Now it's time to finish my writings about our 2013 Spring Taiwan Tea Tour.
After days of visiting tea farmers and tea farms, we took day 9 of the tour to explore the neighborhood around our hotel. We stayed in an old district of Taipei. There is a street full of shops that sell dried goods and herbs. It used to be the place to go for people who need to buy things for Chinese New Year's celebrations. I love walking on this street. I can imagine the old times, when people gathered around looking for the herbs and dried goods they needed. There are, of course, many tea places among all these shops. We stopped and admired the tea ware and drank tea with the shop owners.
After that, we went to Wang's tea shop. It's one of the oldest tea businesses in Taipei. I love that there is a tea roasting site there! Once again, I felt like I had stepped back in time and imagined how people worked with charcoal tea roasting. We were lucky that the shop was roasting tea on the day that we visited. It was warm and smelled good!
On the second floor, they have live music every Saturday. We helped ourselves to some tea and settled down to listen to the music. It's a type of traditional southern Chinese music, called NanGuan. There are five instruments, and normally one of the musicians also sings. We saw around 12 musicians hanging out on one side of the room and they would rotate to play music. When they stopped, we found some musicians who were kind enough to tell us a bit about their instruments and music. It was quite humid that day. With the music going on around us and a cup of tea in my hand, I was relaxed and happy.
After the music, we decided not to do much more and went back to our hotel room and drank tea! We stopped by a bakery and picked up A LOT OF baked goods to go with the tea. Who would have known that drinking tea in a hotel room could be so much fun! After cups of delicious tea and various baked goods, we finished our gathering with a shot of sorghum liquor. We indeed had a very good day!