In concurrence with the Nantou Global Tea Expo, the National Craft Research And Development Institute hosted activities and exhibits related to Taiwan's tea culture. One of these was an amazing exhibit of modern bamboo structures designed for traditional tea parties.
Another was a hands-on seminar in bamboo tea scoop making. A master of the craft was on site, sharing his skills, and guiding participants on how to design and make their own elegant yet practical tea scoop.
As shown in the photo above, a variety of designs were on display for students to refer to in choosing a shape and size they preferred. The instructor would then cut out the template according to the student's request, and show them how to shape the cutout by hand to achieve the desired result.
The workshop on tea scoop making was a singular event as part of the Nantou Global Tea Expo production, along with others such as an Oolong Tea making demonstration by prize-winning tea artisans from all over Taiwan. The bamboo teahouse exhibit will on display until April 2016. This is just one more primary example of how much Taiwan has to offer the world in its living embodiment of tea culture in the 21st century.
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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.