On October 10th, Double Ten Day — National Day of the Republic of China, as we began winding down the 6th annual Global Tea Expo, we had the opportunity to host some tea people from New York! Michele, Jo, and Darlene had just attended an international Arts conference and were heading back to Taipei that afternoon to fly back to the USA the next day.
Our guests only had a couple hours to spend at the expo before catching the high speed rail to Taipei, and were clear about wanting to shop for tea and tea ware. So I escorted them through the throngs of shoppers and dozens of tea stalls in an attempt to meet their requests. They were able to pick up some interesting items in the short time they had, and appreciated my assistance in guiding and translating for them in their conversations with the tea farmers they met. Hopefully next time they will have more time to participate in the various cultural events that are an essential aspect of the Nantou Global Tea Expo.
Mr. Xie has been producing significant quantities of GABA Oolong Tea for several years, but this is the first batch of GABA tea that he processed as a Black Tea. After sharing his hand-picked, naturally farmed GABA Oolong that had been aged for a full year last July, we are excited to share this batch that was harvested last June, and aged 9 months. While these time periods do not qualify as "aging" tea, they do allow the composition of the leaves to mellow and offer a richer, more full-bodied character.
What is called "red tea" (紅茶 / 红茶) in Chinese is known as Black Tea in English. Taiwan has its own special Black Tea named Red Jade Black Tea due to its luminescent reddish-ochre brew. Also known as Taiwan Tea No. 18, Red Jade Black Tea is a hybrid of the Assam tea plant and the wild tea tree that grows naturally in the mountain forests of Taiwan.
After years of honing his GABA tea making skills using Oolong processing methods, Mr. Xie decided to process this harvest as a GABA Black Tea for the first time. The entire harvest amounted to less than 20 kg, and by the time we found out about it, there was barely enough to be shared with our Tea Club members!