Floating Leaves Tea Home ---Shiuwen's Blog!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

2016 Spring Tea Trip: Muzha - The Visit

My fabulous tea travel companions were David Galli, who has been giving me a lot of recordings from this past April's trip to Taiwan and Jake Knapp, who has given me 100+ beautiful photos he took (more are coming - Yippee!).

It was really fun to listen to some of the recordings and look through the photos. They gave me a chance to relive those moments. Thank you, David and Jake!

I love visiting Farmer Zhang at Muzha. Some of you who have been there with me know that I don't like to take the Gondola. I am afraid of heights! However, I would do it because I think it's a fun experience and the view is great! I would do it for my son, too. He loves riding the gondola.

 A beautiful view that Jake took from the gondola ride

What a great temple!

I was thankful that it was not raining that day. It had been raining a lot in Taiwan. Seeing the sun break through the clouds, I knew we would be lucky and get to see some tea picking and some tea processing.

We arrived at Farmer Zhang's tea house and it was very quiet. His son came out. I introduced myself. He said his mother is sleeping because she worked very late last night, or I should say until early morning. I asked him not to disturb her. I asked about his father. He said his father should be on the roof processing some leaves. He asked me to wait. In my mind I thought, "No way I will miss the chance to watch him process tea." I said kindly and firmly, "would you please go tell your father that I am here and I hope he won't mind us watching him. I promise we won't disturb him." He left and came back, "my father said it's OK. Come. I will show you the way." Yeah!

We followed him to the next building and went up to the roof. Here's the face I have been waiting to see:

I love his beautiful smile

In the next post, I will write about outdoor oxidation.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

2016 Spring Taiwan Tea Trip: A Slide Show

Here is a slide show from my 2016 spring tea trip, full of beautiful scenes and tea people. Enjoy!

*slide show presented by Jake Knapp. 

Friday, May 06, 2016

2016 Spring Tea Trip: PingLin

I was very happy to be at PingLin. PingLin is very beautiful and it's a very relaxing place for me. We met Farmer Chen and his family and they were very busy harvesting and processing tea that day. It was one of the few days without rain in April!
Our new Spring Baozhong is expected to arrive in the end of May. I will be writing more to share my experiences from the April tea trip.

Here are some photos from PingLin. Enjoy!

picking tea

spreading tea for outdoor oxidation

outdoor oxidation

a feast!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

2016 Taiwan Tea Trip: Dong Ding

For those of you who have read my three posts about our Dong Ding farmer, you have probably got a pretty good idea that he is not an easy person to deal with. Well, good news, this spring trip at Dong Ding went smoothly! We saw some tea being processed, visited a sweet farmer couple, enjoyed astounding views in the mountains, and even got to do some sightseeing! Here are some photos to share:

collecting freshly picked tea

rolling tea

a beautiful tea field with mist

great view!

bamboo forest

beautiful waterfall

These photos might not capture the depth of the beautiful places and things that I actually saw. A photographer, Jake Knapp, went on this trip with me. I will be sharing his photos soon. Another travel companion on the trip, David Galli, recorded lots of our conversations with the farmers and tea people we met. I will be posting some interesting facts we learned on this trip after I receive the recordings.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

2016 Spring Tea Trip: A Quick Tea Update

Due to the snow in February, and lower temperature after that, Taiwanese spring tea harvest is delayed for roughly two weeks.

I visited Muzha for Tieguanyin in April 12th, they were just starting to harvest the Si Ji Chuan( Four Season Spring). This cultivar grows faster than the majority of cultivars in Taiwan. The True Bush Tieguanyin was not ready for harvesting yet. Farmer Zhan told me that there was no sun for two weeks before this day.
I was at Dong Ding Mountain on the 14th and 15th, farmers were harvesting JinXuan( Tawan Tea #12). It was misty with sunshine breaking through here and there. Farmers were deciding if they had to pick Soft Stem varietal, because the weather was not looking good for the following week.
Same thing happened in PingLin. Farmers are waiting for Chin Xin varietal to get mature enough for harvesting.

I did bring back some amazing roasted Dong Ding and traditional Tieguanyin. For darker roasted style teas, I like them at least one year old, so that the roast can have time to intergrate. I will put them on my website as soon as possible.
For High Mountain Oolong and Baozhong, my two tea buyer friends will be sourcing them when the spring harvest is ready.

There will be more posts about this spring tea trip. Stay tuned.