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

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Frequent Asked Questions: What's My Favorite Tea

I am constantly asked what my favorite tea is. For a tea family, I always say "Taiwanese Oolong" (am I biased?). For a specific tea, my answer changes every season. So this question leads to "What makes me like a tea?"

If you come to the shop enough, you have probably already noticed by now that I talk about mouth feel a lot. Yes, that's the first thing I judge a tea by. Any good tea to me has to have a good mouth feel. Mouth feel for me is how the tea liquid feels in my mouth. It doesn't have to be heavy, but it has to be round and balanced. After one swallows the tea, the sensation should still be there.

So the answer to my favorite tea for this season:
Traditional Dong Ding A for its excellent mouth feel (Sorry, this tea never made it onto my website. Limited quantity. Sold out in a week)
Traditional Dong Ding for its good mouth feel
DaYuLing for its wonderful complexity

Hope this answers your question.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Taiwan Tea and High Mountain Oolong

After the typhoon in Taiwan, there has been some news about closing some high mountain tea farms so they won't cause more damages in the mountains. I heard about this many years ago. I recently called some tea friends to see if they are doing alright and to ask about the news. They also said they have heard about these closures many years ago.

There were some tea farms "behind the Alishan region, and one in the YuShan region" that have been shut down. It was very dangerous to go up there. They said the government has isn't likely to shut down an existing tea farm. However, it will be difficult to develop new tea regions.

My tea contacts heard some rumors that are quite disturbing. They heard that some wealthy businessmen from China were talking about buying up the whole Lishan region! I have also heard about Starbucks wanting to buy a lot of tea from Taiwan. For the selfish part of me, I hope none of the deals will go through.

The beauty of some Taiwanese tea is that many of tea farms are owned by individual farmers and Taiwanese Oolongs are quite labor intensive. Having been in the tea business for several years, one of my great joys is to go the tea growing areas and talk to farmers, to see their hard work, to see their proud faces, and to exchange that smile when we all agree on a good tea.

Taiwanese tea compared to the rest of the world's tea is not cheap. So once again let's pray that those big business deals will not go through. Let some of the tea art remain alive!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A Tea Class at NW Tea Festival

As many of you already know, Seattle has its own tea festival. This year, it will be happening on October 3rd and 4th. Please check their website for information: www.nwteafestival.com

I will be at the festival on October 3rd to teach a class on evaluating a Oolong tea's quality. It's scheduled at 2:30pm. After the class, I will be there brewing tea and talking about tea. If you have time, stop by and say hi.

See you all there!