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

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

2016 Winter Taiwan Tea Trip: Dong Ding Mountain

I am glad to be back in Dong Ding Mountain. I don't get a lot of time to write but would like to share some photos with you. I love Dong Ding Oolong and I am moved by the land and the people here. I look forward to sharing the tea, stories and more photos with you after my return to Seattle.

a beautiful view at dong ding

a nice hike

farmer's hospitality: a homemade riceball treat for winter solstice. 

cute tea flowers

Monday, November 28, 2016

Dong Ding Farmer and Tea: He Refused To Sell A Tea

Before I went to Dong Ding Mountain, my friend warned me that the farmer would refuse to sell tea if he thinks the person doesn't understand his tea.

After I tasted 7 of his Dong Ding Oolongs, I settled with #3 Dong Ding. While they were packing my order, my mother and I went to get our luggage ready. "His tea is pretty good, right?" my mother asked. "Yes, I like it." "Then I should buy some for your uncle. He drinks tea" my mother said. "Get #3 or #4. They are the best ones and they are equally good. There is not enough #4 for my business, but I am going to buy it anyway. I will keep it for myself and share with some of my customers"I said.

We got our luggage ready and went to pay for the tea I ordered. My mother said to them that she would like to buy two pounds of #4. "No, you can't buy that tea. You can buy #6 or #7." Farmer said. "Excuse me? #6 or #7?" I protested. "What's wrong with #6 or #7? Are you telling me that they are bad teas?" he asked. "I don't think they are bad teas, but #3 and #4 are better!" I said. "Your mother doesn't know the difference. You can tell. You can buy #3 and #4."

It was true that my mother couldn't tell the difference, but I was still very annoyed. At the same time, I was a little bit happy that my tasting skill was confirmed.

On our way back home, I thought to myself "what a place and what a farmer!" I really like his tea but man, he is very intense!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Patience Rewarded

It is a welcome treat for me to  be able to try an aged tea that one of my customers bought from me years ago.  Today, I got to try my old Yin Hao Tuocha puer from the 1980s.  I sold this at my old shop about 8 or 9 years ago, and then again about 5 year ago when one of my suppliers found a small amount to sell me.  My customer has been aging the tea in a clay jar for about 4 years and we, along with a few other tea friends who just happened to be in the shop today, got to try this delicious tea.

It is a beautiful color and shows great signs of proper aging and a maturing, soft mouth feel.  We all agreed that it was a perfect Autumn day to enjoy this satisfying brew together.

Monday, November 07, 2016

Tea and Kindness: Inspiration and Community

About a month ago, I decided not to spend as much time on social media reading about this election. I found much of this news to be angry and damaging. I know the world is not free of problems, but I don't want to spend my time feeling angry, powerless and drained. I want to feel inspired. I want to feel love and support.

I started to shift my attention to good things around me: a child's smile, a hug, a good conversation, a delicious cup of tea, a heroic event, people doing good things for other people.... This list can go on and on, but we tend not to see many good things around us.

I decided that once a while I would write the stories of people in my life that inspire me. I would therefore like to dedicate this post to my friend, Richelle Dickerson. Four years ago, my son and I moved into her home's basement apartment. She and her family live upstairs, and her daughter and my son immidately became good friends. I couldn't have imagined my landlords would become not only our friends, but a huge support in our life as well. They have helped us so much and I am forever grateful.

Richelle is very involved in social issues; she works hard and fights for people. A couple of weeks ago, she had her birthday party. On the invitation, she asked her friends to donate to one of the three organizations if we were considering giving her birthday presents. I thought 'wow, what a kind deed!' I would like to make this wish a little bigger. 10% of Floating Leaves Tea store and online sales in November will go to her birthday wish. We will donate the money to Be The Match to help patients who need bone marrow transplants.

I have gotten a lot of help in my life, and I have helped some. It's great to feel supported and to be able to help others. It's very easy to get caught in drama and negativity, but please look around you. You can see a lot of positive things happening and good people around you. Help each other. Help somebody to possibly have a better day, a better chance or a better life.

While I am writing this, with a cup of tea right next to me, I feel very thankful to Richelle who keeps reminding me to do better and to help. I want to thank all of you who support our business this month. Let's make a big donation to Be The Match! It brings a smile on my face that our donation might help someone to get better. Thank you!

*photography by Jake Knapp.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Dong Ding Farmer and Tea: Deciding On A Tea

After breakfast was cleared from the table, Farmer put the water kettle back on the stove. "You want to taste #3 and #4, right?" he asked. "Yes please!"

I proceeded to brew Dong Ding teas #3 and #4. Farmer's wife would come out of the kitchen from time to time to taste the teas. After the last infusion, she came out and looked at me closely. I was about to give the farmer my decision. She suddenly said, "Miss Tai, if I were you, I would...." "Be quiet! You can't tell Miss Tai which tea to pick!" shouted the Farmer. "It's OK. I know which one I want to buy. It's #3" I said. For the next 10 minutes, I explained to him my reasons for picking #3. I was actually talking to the wife to let her know the reason without talking to her directly. After that, I knew we had developed one of the most beautiful ways to communicate.

After she packed the tea for me, she said, "Miss Tai, don't you need the stroller for your son? Let me help you to get it." I looked at her for a couple of seconds and smiled, "Yes please. I need to get some stuff, too. Let's go together." We left the room and she said, "don't ask him about tea varietals or questions like that." I laughed, "I was very aware of it this morning." She quickly showed me some tea plants and told me about the shapes, leaf sizes and vein structure on the leaves. I thanked her for showing me that.

For the first couple of years, my tea tasting/learning journey in Taiwan had been very difficult. Not a single farmer, tea business person, or tea professional would tell me which tea he/she liked better. I knew that none of them was trying to "keep the secret" from me, it's just that they didn't want to share with me their own preferences. Their philosophy is "no one can tell you which tea is a better tea. You are the only one who can tell which one is right for you." I have come to appreciate this style of teaching, but I do have to say that it was very difficult at first and I felt like I was drowning in a sea of tea every so often.

*photography by Jake Knapp of Cloud 9 & Design Photography.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Dong Ding, Farmer, and Tea: When You Drink A Tea, Can you Tell If It's Good?

I am going to focus these next couples of months writing about Dong Ding tea, so that I can finally finish my stories and avoid repeating what I have written before.

From the recent three posts of my experiences with the Dong Ding farmer, I hope you get a good sense of his personality: Dong Ding, Farmer, and Tea; Dong Ding, Farmer, and Tea: This Is What I Did For Tea; Dong Ding, Farmer, and Tea: Tasting Tea.

So much had happened during my first afternoon in Dong Ding. I woke up very early the next morning. The sun had just snuck through the clouds. I love that moment, so quiet and peaceful. The only thing that greeted me was the beauty from nature. There were tea fields around the house we stayed. I decided to take a short walk and noticed they were different tea varietals, but couldn't tell which one is which.

After looking at the tea plants for a while, I saw Farmer coming. I asked, "Are these your tea plants? They look very healthy!" He gave me an intense look again and said, "No." "It looks like they are different varietals. Can you teach me how to identify them?" I asked. "Why do you want to learn that?" he said. "Well, I own a tea business. I want to learn as much about tea as possible" I replied. He then said, "That's garbage. Now answer me a question. When you drink a tea, can you tell if it's good?" That question rang like a bell in my head. I closed my eyes for a couple of seconds and then looked at him right in the eyes, "Every time I do my best." He looked at me and I felt he could sense my sincerity. He said, "Tell you mom and son that breakfast is ready." I looked at his back and thought of that question, amazed by how that question hit me.

At breakfast he said to me, "Some people come and tell me they have been drinking tea for 20 years. The moment we share a pot of tea, I realize some of them can't taste tea at all, and that's very pathetic to drink bad tea for 20 years. I don't care how much one knows about tea. If one can't taste tea, what's the point of learning all the facts about tea?" I thought that made a lot of sense. Until today, I put "tasting tea" as my number one tea learning, and I haven't told the Farmer yet that knowledge is still very important. When one can taste more, knowledge becomes alive and beautiful.

*photograhpy by Jake Knapp of Cloud 9 Photography.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Tea and Kindness

I attended the 9th Annual NW Tea Festival in Seattle a couple of weekends ago. In the past, I normally showed up and did a couple of talks or presentations. This year, I did something different: I actually had a booth with my friend and colleague, Tatsuo of Charaku Tea!

Floating Leaves booth, photo by Andrew Goodman

Charaku Tea, photo by Tatsuo

We hit a bump in the road before the festival even started. Tatsuo, whom I have known for years, said he couldn't make it to the festival. I have come to admire his work ethic and how he always tries to help his friends. I knew something big must have happened for him to be unable to attend. I told him that it's OK and I would represent his tea at the festival. That's what friends are for, right? I am glad I did that.

With my busy schedule lately, I found that it was challenging to prepare for the tea festival. Stress started to build. I am very fortunate to have received a lot of help and support from my friend and helper, Noah. Both of us would stay late into the night at the shop packing tea to make sure we had enough tea to bring to the festival. Noah also held down the fort at Floating Leaves while I attended to my tea booth at the festival.

On Friday, the day for setting up the booth, I was not sure how I could finish setting everything up with my busy schedule working in the shop, picking up my son, and then taking him to soccer practice. Thankfully, my tea festival helper Pat carried a car load of things to the festival location and then helped me to set up in the afternoon. A lot was accomplished because I had so much help! My tea friend Eric from Saint Louis volunteered to help, Tatsuo showed up to help, and my dear tea friend and collegue Jeannie from Miro Tea even lent me one of her staff, Anton, to help while I took my son to soccer!

Miro Tea booth, photo by Jeannie Liu

The next morning, Pat and I showed up early to get the booth set up. The moment I saw the booth, I was close to tears. Tatsuo, Anton, and Eric had organized and set up the booth and they were going above and beyond to help. My whole being was filled with gratitude and it is a fantastic feeling. Before the festival opened to the public, some of my tea friends and collegues came by and asked me how I was doing. Laurie of Charles of Whatcom Tea Enthusiasts Association came by to give us some delicious homemade cookies. They had a tea bar right across from my tea booth. For the whole weekend, I saw them brewing tea and sharing their knowledge with tea lovers. Respect! If you live in the Belligham area, make sure you check out their monthly tea meetings at Whatcom Tea.

 Charles and Laurie at the Tea Bar, photo by Jake Knapp

Then the "festival doors" opened and a lot of people streamed through! I realized I was super energetic the whole day. I was fueled by so many tea lovers visiting our booth and my friends' support! My long time tea friends, Jason, Andrew, and the amazing baker Yana from Smacha came by to give us some baked goods and told us we had to eat. Cinnabar and Christopher from Phoenix Tea, Julee and Doug from Perennial Tea Room, and Jeannie from Miro Tea all stopped by and showered us with their kindness and asked if we were doing alright.

Jason of Smacha, photo by Andrew Goodman

Yana bakes delicious baked goods!

My helper, Pat, remained calm and brewed tea and talked all day long. He is a real trooper and his energy is great for balancing out my hyper energy. During the afternoon, there were many moments where we just didn't have enough hands to serve everyone in the crowd. I met a tea lover who visited my booth and begged her for help. She stayed for a couple of hours to help to brew tea, and before she left, she made sure that all of the pots were filled with tea. Wow! I am so lucky to meet all kinds of amazing and kind people that day.

Pat is a trooper, photo by Jake Knapp

Dana, the amazing, generous tea lover!

I went back to the shop that evening and packed more tea with Noah. I thought I would be very tired that evening, but I was somehow loaded with energy. I look back on that day and realize I hardly got a chance to drink tea. I was not wired with caffeine, but was filled with the amount of fellow tea lover's energy and all my friends' kindness.

The next day, I had one more helper, Sara, who was great and dedicated. She is as calm as Pat!
My friend, Jake of Cloud 9 Photography, showed up early to volunteer at my booth. We had an Oolong process presentation that day. Many thanks go to Jake for getting all of the tea photos ready and for making sure the projector worked properly - our talk went very smoothly.

I also want to recognize the team of volunteers at the festival. They were organized, worked very hard and were super funny! Thank you!!

Lastly, I want to thank my friends, Melissa and Todd, for taking care of my son so that I could focus on attending my booth.

While I am writing this, I realize how truly lucky I am. I love this tea business and the best is this great tea community. I feel so loved by my customers, tea friends, and collegues. You guys are the best! Thank you!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

A Couple More Tea Photos To Share From Instagram

Here are a couple of more photos I want to share from 9 Thousand Things on Instagram. I have a lot of fun looking at Alexander's photos. His photos help me to stop for a second and daydream - which I love doing - about two of my favorite things: traveling and tea!

Here are a couple of examples:

The following photo is for our Spring HeHuanShan.

Title: Lost World

Among all the photos Alexander took of Floating Leaves Tea, this is probably the one I go back and look at the most. I think it's because of the location. It makes me feel like it's a setting from a book. Where is this mysterious place? I started to imagine a person with the tea and his stories. Sometimes I put myself into the story. When customers come into the shop, I "close the book" and attend to them.  After they leave, I get to "read" the book of my imagination and I love it! When you look at this photo, can you imagine it being a part of a story?

The next photo is simply delightful and a bit mischievous. It's for our 2016 Spring Alishan, and the photo "describes" the nature of this Alishan well.

Title: Beneath the Bounce the Springs


*photography provided by Alexander of 9 Thousand Things on Instagram.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Tea Tasting In Portland

I was away from Floating Leaves Tea a couple of weeks ago because I was doing a tea tasting in Portland. I travel to Portland twice a year to do tea tastings. I can't recall when this tradition started, but I love it!

getting read for a fun tasting!

Every tea tasting there of course feels different, but there is one thing that hasn't changed: the sweet tea community in Portland. Through the years, we have formed a wonderful tea friendship...and even more than that. I am treated like a family now and some of them welcome me to stay with them when I travel there.

At this particular tasting, participants seemed to be in a particularly bright and lively mood. It was so great to see these wonderful tea lovers:  Jan; Masa; Marilyn; Jim; Karen; Kate; Craig; Dana; Ana; Stephanie; Holly; Jennifer; David, and Jaynie. Plus the added, sweet surprise of two customers who moved to Portland from Seattle a couple of years ago: Chris and Kate!

Thank you, Jan, for letting us use your beautiful tea cups!

talking about tea and look at how much tea we drank!

We spent a couple of hours tasting 10 different Taiwanese teas while enjoying many tea conversations and laughter. For me, this is what tea is all about, sharing the goodness with good people. I feel so lucky that I get to be part of this great tea community. I wish in the future I could travel more to different places in the US and connect with more tea lovers like the ones here.

A couple of participants write a tea blog. Check it out! I think it's fun to read about the tasting from a different perspective:

Delight of the Heart by Marilyn Miller.
Steph's Cup of Tea by Stephanie Wilson.

If you live in Portland, or travel to Portland, and want to taste some good teas, my friend David hosts tea tastings. Good tea and fun guranteed! You can check out his tea tasting schedule here at PDX Tea.

Also, there will be a tea festival at Portland! You can find out information at Tea Fest Portland.

*the last two photos by Ana Martinez.

Monday, September 05, 2016

Instagram: Connecting With Tea Drinkers and Great Photos!

I am pretty new to Instagram (created my account in February), and it took me a while to get used to using it.

But now, I grow more and more fond of it. I love looking at the gorgeous photos! My favorites are tea photos (of course) and travel/landscape photos.

About a month or so ago, my phone's indicator light blinked to alert me that someone had tagged me on Instagram. I clicked on the photo and this is what I saw:

I thought, "Well, that's an interesting photo and the tea in the photo is our 2016 Spring Lishan. I wonder who this is? Oh, wait a second, 'Blown Over'...is that the title for this photo? How interesting...."

Then a couple of customers came in and we had a great time drinking tea. After I had a quiet moment, I went back to look at the photo. I spent some time pondering that photo, "Was there some sort of storm? Was the photo trying to reflect the photographer's mood?" Suddenly I burst out laughing, "I know and I wish! This person was blown away with this Lishan!".

The following day, my phone signaled that someone had tagged me again, so I looked at the new photo entry. It was from the same person!

I thought, "That's a very nice photo! Oh, it's Lishan again. The title this time is 'Between The Storms'. Oh my goodness, this person is killing me! Why does Lishan suddenly become so stormy? Oh wait a second, maybe this Lishan calms him down because it's currently between the storms (weather)...."

I realized I was talking to myself a lot as I delightfully looked at these beautiful pictures with their poetic titles. Instagram is so much fun!

Meanwhile, you can enjoy Alexander's great photos on Instagram: 9 Thousand Things.

*photography by 9 Thousand Things.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Connecting With Tea Bloggers

I recently connected with some tea bloggers. They reviewed some of my teas and I had so much fun reading their notes! These tea bloggers have written some of the most vivid, detailed, and fun descriptions about their tea experiences that I've ever read.

Here are three great examples. Please check them out!

photo provided by Oolong Owl
Oolong Owl Blog on Floating Leaves Tea 2016 High Mountain Oolongs

photo by Jeff Cleary

UNYtea Guy on 2016 Lishan High Mountain Oolong

photo by Alexsia Wilson

My Thoughts Are Like Butterflies on 2016 HeHuanShan High Mountain Oolong

I spend most of my time taking care of my tea business and my son, so I haven't been as active with the online tea community as I would like. However, my son is eight now and I feel like I currently have more time and energy to connect with the various tea bloggers who have been writing about their passion for tea.

I know some of you order my teas and review my teas. You are on my list to receive samples as a thank you for supporting my business. But if you are wondering where your samples are, feel free to reach out to me (which might be the best and the fastest way!).

Happy tea drinking, happy reading and happy writing!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Another Short Video on Wrapping a Puer Cake

I loaded a video on wrapping a puer cake from my previous blog post and I mentioned it was the sweet factory owner. My apologies. That was one of his employees who showed us how to wrap a puer cake.

Here it is. This one is from the Puer factory owner. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

A Short Video On Wrapping Puer Cakes

The other day I was drinking this purple leaf Puer cake that I purchased from a very sweet puer factory owner in MoJiang, Yunnan during my April 2015 trip. I loved that trip and a lot of good memories came back to me. I suddenly remembered that I took a short video of him showing us how to wrap a Puer cake. He is actually not a very fast wrapper, but he knows that. You will see his cute facial expression at the end of the video. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

2016 Lishan - My Favorite New Spring High Mountain Oolong

Many customers have asked me if I have a favorite High Mountain Oolong from the 2016 Spring harvest. It's hard to pick just one because they are so good in many different and wonderful ways.

ShanLinXi is complex:  its flavor is rich and will carry through many different steepings. It's no wonder why ShanLinXi has been the customer-favorite High Mountain Oolong this season.

Alishan is beautiful and "quiet."  It's a tea that makes me feel like I would be content reading a book while sitting in the garden.

This season's DaYuLing is a late bloomer. As it gets into later infusions, the DaYuLing opens up and blooms into a delicious tea.

HeHuanShan is a great tea this season. Its texture is smooth and buttery and it has a huge, amazing aftertaste. I was debating with myself over whether I would pick this one or Lishan as my favorite.

Finally I set my mind on Lishan because it has a great flavor, a long-lasting aftertaste, and its liquid is so buttery that I can't stop drinking it - just one infusion after the other!

Beautiful, juicy tea leaves

I am a "texture" tea drinker. I do have to say that this Spring's High Mountain Oolong will make you very happy. If you haven't tried them out, give them a shot, I believe you will agree with me.

*photography by Jake Knapp of Could 9 Photo & Design

Thursday, June 30, 2016

ShanLinXi Spring 2016 - Customers' favorite High Mountain Oolong

I love this Spring season's High Mountain Oolong!

Over the weekend, I did two blind tea tastings of my new 2016 Spring High Mountain Oolongs. People had fun tasting and discovering which one is their favorite for the season. Our Spring selection includes oolongs from:  Alishan; ShanLinXi; HeHuanShan; Lishan, and DaYuLing mountains.

Getting ready to taste 5 High Mountain Oolongs. Photograpy by Lee Damon. 

ShanLinXi turned out to be the people's choice this season! We brewed 5 High Mountain Oolongs at once in the bowl style and we didn't know which tea was in which cup. ShanLinXi's flavor showed up right away and it carried on through the end.

This season's High Mountain Oolong has definitely been worth the wait. I feel it has more complexity than the previous season's, and they all have a great, smooth texture! Want to know what delicious surprises this season has to offer? Please check out our High Mountain Oolong sampler and let me know which one is your favorite!

FLT High Mountain sampler, with a new look! Photography by Jake Knapp. 

In my next post, I will talk about the characteristics of each tea and let you know which one my favorite is!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

A Short Video On Tea Picking And Outdoor Oxidation At PingLin

This video was taken by Jake on our April Taiwan tea trip. We were lucky that it was not raining the day that we visited Farmer Chen at PingLin. We got to talk to some tea pickers and participate in spreading tea leaves for outdoor oxidation.

Enjoy the video!

I have been buying Baozhong from Farmer Chen for over 10 years. He is hard working, dedicated, and kind, and I think these qualities show through in his tea. Try his Baozhong! I bet you will find a lot of beauty and happiness!

*The video is provided by Jake Knapp.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

A Short Video on Tea Rolling at Dong Ding Mountain

When we visited Dong Ding Mountain this past April, Jake took a short video of tea rolling at a tea rolling factory. Their job is to help tea farmers roll their Dong Ding Oolong.

Here is the video:

From the video, you can see a man tighting up tea in a cloth. I believe each ball has more than 40 pounds of tea. I tried to pick up one and it was heavy! On the left hand side of the video, you can see each tea ball between two serrated plates, being rolled. Behind the man, you can see big metal tubes. After the tea has been rolled, they loosen up the leaves and send them to the tubes to be lightly warmed up. They will repeat the process up to 8 times, depending on how round the farmers want their tea to look.

A traditional style Dong Ding Oolong focuses on a solid tea texture and a very clear throat feel. I am a big fan of this tea. Try it out and tell me what you think.

*this video is provided by Jake Knapp

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

2016 Spring Tea Trip: Muzha - Outdoor Oxidation

We were very lucky to catch Farmer Zhang doing outdoor oxidation/outdoor withering. That day's temperature was between 20C to 26C.

He told us it was a good day for outdoor oxidation because it was cloudy with sun coming out from time to time. He said tea made during this kind of weather is better than from during a bright, sunny day. "Tea leaves won't get 'hurt' by bright light and they don't soften rapidly. Moisture in the leaves will evaporate evenly."

He picked up a set of leaves for me to smell. "Leaves with proper outdoor withering will produce a very nice fragrance and one can smell that from the back of the leaves. With good outdoor withering, tea will taste more interesting and have more flavor, too."

I am a big fan of Farmer Zhang's traditional style Tieguanyin, very rich, and full of goodness. To be there and to watch him process tea means a lot to me. It helps me to understand the tea, and to appreciate the tea more.

He procceeded to stir the leaves. "The main purpose is to help the evaporation from every leaf happen at the same speed. When this happens, there will be no odd odor or taste in the tea."

He also talked about the moisture, air currents, and sunlight, and how they would help to make a good tea. Making a good tea is art and science!

When I drink a cup of his Tieguanyin, I get to relive these wonderful experiences. I hope that through these stories and pictures, you can also feel Farmer's Zhan's dedication and love for making excellent tea.

*Content is from a recording by David Galli. Photos are by Jake Knapp.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

2016 Spring Tea Trip: Muzha - The Visit

My fabulous tea travel companions were David Galli, who has been giving me a lot of recordings from this past April's trip to Taiwan and Jake Knapp, who has given me 100+ beautiful photos he took (more are coming - Yippee!).

It was really fun to listen to some of the recordings and look through the photos. They gave me a chance to relive those moments. Thank you, David and Jake!

I love visiting Farmer Zhang at Muzha. Some of you who have been there with me know that I don't like to take the Gondola. I am afraid of heights! However, I would do it because I think it's a fun experience and the view is great! I would do it for my son, too. He loves riding the gondola.

 A beautiful view that Jake took from the gondola ride

What a great temple!

I was thankful that it was not raining that day. It had been raining a lot in Taiwan. Seeing the sun break through the clouds, I knew we would be lucky and get to see some tea picking and some tea processing.

We arrived at Farmer Zhang's tea house and it was very quiet. His son came out. I introduced myself. He said his mother is sleeping because she worked very late last night, or I should say until early morning. I asked him not to disturb her. I asked about his father. He said his father should be on the roof processing some leaves. He asked me to wait. In my mind I thought, "No way I will miss the chance to watch him process tea." I said kindly and firmly, "would you please go tell your father that I am here and I hope he won't mind us watching him. I promise we won't disturb him." He left and came back, "my father said it's OK. Come. I will show you the way." Yeah!

We followed him to the next building and went up to the roof. Here's the face I have been waiting to see:

I love his beautiful smile

In the next post, I will write about outdoor oxidation.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

2016 Spring Taiwan Tea Trip: A Slide Show

Here is a slide show from my 2016 spring tea trip, full of beautiful scenes and tea people. Enjoy!

*slide show presented by Jake Knapp. 

Friday, May 06, 2016

2016 Spring Tea Trip: PingLin

I was very happy to be at PingLin. PingLin is very beautiful and it's a very relaxing place for me. We met Farmer Chen and his family and they were very busy harvesting and processing tea that day. It was one of the few days without rain in April!
Our new Spring Baozhong is expected to arrive in the end of May. I will be writing more to share my experiences from the April tea trip.

Here are some photos from PingLin. Enjoy!

picking tea

spreading tea for outdoor oxidation

outdoor oxidation

a feast!