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.
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This month's batch of tea being shared with the Eco-Cha Tea Club was made by Mr. Su — an 80 year-old artisan of traditional Dong Ding Oolong Tea. He planted a plot of the Tie Guan Yin strain in his backyard several years ago, and this is the second time we've sourced this tea type from him. Mr. Su is our favorite representative of traditionally made tea in Taiwan, and it brings us a special kind of joy to be able to share his tea with our tea club members.
This batch has a particularly sweet character, with slightly tangy, fruity notes and a pleasantly clean lingering aftertaste. It has just enough of that cured, almost fermented character that makes it reminiscent of a traditionally made Tie Guan Yin Oolong. But given that it was only roasted once, it maintains a mild flavor profile similar to a Hong Shui Oolong.