2020 Nantou Global Tea Expo
The Nantou Global Tea Expo is by far Taiwan’s largest tea event and this year marked the 11th year of the annual event. Running from October 9 through the 18th, the event featured various hands on activities, performances, formal tea services representing many different cultures, and literally hundreds of tea vendors selling their tea. This year included a pig roast competition! Our organic tea farmer friend Edan was the only one who could say that his award winning organic tea was for sale on site, AND show up in the capacity of a professional pig roaster!
Being here in Taiwan, we have had the fortune of attending this magical tea extravaganza every year almost since its beginning and have been amazed at how the event has grown over the years. Tea tasting sessions abound for all varieties of teas ranging from locally produced to international teas and the 1000 People Tea Party, where nearly a thousand folks set up their tea picnic arrays to brew tea for free, always draws a large crowd. There also is a sprawling market on site comprised of hundreds tea vendors from all over Taiwan, along with locally grown coffee, and a variety of fruits, vegetables, vinegars, preserves, honey, oils, candy, essential oils, soaps, and various other hand-crafted, locally-produced goods. A new and impressive development at the Nantou Global Tea Expo this year was a designated exhibition of 100 certified organic tea producers in Taiwan.
This year, the expo held a pig roasting competition, which our organic famer friend Edan entered. Here's a clip of him working his magic on the roasting spit.
We're currently working on a documentary on Edan. Once upon a time this guy was a badass national MMA competition winner and rugby player whose skills gave him the chance to go to New Zealand. Having grown up in an aboriginal village in a very remote mountainous region, this was big time! Given the kind, gentle person he is now — living a simple and peaceful life, managing an organic farm with his wife on their inherited land — we are inspired to document his life story. Stay tuned!
Personally, however— the most meaningful part of this ten-day event was visiting our mentor in his home Sunday evening following the final day. Tony Lin is now officially retired, having completed his final commitment to produce the tea expo for its 11th year running, and for his last time as producer. Now, he passes it on to the next generation (until next year?!). So much accomplishment in his career-and this expo has been a significant part of his work for the last decade. Kudos Tony! Happy retirement!
Here's a video we did of the Tea Expo way back in 2013.
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We have become close friends, and this is a unique connection in our 25 years of involvement with tea producers in the local Taiwan tea industry. This farm is a rare resource, given its environment and micro-climate. The owners have faced many challenges and only in the last few years have developed their organic farming to a stable situation. Now, with some support and guidance, we believe they will soon be producing some of the best organic tea in Taiwan!