Chia-Ming is a relatively famous tea producer in Taiwan known for it's Honey Cicada Black Tea. In our visit to them, we found out more about this particular tea as well purchasing another pristine Oolong from them.
The Oolong is a semi ball style Dah-Yeh (broad leaf) cultivar. For this elevation, the broad leaf cultivar is quite ideal and produces a sweet clean cup. We were visiting Chia-Ming as this tea was being packed post processing. The leaves are beautiful and unfurl with each steep to reveal nearly perfect preservation of the pick. This doesn't surprise because Chia-Ming is know for it's superior processing skills.
The other tea, Cicada Honey Black, was the byproduct of a unique method noted for it's use of tea green leafhoppers. Normally considered a pest or associated with novelty teas, this particular tea uses these little pests to produce an exemplary experience. The folks as Chia-Ming have learned to identify a specific type of bitten leaf as an ideal pick that when processed to an exacting methodology results in one of the more unique teas experiences you can have. This black tea yields strong aromas, complex sweetness, and a very distinct cup.
I admit being skeptical about this tea coming in. I had sampled it before through other sources and had what I can only describe as skunky results. Once I arrived at the farm and cupped through all of their lots, the distinctions became clear as to our preferences. We took the silver medal competition lot which was picked as the favorite in the competition by the tea research facility manager in the area. Compared to the gold medal lot, which Chia-Ming also submitted and won, it came as so distinctly special that it was better in our opinion than the more singular gold medal lot.