Women's Month Teamaker Spotlight

In honor of Women's History Month, we are proud to shine the spotlight on incredible female teamakers across the world. First, we land on the island of Taiwan. This lush growing environment offers a wide variety of styles and flavors, particularly within the Oolong category of teamaking. Our two teas highlighted this March showcase two very distinctive styles of oolong production, but both happen to represent four generations of teamakers within their two lineages.

Our Jade Mountain Oolong, No. 301, was created for us by our dear friends at Jhentea. Women run the whole operation at Jhentea, from farming and teamaking to sales and marketing.  Daughters, Ai and Fang, conduct the majority of the day-to-day operations, but when called upon for something particularly special it’s their mother, Fu Chen, who answers. A master by any name, Fu Chen has been making exquisite oolongs for over sixty years and has passed her tender care and passion for teamaking to her daughter, Ai. 

Jade Mountain, known locally as Yu Shan, is known for producing clean, beautiful teas that are less inhibited by other agricultural endeavors than some of Taiwan’s other famous tea-growing mountains. This tea is grown amongst a temperate conifer forest and the misty mountain air cultivates a humidity-rich environment that produces eloquent and subtle teas with a flavor profile of tuber rose, cream puff, and watercress. It shows more nuance and restraint than some of its more voluptuous high mountain counterparts.

Our Eastern Beauty Oolong, No. 302, was made by tea master Tseng Yu-Fang in the tiny village of Jiuhu, Miaoli, Taiwan. Tseng Yu-Fang, a former elementary school teacher, has been inspired by tea since she was a schoolgirl herself and left her profession to follow her passion for teamaking. Her family has won many awards for teamaking, especially for their oriental beauty style teas of which of Eastern Beauty is proud to belong.

Compared to conventional Bai Hao Oolong, our Eastern Beauty is lighter and more nuanced but with a distinctive earthy undertone that delivers flavors of sundried tomato and mole spice that transport you around the world in the single sip. Layered on top of those robust undertones are more exaggerated flavors of animal cracker and maple syrup.

While both Reserve Series teas are made of Summer 2020 oolong, they deliver markedly difference experiences. The Jade Mountain Oolong is light, floral and delicate while the Eastern Beauty, which is 75% oxidized, highlights the richer and more indulgent side of Taiwanese oolongs.