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Saturday, May 23, 2009

2009 Taiwan Tea Trip

I can't believe that I have to leave Taiwan in three days. It feels like I just got here and I am getting used to the rhythm of life. I am grateful to the people that I've met. They were helpful and generous. I will write more about this trip when I get back to Seattle. Here are some notes about the tea I have already tasted and that you will be able to try some soon.

I tasted 7 Dong Ding teas. Six of them are Spring teas and one of them is winter tea. This farmer is dedicated to producing tea the traditional way. A lot of attention and the best leaves that are actually from Dong Ding mountain go into making this tea so high in quality. All of his tea has very nice mouth feel and the flavor will stay in the mouth and throat for many hours. I chose one that I thought is the most balanced one. The farmer also gave me a small bag of aged Dong Ding. He didn't remember how old it is and told me not to sell that tea. If you can come by soon, I will share this with you when I am back.

My friend, Mr. Tsai, took me to Pinglin. We wanted to meet a farmer who has Xia Sha varietal. He told me that the farmer worked very hard and is dedicated to organic farming. Unfortunately, the farmer was not there that day. Mr. Tsai already ordered some tea for me. I will see if I can try it this Wednesday. Then we went to meet Farmer Chen and his wife. I probably tried 10 different Baozhongs. My favorite one was one that didn't win at the competition. I thought it has more weigh than the rest and it's very smooth. I also tried some aged oolongs. I chose one that was made from the Buddha's Hand varietal. This age Oolong has a very clear plum smell and it tastes very clean. 

On the third day in Taipei, I went to meet farmer Zheng and his family in the Mu Zha area. He is dedicated in making Tieguanyin. They were very friendly and very eager to let me try their teas. I lost count of how many I tried. They wanted me to try more. I told them I couldn't drink any more tea. I was not completely satisfied with this year's Tieguanyin so I chose a couple of teas that are about three to five years old.

I also drank a lot of high mountain teas. So far, I am not too crazy about Alishan tea. I did like one ShanLinXi, which has a very smooth body. I will try more high mountain teas over two days and decide what I want to bring back to Seattle.


Salsero said...

Thanks for posting. It sounds like a great trip: a lot of work and decisions, but also a lot of fun and exciting people to meet!

Shiuwen said...

Sorry for the delay on answering.

Yes, it was a great trip. I hope you live in Seattle. Will be good to taste some of the new teas together.