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

Thursday, January 05, 2017

2016 Winter Taiwan Tea Trip: Meishan

This is the first time I visited this tea farm at Meishan. The tea country at this part of the mountain is absolute beautiful. The farmer and his wife also run a bed and breakfast business. They showed us around and cooked us food. Besides tea farming, they run a bed and breakfast business too. If you ever come to this part of the tea world, make sure you check it out: http://zhulin.okgo.tw/

We spent two days visiting tea fields, taking walks, and drinking tea. We were surrounded in nature and kindness. I hope your 2017 will be filled with beauty, good tea and kind people too!


beautiful tea country


well-maintained tea field



bamboo forest right outside our cottage


we were surrounded by spetacular mountains


sunset with amazing "cloud sea"

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

2016 Winter Taiwan Tea Trip: Dong Ding Mountain

I am glad to be back in Dong Ding Mountain. I don't get a lot of time to write but would like to share some photos with you. I love Dong Ding Oolong and I am moved by the land and the people here. I look forward to sharing the tea, stories and more photos with you after my return to Seattle.

a beautiful view at dong ding




a nice hike


farmer's hospitality: a homemade riceball treat for winter solstice. 




cute tea flowers

Monday, November 28, 2016

Dong Ding Farmer and Tea: He Refused To Sell A Tea



Before I went to Dong Ding Mountain, my friend warned me that the farmer would refuse to sell tea if he thinks the person doesn't understand his tea.

After I tasted 7 of his Dong Ding Oolongs, I settled with #3 Dong Ding. While they were packing my order, my mother and I went to get our luggage ready. "His tea is pretty good, right?" my mother asked. "Yes, I like it." "Then I should buy some for your uncle. He drinks tea" my mother said. "Get #3 or #4. They are the best ones and they are equally good. There is not enough #4 for my business, but I am going to buy it anyway. I will keep it for myself and share with some of my customers"I said.

We got our luggage ready and went to pay for the tea I ordered. My mother said to them that she would like to buy two pounds of #4. "No, you can't buy that tea. You can buy #6 or #7." Farmer said. "Excuse me? #6 or #7?" I protested. "What's wrong with #6 or #7? Are you telling me that they are bad teas?" he asked. "I don't think they are bad teas, but #3 and #4 are better!" I said. "Your mother doesn't know the difference. You can tell. You can buy #3 and #4."

It was true that my mother couldn't tell the difference, but I was still very annoyed. At the same time, I was a little bit happy that my tasting skill was confirmed.

On our way back home, I thought to myself "what a place and what a farmer!" I really like his tea but man, he is very intense!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Patience Rewarded

It is a welcome treat for me to  be able to try an aged tea that one of my customers bought from me years ago.  Today, I got to try my old Yin Hao Tuocha puer from the 1980s.  I sold this at my old shop about 8 or 9 years ago, and then again about 5 year ago when one of my suppliers found a small amount to sell me.  My customer has been aging the tea in a clay jar for about 4 years and we, along with a few other tea friends who just happened to be in the shop today, got to try this delicious tea.



It is a beautiful color and shows great signs of proper aging and a maturing, soft mouth feel.  We all agreed that it was a perfect Autumn day to enjoy this satisfying brew together.

Monday, November 07, 2016

Tea and Kindness: Inspiration and Community



About a month ago, I decided not to spend as much time on social media reading about this election. I found much of this news to be angry and damaging. I know the world is not free of problems, but I don't want to spend my time feeling angry, powerless and drained. I want to feel inspired. I want to feel love and support.

I started to shift my attention to good things around me: a child's smile, a hug, a good conversation, a delicious cup of tea, a heroic event, people doing good things for other people.... This list can go on and on, but we tend not to see many good things around us.

I decided that once a while I would write the stories of people in my life that inspire me. I would therefore like to dedicate this post to my friend, Richelle Dickerson. Four years ago, my son and I moved into her home's basement apartment. She and her family live upstairs, and her daughter and my son immidately became good friends. I couldn't have imagined my landlords would become not only our friends, but a huge support in our life as well. They have helped us so much and I am forever grateful.

Richelle is very involved in social issues; she works hard and fights for people. A couple of weeks ago, she had her birthday party. On the invitation, she asked her friends to donate to one of the three organizations if we were considering giving her birthday presents. I thought 'wow, what a kind deed!' I would like to make this wish a little bigger. 10% of Floating Leaves Tea store and online sales in November will go to her birthday wish. We will donate the money to Be The Match to help patients who need bone marrow transplants.

I have gotten a lot of help in my life, and I have helped some. It's great to feel supported and to be able to help others. It's very easy to get caught in drama and negativity, but please look around you. You can see a lot of positive things happening and good people around you. Help each other. Help somebody to possibly have a better day, a better chance or a better life.

While I am writing this, with a cup of tea right next to me, I feel very thankful to Richelle who keeps reminding me to do better and to help. I want to thank all of you who support our business this month. Let's make a big donation to Be The Match! It brings a smile on my face that our donation might help someone to get better. Thank you!

*photography by Jake Knapp.