Bamboo And Tea At The National Craft Research And Development Institute
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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The medium oxidized leaves have undergone extensive, repeated roastings that have resulted in a very balanced, integrated character. The initial steepings offer a freshly cut wood aroma with a toasted nutty flavor. This proceeds to open up into a sweeter, more complex profile that is strikingly reminiscent of roasted winter vegetables, including parsnip, caramelized onion and butternut squash.
Mr. Zhang's father cultivated tea on their homesteaded land in Xiaobantian, on the southside of Lugu Township, where he grew up in the midst of traditional tea making. At 20 something, he decided to embody his local tradition by clearing land to cultivate his own plot of tea. For the last 20 years, he has managed his own humble, privately owned plot of tea. Throughout this period, he also acquired seasonal work in tea factories in Lugu, Shanlinxi, Alishan, Fanzaitian, and Lishan. In a word, he learned the ropes of tea making in a comprehensive way, like most tea farmers of his generation. Lugu hosts the highest concentration of tea makers in Taiwan, and is a hub of specialty tea making culture.