Andy got take advantage of the only morning that it wasn't raining this week and take a 55 km scenic ride from his home on the southern border of Nantou County to the National University just north of Sun Moon Lake. Here's a roadside snapshot overlooking Shuili, a township that fittingly is named "In Water".
He was invited to be a guest lecturer to a class of non-university students who are learning about creative cultural representation in the tourism industry, including the sale of local specialty produce, such as tea. It was a great group of people of all ages and backgrounds. Some were B&B owners, others worked in farmers' associations and local governments, and there were a few tea farmers who were developing their own brands.
It was really a pleasure and an honor to see the interest the class had in Eco-Cha's story and learn of our perspective on the local specialized industry of tea and tea culture. Even more rewarding however, was the friendly, modest manner in which the students introduced themselves during the intermission. Andy was offered home-made cookies and many invitations to come visit their homes, farms and businesses. He was even given a document of the occasion at the end of the class!
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The most commonly referred to trait in Leafhopper Tea is a honey-essence note in the fragrance as well as the flavor profile. This hint of honey varies greatly from batch to batch of "bug bitten tea", as it is also referred to locally. But the most general characteristic of this tea type is its bold complexity of aroma and flavor. It simply has a substance that clearly distinguishes it from a standard High Mountain Tea.
Above we see a local tea picker turning in freshly picked leaves to be weighed and recorded for commission. These new-growth, tender leaves were harvested on a beautiful sunny day at about 1500 meters elevation in the Shan Lin Xi tea growing region in southern Nantou County, central Taiwan.
Our expressed intention in sharing this batch of tea is to offer Eco-Cha Tea Club members a chance to experience the original unroasted flavor profile of a tea type that, in the local Taiwanese dialect, is simply called "Leafhopper Tea".