lilac, or more accurately hyacinth. I hesitated hoping it wasn’t leftover soap staining my vessel.

So I switched out vessels, and I get more of the same florals after three minutes. Still incredibly light, but lightly buttery and lightly vegetal. I do get a little bit of a savory vegetable taste, yet they are softer compared to the florals. It does remind me something of a Tie Guan Yin, or even closer, Mandala’s Unflavored Jin Xuan, but lighter like the Tie Guan Yin.

The next time after 4 and half minutes, there was some sweetness coming out, but floral sweetness. Vanilla popped in my head, but more as an after tone of the hyacinth.

The next at five minutes was a little bit more vegetal savory, but light and floral as ever.

I need to try this again. I’m pretty impressed that the hyacinth floral was the strongest aspect of this, but I have hopes that I could get this tea to brew sweeter. All this $2 for 20g, then $12 for 150g…that is a bargain.

Upon the correction later, starting at 3 minutes Western at 180 F, I get more of a fruity note in the middle of tasting it. Maybe something close to a pineapple skin. I do not quite get as much hyacinth, but a strong floral character remains with a lightly buttered vegetable background.

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Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 6 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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A late night tea session. Updated tasting notes later…

Preparation
Boiling 5 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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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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Well, I officially prefer the winter crop of this. Or I might have liked the four seasons more since the two teas tasted incredibly similar to me when I first had them. After reading some of the tasting notes including the websites own descriptions, there was a good amount of difference per season. I still am very glad to have a mini stash of this because the fruity floral character is something I do not like being without.

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I think I brewed this wrong. More vegetal with a sweet honey, fruity, floral aftertaste. I did notice this was a lot more savory and honeyed than the last time I had it.

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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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