Lower elevation areas (Mingjian, Nantou) and southern areas (Meishan, Chiayi) have already been harvesting for the last 2-3 weeks. The machine harvested low elevation teas have produced an unusually low-volume yield due to the late spring. With machine harvesting, it is necessary to harvest the top (first) growth off the bush before it becomes too mature. The plants responded to the early weather conditions by growing a bit erratically, in clumps of growth spurts rather than more evenly distributed across the surface. Hence, the yield was low. Perhaps the late spring harvest to follow will be more normal, and probably less than two months from now.
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We recently visited Mr. Liu when we hosted a visitor from Italy who was keen on experiencing the local tea culture. Our guest was truly elated to be served tea by a true artisan of the trade. Mr. Liu served us three different teas that were all locally harvested this past spring. They varied only in their degree oxidation and roasting. And the one that was sufficiently oxidized, but only lightly roasted, immediately impressed us.