Eco Cha Teas

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Bok
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Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:37 am

As I just saw one of their advertisements, I was wondering if anyone has tried Eco Cha teas? I find it curious that the name does not seem to have popped up as a Western facing vendor... searched it on Teachat, nada.

They are if I am not mistaken, the only tea company in Taiwan which is run by foreigners and also operated from there as opposed to Westerners sourcing teas in Taiwan but being based elsewhere. There are some smaller one-man foreigner operations here and there but nothing too serious.

Ecocha get quite a lot of coverage in Taiwan, I doubt though that they can sell much in Taiwan itself. The company is based in Nantou in the heart of the Taiwan tea country. So a lot of their teas are from the immediate vicinity, Dong Dings ans Shanlinxi.

What I like is their clever naming, Ecocha, in Chinese becomes Yi Kou Cha 一口茶, one sip of tea, smart! That is often a challenge to find a good English-Chinese translation for brands. Does not make sense for me to try as the prices are clearly marked for the international market, but still curious I am.

Always a lot of marketing talk going on with Western-facing sellers, so...
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Bok
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Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:40 am

Their website: https://eco-cha.com/

Can not find any of the local articles about them at the moment, but they attracted quite some attention a while ago, mainly due to being foreigners doing a very taiwanese business, but then Taiwanese media always likes to jump on that sort of thing...
wildisthewind
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Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:34 am

I tried a few of their teas earlier on in my journey - a concubine, an alishan, and a roasted dong ding - and while they seemed good then, they seem pretty average now. Not bad, mind you, but far inferior to what I've gotten from Tea Masters, Taiwan Tea Craft, HY Chen, etc.
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Wed Oct 25, 2017 7:43 pm

wildisthewind wrote:
Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:34 am
I tried a few of their teas earlier on in my journey - a concubine, an alishan, and a roasted dong ding - and while they seemed good then, they seem pretty average now. Not bad, mind you, but far inferior to what I've gotten from Tea Masters, Taiwan Tea Craft, HY Chen, etc.
Makes sense, Teamasters has spent much longer time in Taiwan and has probably pretty good connections via his tea teachers, the other two are Taiwanese/farmers themselves. For all others it takes a lot of time and good connections and luck to get access to truly good teas. Sadly as a foreigner often times there is a huge disadvantage, either you get ripped off or you simply won’t get offered the good stuff. Taiwan is very friendly towards foreigners in general, but in some areas chauvinism still rules…

Or eco cha are not so good at picking the best tea, which is always also a possibility.
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CWarren
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Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:31 am

I belonged to their tea club for some time and though I enjoyed their teas for the most part and do still on occasion pull some out of my stash folks like Hau Ying Chen ruined me for other vendor’s Taiwanese oolongs.
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Victoria
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Thu Oct 26, 2017 12:01 pm

CWarren wrote:
Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:31 am
I belonged to their tea club for some time and though I enjoyed their teas for the most part and do still on occasion pull some out of my stash folks like Hau Ying Chen ruined me for other vendor’s Taiwanese oolongs.
Hahha were is the Like button :)
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Bok
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Thu Oct 26, 2017 8:17 pm

CWarren wrote:
Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:31 am
I belonged to their tea club for some time and though I enjoyed their teas for the most part and do still on occasion pull some out of my stash folks like Hau Ying Chen ruined me for other vendor’s Taiwanese oolongs.
Like I said above, non-taiwanese will not have commercial access to a certain level of quality easily, the market is too small and already divided up a long time before westerners started to source higher quality teas… only chance if you are outside of Taiwan are the random rogue farmers like HY Chen! Inside there are more options.
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Fri Oct 27, 2017 3:07 am

Just realised that this topic should probably better be located in the vendor discussion section, no? Could anyone with the relevant access move it please? Sorry, wasn’t apying enough attention…
plod
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Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:19 am

Since I mentioned eco-cha in another thread, and this one had so few replies, I thought I'd chime in...as long as it's still here.

I'd just like to add that Eco-cha were always great to deal with, and most of their teas were good or very good, especially for the price. I guess I share wildisthewind's experience, and have adjusted my idea of what top quality Taiwanese oolong means (CWarren puts it very nicely, too). Still, I think they deserve more attention then they seem to be getting. I've found their teas to surpass all vendors closer to home (Europe), and I haven't found any with better price/quality ratio. I also like that they have been consistent and reliable. The teas have all been clean and fresh.

I've managed to turn a few friends on to Proper Tea (even though it's theft) with eco-cha's teas. These have all proved easy to drink and like: Jin Xuan, Four seasons, Shan Li Xi, small leaf black, traditional dong ding.

Just ok: Shan Li Xi Gui Fei Mei Ren (great at first, but got too sweet and honeyed to drink often). Their Tieguanyin was not my thing.

Somehow their more select offerings weren't quite to my taste. Specifically the Da Yu Ling was a bit disappointing, while the #18 was ok, but I've had much better. This year, for instance, from darjeeling.cz.

PS! I suspect that the number of results when searching for them in the backlog of the Other Place is due to "eco" and "cha" are both three letter words, thus both are ignored. Could this be the case?
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Victoria
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Fri Feb 05, 2021 9:15 pm

Revisiting this thread while I sip on Eco-cha’s charcoal roast High Mountain, which was a gift with my recent order. It’s really very good, I’m pleasantly surprised. In early January I ordered a bunch of samples of their roasted oolong, because I was worried my main source might not come through for another year. Now I’m flush with jins of several different roasted DongDing and high mountain, even so I could see ordering this roasted high mountain from Eco-cha as well. Fall 2020, sourced in Shanlinxi and roasted 4X over 4 months. Aromatics are sweet, malty and layered. Liquor elegant, flavorful, roasted sweet yams, pecans, and spices. 2nd, 3rd, 4th steeps rich, flavorful, with more intense roasted pecans, yams and spices. It’s expansive in the mouth, salivation inducing, with a strong lingering palate.

I’ll add that I appreciate the economy of their packaging, not a centimeter lost. Each foil vacu-packed 20 gram sample block fit perfectly inside a compact box. Graphics and descriptions are equally clear, concise, to the point 🍃

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Ethan Kurland
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Sat Feb 06, 2021 11:45 am

Victoria wrote:
Fri Feb 05, 2021 9:15 pm
and roasted 4X over 4 months.
Interesting. I had not heard of such a roasting schedule.
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LeoFox
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Sat Feb 06, 2021 1:26 pm

This is the description on the site
This batch of tea was sourced by our tea mentor and close friend Lisa Lin in Lugu, Taiwan. Lisa sourced tea from her friend's farm at spring harvest that was processed in preparation for entry into competition.

Lisa roasted this batch of tea 4 times over 4 months time, letting it rest between roastings. When it was about 80% of the level she was aiming for, she brought it to the local charcoal roasting master in Lugu, who completed the task, using Longanwood charcoal.
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Victoria
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Sun Mar 21, 2021 5:34 pm

Have had Eco-cha’s Eco-farmed Heavy Roast Oolong a few times now. Not stellar, more on the medium/lower grade spectrum, but then so is the price at just .25 cents a gram. Although I have had roasted oolong at slightly higher price point that is much more complex and layered. In the first few steeps charcoal notes are present, it is rich, but lacks complex layers and depth. Hokujo kyusu doesn’t match well with this roasted oolong, previous steeps were slightly better in a porcelain gaiwan. It’s interesting how some roasted oolong sing in Hokujo stoneware while others seem dulled 🍃.

Once I have my favorite roasted oolong in stock it is difficult to find time to sample new ones, especially when the experience might not be particularly elevating or transformative. It will take some time to go through the samples ordered.
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Victoria
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Tue Mar 23, 2021 3:33 pm

Enjoying their Lishan, aromatic, buttery, viscous, creamy and sweet stone fruit notes, just as it should be. Twice the price of my previous sample at .50c gram. I forgot how much I really like Lishan, use to be a daily event 🍃

I’m happy also my vertical (later production) Emu shudei kyusu likes this Lishan. The pear skin clay is slightly more porous than his earlier shudei pieces, so has taken some time to break-in.

One thing I’ve noticed is Eco-cha have a very robust advertising presence in FB. Every time I log in there is a company add in the timeline. The graphics in those adds are not especially inspired, so sort of an eyesore.
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Bok
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Tue Mar 23, 2021 11:06 pm

Victoria wrote:
Tue Mar 23, 2021 3:33 pm
The graphics in those adds are not especially inspired, so sort of an eyesore.
Hahah, oh yes, they do indeed have terrible sense of beauty in terms of overall look and feel of the brand and teaware(sooo fugly) – but hey, if the tea is good...
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