TAIWANESE LOOSE LEAF TEAS
WHY TAIWANESE TEAS?
THE EVOLUTION OF TEA ACROSS ASIA
Taiwan began producing tea during the late 18th century after tea was brought over from China.
One of the first teas introduced was the cultivar called Qīng Xīn (青心烏龍), which grew on Wu Yi Shan in Fujian, China.
Wu Yi Shan is famous for producing some of the world's most delicious yan cha wu long (cliff/ rock oolong tea), some of which we sell at the bar.
We were curious about how the yan cha cultivar would taste if it came from Taiwan and wanted to learn more about how the Taiwanese tea farmers and producers approach wu long cha.
WHAT DID WE FIND?
LOW OXIDATION & HIGH ELEVATION
As we journeyed through Taiwan looking for teas to bring back to the bar, it was evident that there was a trend for greener tasting wu longs and a preference for higher elevations.
We spoke with senior tea vendors and tea shop owners who confirmed our observations and emphasized the preference within Taiwan for wu long cha with low oxidation levels and minimal roasting.
This meant that a majority of high elevation wu long cha we tried held tasting notes typical to green teas accompanied by various floral notes, but was devoid of the roasted notes generally found in Wu Yi Shan yan cha.
THE TEA BAR'S PICKS
VARIOUS CULTIVARS FROM NORTHERN & CENTRAL TAIWAN
Taiwan is a mountainous subtropical island divided into three main tea areas: North, Central, and South.
We focused on the Northern and Central terriors, specifically Mao Kong in Wen Shan District and townships just to the west of Ali Shan National Park.
We selected a variety of teas from a local Mao Kong tea producing family, who focus solely on producing quality teas and source their leaves from family relations that live on Mao Kong.
In the Meishan township of Taiwan, we found a small tea farm run by Ling Susu, who has been growing and making tea for thirty years. His passion was evident in the delicious taste of his teas!