New York Tea Lovers Show Up At The Nantou Global Tea Expo
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.
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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.