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

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Muzha Tieguanyin Farmer Talking About Tea - Part I

I have been planning my next Taiwan Tea Tour (it's tentatively scheduled to be around Christmas/New Year's time - more information coming soon), and remembered that I didn't finish writing about 2013's May Tea Tour. It's almost the anniversary!

I have been wanting to write about what the Muzha Farmer taught us during our previous trip. One of the tour members, Stephanie Wilson, is a great note taker and she has been very generous to share her notes with me. When I went through her notes just now, it immediately brought me back to when we drank tea at the Muzha tea house.

photo provided by Matthew Kraus

I have known Farmer Zhang for about 4 years now. He is one of my favorite tea people in the whole world. I love his smile and his dedication to good tea. The more I know about him, the more I respect him as a farmer and as a tea person. He doesn't simply grow tea and make tea. Tea is an art and love for him. And he "designs" his tea and hopes that tea drinkers can understand what he tries to present.

After we sat down to have tea with Farmer Zhang, Stephanie noticed and wrote in her note," Great smile, dirt under his nails....being from a farming family myself, I love that." I love that, too! The following picture is Farmer Zhang, and I hope you can see what we saw in him that day.

photo provided by Stephanie Wilson

The first tea he served us was one that he had just finished roasting about an hour before we had arrived. Through this tea, he guided us to taste the base and broth. He told us that the tea was not quite ready and the energy wouldn't be showing up fully yet, but he wanted us to taste something that was he had just finished working on. He then asked me where this group "was" in their tea abilities. I told him some of them could taste tea very well.

He proceeded to brew the next tea. He said, "Tieguanyin is a slow tea - you cannot hurry it. It takes about a month to open. If hurried, it becomes bitter. A good Tieguanyin liquor is yellow with a red base." Then he continued, "When I am checking a tea, if I can make a pot for 9 to 10 times, then the tea can withstand 50 years. Good tea is hard to find, just like true love. One must know the tea by going really far to see if it's good. Whether a tea can last through the years is dependent upon the tea maker."

photo provided by Matthew Kraus

While I am writing this, I am sipping his 2012 Tieguanyin. Part of me is here and part of me is in Taiwan. I think I will stop now and just savor his tea for a while. I will continue with the notes in my next post.

Meanwhile, if you want to read more about our trip, please check out Stephanie's blog: http://stephcupoftea.blogspot.com/search/label/Taiwan%20Tea%20Tour She has wonderful writings about the trip and the tea!


Steph said...

Thank you for sharing our experience, Shiuwen! This was absolutely one of the most special days for me ever!!! I am jealous (in a good way) for those who will get to visit at the end of the year.

Shiuwen said...

Stephanie, Thank you! It always makes me smile when I think of our trip to Taiwan.