Organic & Sustainable: Tea Subscription February 2017

Organic & Sustainable: Tea Subscription February 2017

 “Tea is nought but this:  first you heat the water, then you make the tea. Then you drink it properly. That is all you need to know.”  ― Sen Rikyu, Japanese Tea Master 

Happy Chinese Rooster New Year! New year means new hopes and new discoveries!  
This month’s specialty teas are from relatively new tea farming regions of Taiwan and from farms that focus on clean and organic. As the trend of sustainable, health and wellness living grows, more and more farmers are changing their way of making tea. 

Yilan and Minjian are lower elevation tea farming region. Yilan is by east coast with plenty of Pacific Ocean wind and minerals. Minjian in Nantou is one of the largest farming region in Taiwan protected by the central mountain range and a long strip of gentle hill that will prevent industrial air pollution and weather harms such as typhoons. Both tea region can harvest 6-8 times a year due to its elevation, though the best are still spring and summer for oolongs. 

Organic Minjian tea farm in Minjian village, Nantou, Taiwan.  

Organic Minjian tea farm in Minjian village, Nantou, Taiwan.  

Organic Minjian Oolong 40 grams

Mrs. Xiao began farming when she married her husband whose family are three generations of tea farmers. Mr. Xiao’s long term allergic reactions to pesticide and fertilizers encouraged her to start organic farming. Nowadays, she lets grass, flowers and weeds to grow between the tea plants which creates micro eco cycles and makes the tea plants stronger and healthier. She also uses natural ways to eliminate surrounding pesticide usage.  

Tasting Notes: A medium roast oolong with four season cultivar’s classic flower aromas, soft smooth liquid with a bit of forest notes and sweet after taste.  
Brewing: 3grams, 90-95C, 150ml, 4 brews, 1-5minutes  
Varietal: four seasons oolong
Elevation: 400 m
Date: 2016 November 

Close up of Oranic Minjian dark green rolled balled oolongs. 

Close up of Oranic Minjian dark green rolled balled oolongs. 

Biyu Taiwan No. 19 Oolong 40 grams

Mr Chen’s ancestors were renowned tea farmers in China and escaped to Taiwan during the civil war and continue tea farming in Yilan. He helping out in the farm and tea production when he’s only a teenager and he took over the farm when his father grew old. Since taking on, he shifted towards growing organically.  Biyu is the 19th cultivar developed by the Taiwan Tea & Research Extension and made public in 2004. It’s a cross between cultivar No.12 and Qingxin Oolong. The plant is hardy, bug resistant and fitting for mid to high elevation. The cultivar is best for light rolled oolongs and baozhong oolong. 

Tasting Notes: Aroma notes of gardenia and jasmine followed by green smooth gentle flavors.  
Brewing: 3 grams, 90-95C, 150ml, 3 brews,  1-3minutes  
Varietal: Biyu No.19 oolong
Elevation: 250m
Harvest: 2016 Spring  

Drinking Biyu No.19 Green oolong. 

Drinking Biyu No.19 Green oolong.