大愛電視 / Big Love Television Films Eco-Cha
We spent several days over the last couple weeks filming in tea country (Lugu) and in Taichung City with the Buddhist-based Da Ai Television station. Eco-Cha will be featured in a full-length program that focuses on innovative expats living in Taiwan. It's been a personally meaningful and fulfilling experience working with such proficient, yet easy-going professionals as Vivien and CC from Da Ai. It will be months before the program is aired, but for now we can share some behind the scene shots. Here we are at Tony and Lisa Lin's tea table playing with tea design ideas.
On Lin Qing-dan's organic tea farm checking out the newly planted tea trees that are overgrown with natural plant growth.
Filming the harvest of a very small crop of naturally cultivated "bug-bitten tea" or "ye-nah-day" in Taiwanese. These young leaves, stunted in growth and partially oxidized while still on the plant as a result of the Green Leaf Hopper, will be made into Concubine Oolong Tea. The combination of these tea trees being pruned back after spring harvest and the minimal yield that results from new growth being "bug bitten" produced a batch of only 20 kg of tea. In the background is the renowned landmark of Phoenix Mountain.
Nick and Vivien ride back with some of the harvest to the home factory less than a kilometer away.
Andy and his tea farmer friend Young share stories and laughs while the leaves are withered in the sun.
Nick helps grandfather and grandson of the household spread the leaves on bamboo trays for indoor oxidation.
After midnight, brewing and tasting the fresh leaves that were harvested that morning. Vivien and CC from Da Ai put in an 18 hour day of filming, directing, and interviewing that day!
This is the tea tasting that Eco-Cha hosted in Taichung. We served three types of Qing Xin Oolong: Shan Lin Xi High Mountain (unroasted), High Mountain Concubine (light roast), and Dong Ding Oolong (heavy roast). Here we have the teas cold brewed to welcome our guests, followed by individual brewings in standard tea tasting wares.
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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!