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

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!