When I recently visited some old friends in Lugu to taste their recently harvested crop of organically cultivated tea, they spontaneously proceeded to introduce me to their private collection of aged tea that they have been developing for decades.
Mr. Lee smiles here in nostalgic admiration of his father's achievement of an award winning tea some 30 years ago. This small ceramic urn is what remains from that batch, and continues to be an exemplary sample of traditional Dong Ding Oolong Tea.
This is exactly the kind of circumstance that has drawn me back to this world for the last 20 years. I finally moved house to this vicinity last month - something I've looked forward to doing for many years. I feel like I've finally arrived at where I should be - in the heart of tea country, in Nantou County - Taiwan.
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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.