Last week, I traveled to Taipei to be Shirley Lin's guest on her show at Radio Taiwan International http://www.rti.org.tw/ .
It was a pleasure to meet Shirley in person after doing a phone interview with her several years ago about my involvement in Taiwan tea culture. So we caught up on what's new in this respect - the prominent topic of course being the development of Eco-Cha. We chatted freely throughout the interview, both on and off camera, about all kinds of things related to living in Taiwan and the world of tea.
Stepping out of the cab and into this well-maintained, older, distinguished establishment really piqued my curiosity about the organization. It actually is one of the world's oldest radio stations in operation today - initially established in Nanjing in 1928. It has been in operation in Taiwan since the 1950's. A quote from their website sums it up: "For the next 60 years, the Central Broadcasting System persevered, continuing to broadcast on behalf of the nation, sharing information about Taiwan with the rest of the world."
An added bonus in my journey to Taipei was when I emerged from the Yuanshan 圓山 MRT station, I spotted a quaint temple in serene surroundings just a few stops away from the Main Station in downtown Taipei.
Such are the hidden gifts that one is granted in a random journey on this unique island hosting a modern society that is rich in culture and tradition.
The summer batch is noticeably less oxidized than the spring batch, and has maintained its fresh green character that Lishan tea is most renowned for. The leaves were sufficiently oxidized in order to remove the green grassy character that is inherently in the leaves. This is what distinguishes Oolong from Green Tea. Just a minimal amount of oxidation resulting from gently shuffling the leaves intermittently over long periods of wilting transforms the chemical compounds in the leaves, offering a more complex and substantial flavor profile. This batch of tea offers a buttery, savory aroma — especially upon moistening the leaves, but also throughout subsequent brews. The flavor profile is mildly sweet fresh cream, with herbal notes. The finish is clean, soft, yet lingering and subtly heady, with floral undertones.
he climate in the Lishan region is strikingly different from other tea producing regions. At 2000m elevation, and a valley situated in a direction that allows the north-easterly wind patterns to offer drastic diurnal temperature variations — tea leaves produced here are of a different caliber. We are thrilled to be sharing a batch of tea from the area that really is most impressive in terms of its "high mountain" character!
Taiwan's Tea Research and Extension Service (TRES) recently hosted a seminar that showcased the tea making skills of 15 champion prize winning tea masters from throughout Taiwan. Each shared his skill in making a particular type of tea. Here we give a behind-the-scenes look at what went down at this one of a kind event.