UnRoasted Organic High Mountain Oolong
We consider this tea to be our signature selection, due to the tea garden from which these leaves are procured. Discovering this farm was a pivotal event in the R&D of Eco-Cha. We had previously visited other certified organic farms and many variations of “transitional” tea gardens, but so far – this one stands alone in its fully developed naturally thriving state. The owner of this farm has pioneered the profession of organic high elevation tea farming in Taiwan. The land was purchased 26 years ago and developed from its pristine state by its current owner. During a period of agricultural development in Taiwan where pesticides and chemical weed killers were prevalent, and in many cases abused – this farmer never used weed killer products on his land. In addition, he applied only minimal chemical fertilizers and pesticides from the time the farm was established. This is why the farm was able to obtain organic certification in 1999 within a mere 5 years of becoming transitional, i.e. ceasing to use chemical products of any kind. Unlike many other certified organic farms, this farmer has personally researched and employed holistic, sustainable methods of cultivating an eco-system of flora and fauna to allow his tea plants to thrive. This tea garden is now a prototype of low-impact natural tea cultivation, and we intend to promote it as a leader in this trend.
The unroasted leaves from this farm produce a fresh, clean, silky smooth brew with qualities that are akin to the tea grown in its neighboring Lishan area. The flavor and aroma are subtle and well balanced. Like all fully unroasted leaves, care must be taken to not over-brew the tea. When brewed properly, there is a viscosity to the texture and a floral aroma that lingers after drinking while leaving the palate clean and refreshed with a slightly sweet aftertaste. At 1500 m , it is considerably lower than Lishan tea – yet still within the upper range of high mountain tea classification, which begins at 700m. The brewed tea leaves are noticeably thicker and more substantial than conventionally grown tea in similar environs. The leaves are also able to brew a significantly more amount of tea – perhaps double that of its conventional counterparts. We see this as testimony to the beneficial effects of organic farming methods.