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

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Dong Ding Tea Making

Many people had Dong Ding before, and sometimes it is people's favorite tea.
Nowadays, some tea drinkers complain to me that most of Dong Ding are not even real.

Dong Ding is produced in Dong Ding mountain of Lugu region in Nantou county. A lot of Dong Ding is made in the areas that are close to Dong Ding mountain. Some producers will call their tea Dong Ding if the tea is made with Dong Ding method even though it's made in other parts of Taiwan or even China.

A Dong Ding farmer told us how his ancestors made tea: They would pick tea, let the leaves wither a bit, rub the leaves around to let the juices come out, and then let the leaves sit until they turned color. After a few days, they would pour hot water over the leaves and drank it.

That was Oolong.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Taiwanese Tea Varietals - Part III

In the previous tea varietal posts, we already talked about Chin Hsin Oolong (青心烏龍), Chin Hsin Da Pa (青心大Pa), Jin Xuan (金萱), Cui Yu (翠玉) and Four Season's Spring (四季春).
Here are more varietals that are still producing tea in Taiwan.

Tieguanyin (鐵觀音): This varietal is one of the four famous varietals (四大名樷) in China. An Xi (安溪) , China is known for this tea. In 1919, Tieguanyin varietal was brought to Taiwan.
Tieguanyin is grown mostly in the Mu Zha (木柵) area of Taiwan. This varietal has thicker branches and its leaves grow further apart. The young tea bud has a bit of red color to it. Tieguanyin's leaves are oval shaped and have clear serrations. This varietal yields much less compared to the rest of Taiwanese varietals.

Buddha's Hand (佛手): This varietal was orginally from Yong Chun (永春), China. The name came from that this varietal has a very distinct (佛手柑) flavor( This is a yellow citrus-like fruit. Google it and you can see what it looks like). A tea that is made from this varietal will offer you a nice flavor, full mouth-feel, and many infusions. If you ever go up to Pinglin (坪林), ask around, you might be able to find Buddha Hand.

Wuyi (武夷): Wuyi is known for its varietals. Wuyi was introduced to Taiwan probably around 300 years ago and it is very hard to trace back which exact varietal was brought into Taiwan. One can find Wuyi varietal tea in the Pinglin (坪林) or YiLan (宜蘭) regions. Or you can try our Taiwan Wuyi tea to see how it tastes.

White Hair Monkey (白毛猴): You can find this varietal in Pinglin (坪林), Shiding (石碇), and NanGang (南港). White Hair Monkey is normally used to make Bai Hao Oolong since it has a very clear tea bud. Sometimes, farmers use this varietal to blend with Bai Hao Oolong that is made from Chin Hsin Da Pa.

Taiwan Tea No. 18 台茶18號: This varietal is also known as Ruby Stone (紅玉 - Hong Yu). In 1999, it was given its name by the Tea Reform Institute, YuChi branch (茶葉改良場魚池分場). Taiwan Tea No. 18 is used to make black tea.

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.