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.
Batch #50 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club starts off 2020 with a freshly harvested Alishan High Mountain Oolong Winter Tea from our ongoing source in Meishan Township. This very small batch of tea was their final day of winter harvest. The leaves were not yet fully mature, and offer a fresh, distinctly aromatic and complex flavor profile.
The photo above is this month's batch of the Eco-Cha Tea Club undergoing solar withering on November 11, 2019. This was the final day of winter harvest for our source of Alishan High Mountain Oolong Tea, and we were able to procure enough of this very minimal batch to share with our Tea Club. This date was 3 days after Li Dong (立冬) in the lunar calendar, and the winter harvest of High Mountain Tea had for the most part been completed in central Taiwan.
This summer 2017 crop of naturally cultivated and well bug bitten and matured leaves were processed as a traditional Oolong, which mainly means that they were well oxidized. The work that went into oxidizing these leaves was considerable as well as skillful. The leaves needed to be worked, and they got worked well! The result is a full-bodied, substantial brew that offers a very satisfying balance that starts with a mild smokiness, leading into a fruity body with mineral notes, and finishing with something reminiscent of old school Charms lollipops. It really does have a distinct plum powder/confectioner's sugar finishing note that is cushioned by that smoky mineral base. It's a mouthful!