Eco-Cha (which translates as ‘a sip of tea’) is company based in Taiwan that sells tea online. It’s a company that was started with a huge amount of knowledge about, and connection to, the Taiwanese tea industry. All the tea is sourced in small batches from tea farmers that the founders know personally.
Eco-Cha were kind enough to send me some of their new spring 2014 oolongs. I was sent some of their greener oolongs as I generally prefer them to heavily roasted oolongs. I was really impressed with the packaging of the teas. They come vacuum packed meaning that the teas are kept really fresh and upon opening you get the full aroma of the dry leaves.
Jin Xuan Oolong (Nantou, Taiwan)
Jin Xuan is a tightly rolled oolong meaning that it can produce a large number of infusions and different flavours are released as the leaves open. I managed around 7-8 infusions in total. As the tea is an unroasted spring tea it is very delicate in colour but not in taste. It has a delicious savoury smell and a salty taste that is reminiscent of butter. As the infusions continue a sweet vegetable taste comes through. I think it is a perfect tea to pair with a meal due to it’s savoury nature and it’s also really refreshing in the nice weather. I brewed the tea at 85C for two minutes an infusion. The Eco-Cha website has so much information about the tea, including some very good brewing tips, here.
Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Oolong, (Nantou, Taiwan)
Again I managed around 7-8 infusions as Shan Lin Xi is also a tightly rolled oolong. This tea is hand picked and, as the name suggests, the tea is grown at a high elevation (1525m) which is what makes this tea really stand out. The tea has a lovely floral yet sweet vegetal smell. It has a sweet vegetal taste with both floral and buttery hints. I brewed the tea at 85C for two minutes an infusion. You can read a lot more about the tea here.
Four Seasons Spring Oolong, (Nantou, Taiwan)
Four Seasons is another tightly rolled oolong meaning that I was able to get 7-8 infusions once again. It is another hand picked tea which you can see in the quality of the leaves as they unfurl. Only 3 crops a year are picked from this tea farm meaning that the tea is very well nourished. The oolong smells of sweet vegetables with a floral tone. It tastes like sweet steamed vegetables with floral and fruity hints. It’s very fresh and clean tasting. I brewed the tea at 85C for two minutes. The website has a lot more information about the tea here.
I highly recommend all three of these oolongs. If you want good quality Taiwanese tea with impeccable traceability Eco-Cha fit the bill perfectly. The Eco-Cha website holds a wealth of information about the company and their teas. You can follow @ecochateas on Twitter.