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Sunday, February 08, 2009

Taiwanese New Tea Varietals

I have been meaning to finish the Taiwanese tea varietal post a long time ago, but you all know how life goes. Not everything can go as planned.

Before I finish up the rest of the varietals that I had meant to write, I just found out that Taiwan successfully bred two more varietals: Taiwan Tea Number 19 and 20.

I've never heard of these two varietals until yesterday.

Both of these two varietals were announced in 2006. One nursery in Miao Lin bid on and won the right to grow these new seedlings. They had planned to start selling these new young plants in 2007.

Taiwan Tea No. 19 台茶19號﹝碧玉 - Bi Yu﹞: This varietal is easy to manage and resistant to diseases. It has characteristics from both Chin Hsin Oolong and Jin Xuan.

Taiwan Tea No. 20 台茶20號﹝迎香 - Ying Xiang﹞: It grows fast and yields 20% more than Chin Hsin Oolong. In lower altitude growing regions, this varietal can produce tea with a huge bouquet.

I guess we will be able to taste tea from these two varietals in about 3 to 5 years.


tenuki said...

it seems all the new varietals coming out of taiwan are focused on lower elevations and bigger production, ie the mass market and cheap production. As an artisan tea drinker I'm kind of put off by this trend. Is the general consensus that Chin Hsin can not be improved on in regards to taste and bouquet or is the government just not caring about the artisan tea market?

Shiuwen said...

Farmers have to make what consumers want to buy and it takes very stubborn farmers to still want to produce what they think good tea.
And it will take the government to change things. However, I am not seeing much of it. I once interviewed a tea judge who was judging northern Taiwanese tea competitions. When I mentioned tea was more oxidized some years ago, he became very cautious and wouldn't comment on it.
We consumers have to change the current trend. That's my goal. I believe I can work with right farmers to make tea that not just focus on the color and fragrance, but also bring out the nice body and mouth feel of a tea.