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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.


tenuki said...

nice info, thanks. didn't know that about buddha hand name, thought it was the size of the leaves.

Shiuwen said...

When I first heard about Buddha Hand, a farmer told me that the name came from the size of the leaves. I think both are accurate.
Tea knowledge is like this. Some came from legends, some came from whatever people told you at the time, and some came from research data.