About this project
High Mountain Oolongs are the darlings of Taiwanese tea, but it is important to us that our tea company’s inaugural collection represents the variety of one of the world’s most diverse tea cultures. So we invited master tea makers from all over the country to apply their craft to high mountain raw material tea leaves from these tea gardens in Alishan.
We want to shake things up a bit so it’s important that our inaugural collection of teas can offer something a little different, and to make this happen we’re going to need your support.
Thank you so much to all of you for your support, we've truly been blown away by your generosity and feel very grateful indeed. You've encouraged us to think bigger and dream more boldly.
Due to the early success of our campaign, we have managed to engage one of Taiwan’s finest ceramic artists, Lin Yi-jie (林義傑), and we are proud to present the first 2 designs from our custom-designed, hand-made, small kiln-fired tea set.
To put our tea set into production, we need to hit our stretch goal of $30,000.
With this tea set we wanted to create something that sits proudly amongst a connoisseurs’ collection of tea caddies, and also makes the brewing experience simple and straightforward for those who take up new hobbies with real intent.
The Tall Tea Cup can become your new favorite, suitable for a relaxing tea drinking session or to stand alongside you as you do your thing throughout the day. The Tea Steeper with its open top makes brewing easy as well as a more sensory experience, as you get to smell the aroma, and watch the leaves unfurl and the tea liquor brighten throughout the steep.
Lin Yi-jie is one of Taiwan’s esteemed potters and ceramic artists, receiving numerous awards and invitations to exhibit both at home and abroad. Since 1992, he has run a pottery house, which serves as his design studio, factory, and home. His passion and lifestyle are well-integrated, which is an embodiment of his approach to pottery design: to fashion a line of pottery that seamlessly finds its way into modern living and the home environment, for ‘art can often be lonely, so the work itself should be hospitable’.
We have a whole new set of rewards now available, so if early backers would like to update or adjust your backing level, you will be able to receive our custom-designed hand-crafted bespoke tea ware set in February.
Breathing innovation into a thousand year old craft, Dachi Tea Company wants to emphasize the power of the human touch by providing four master tea craftsmen with the same raw material tea leaves from the same spot on the mountain. By delicately manipulating the amounts of air, water, sun and fire to which the leaves are exposed, they can reveal a rich palette of flavor profiles including smoky, sweet, fruity and floral tones.
Our single estate, loose leaf teas are sustainably and naturally made, no nasty added flavours or ingredients. Our first flush from October when we tested the concept produced some exquisite teas and achieved the tasting notes achieved below.
With tea making methods borrowed from Sun Moon Lake, the Honeysuckle oolong’s deep cocoa and plum aroma eases you into a baked fruit flavor with a lasting honey nectar finish. With it's natural sweetness and full-bodied flavor, this is one of those teas which has you constantly sipping and subconsciously craving more.The Honeysuckle Oolong has been fully oxidised, which means it’s one of those teas that can only get better with age.
Also known as a Dong Ding Oolong, this tea has a woodsy aroma with notes of granola and butterscotch, which tease you into a heavy-bodied soup that has the minerality or river rocks and a malty flavor that some say is akin to a carefully crafted Indian Pale Ale. Forget the hollowness of a caffeine rush, this assertive tea comes with a boost of chi that energises you from the inside out and it’s coming to takeover the west!
Commonly referred to as a Tie Guan Yin, the Iron Goddess Oolong has a mature, nutty, smoky aroma that leads you nicely into a very full-bodied tea with the puckering effect of citrus fruit. The sweet linger of this tea reminds you of dried apricots, but the woodsy and earthy taste which comes from the deep roast could well lead the more mature palette to pick up more savoury notes.
Fresh and delicately balanced with a lotus flower and magnolia bouquet aroma, the semi-oxidised Sky HIgh Oolong is the original High Mountain Oolong. The Sky High Oolong is notable for retaining it’s nutrients and the flavors of the unspoilt environment in which it is grown. Soft elements of crisp mountain air, natural earth and spring water pair well with its smooth mouthfeel and sweet aftertaste.
Scientists are just beginning to unlock the secrets of the tea leaf, and have noticed that high mountain tea leaves are particularly rich in both antioxidants and a special ingredient called L-theanine, which stimulates alpha brain waves and releases the "happy hormone" dopamine, relieving anxiety and relaxing the mind and body. When paired with a gentle boost of caffeine, L-theanine induces a state of mindful alertness.
So while the coffee revolution is reaching its jittery caffeine saturated peak, the humble, healthy and wholesome tea leaf remains the steadfast companion of those who appreciate a slow-burning boost of revitalizing energy and a calm, focused moment in which to contemplate the bigger picture.
Our first flush is extremely limited, barely enough to share with the friends and family who have supported us along the way. To make more we need enough of you guys to pre-order so we can meet our minimum costs and head off into the mountains to make more!
The most important thing for us is that you get to taste the tea, so to whatever extent you wish to support us, we want to show our appreciation by sending you the appropriate amount of tea to drink, share, or even better - gift!
We have used a chocolate-bar-like-shaped vacuum-packed aluminium foil wrap for a few reasons. Tea is to us now what chocolate was to us as children: we wanted to recreate the subliminal nostalgia that comes with holding something delicate and special. To cut down on waste material was another motivation. But our main design focus was to reduce shipping costs so that we can independently package our teas at the source and ship them to anywhere in the world. Your shipping costs are low because your slim-lined packaging fits neatly into a packet rather than a box.
Having lived in Taiwan for three years, Nick (Boston, USA) and Simon (London, UK) first bonded while sharing cups of tea after their Chinese language evening classes – a recurring pastime which soon turned into an important ritual. At the time Nick was working on the construction of luxury hotels and Simon was working on an arts and culture publication, not too long before having left a career as a Maths and Philosophy high school teacher.
The coming together of Nick’s passion for all things quality and gourmet and Simon’s appreciation for the abstract and pursuing a life full of meaning has led to the creation of of a tea company that pursues the finest quality tea leaves, and an agenda to communicate a message of great meaning: to live deliberately yet courageously.
Ta Yang Hsu, Art Director: Of Taiwanese descent and now living in Taiwan again, Ta Yang Hsu adds the finishing touch to everything Dachi. Ta Yang studied piano and architecture in Brussels. His work ranges from space design, museology, identity design, photography, and art direction.
Saskia Kerkvliet, PR and Communications Director: Fluent in Chinese and studied in Taiwan on a scholarship after graduating from the University of Edinburgh, she is passionate about the global Slow Food movement and the return to small-scale production. Saskia is the wordsmith, making sure all of our publications communicate the Dachi ethos.
Having learned to take the time to drink tea deliberately and slowly, appreciating the depth of flavor locked away in the tea leaves, we also began to notice that certain teas left us with an intoxicating slow-burning boost of energy and streamlined focus, and we started craving more of this elusive feeling.
Our tea-seeking adventure around the island opened our eyes to the sophisticated craft of tea making, but it wasn’t easy to find teas that tasted amazing, were made responsibly and with care, and could also evoke that feeling of freshness and mental clarity that is so important to us. So we decided to make our own custom tea collection (with some help from the experts, of course).
The central mountain core of Taiwan lies on the tropic of cancer, with a subtropical climate and fertile soils, creating the perfect terroir for growing tea and other fruits. Heavy mists bathe the high mountains, which protects the leaves from the full glare of the sun. This inhibits the excessive development of tannins within the leaves, and makes for a sweeter tea without the astringency which can make green teas taste bitter.
Our research also led us to an esteemed professor in biochemistry, Dr Hu, who explained to us how on the east coast of Taiwan the land drops steeply away beneath sea level to the deep ocean bedrock, where concentrated quantities of purified minerals gather. These minerals feed directly into the meteorological cycles and travel with the western winds into the clouds that nourish the mountain terrain.
Culturally, Taiwan’s tradition is a unique mix of Japanese and Chinese influences. Migrant tea farmers coming to the island brought with them all their expertise and tricks of the trade. What exists now might just be the most innovative tea culture in the world, with the variety of half the world of tea within one small island.
Scarce land, limited production and high demand from sophisticated domestic consumers and Taiwan’s thirsty neighbors ensures that the island’s premium teas rarely reach the West. We're going to change this.
'We often forget that we are nature. Nature is not separate from us. So when we say that we have lost our connection to nature, we've lost our connection to ourselves' — Andy Goldsworthy
We hope that this is just phase one of the creation of our lifestyle brand that uses tea culture as an entry point to explore the wholeness of humanity. Dachi Tea Co.’s mission is to help people get centered through the ritual of tea drinking, reminding us of our intimate relationship with nature.
If you have a friend or family member that loves to drink tea, to explore or is in need of some inspiration to do what they love without fear of failure, please share with them our campaign and our story.
Risks and challenges
The making of premium tea is an art form, which requires an acute knowledge of the weather patterns and a sharp, experienced sense of smell to know when the tea leaves are ready for the next stage in the process. Fortunately, we have a team of tea makers and consultants around us who have been making tea for almost a century between them. The majority of the time we will be watching and learning.
[Uncharacteristic weather behaviour]
Should the latter half of December experience heavy rain that carries through to January, our tea makers might decide to delay the harvest.
Making tea is a profession with many nuances as is tasting tea, so trying to reproduce the exact same flavor profiles as our first flush is a challenge. Our January flush might taste a little different, but we are taking all the necessary measures to ensure that the quality is the same.
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- (30 days)