We met our friend Diarmuid nine years ago, when he visited Taiwan on his first tea adventure. After staying in a buddhist monastery on the east coast where they produce Rui Sui Black Tea, he came to tag along with on our jaunts in Oolong Country. Years passed before we met again when visiting Seattle to present at the Northwest Tea Festival in 2018. And now he is visiting Taiwan again to reconnect with the world of tea that has become an important part of his life.
Yesterday, while drinking tea in the home of our source of Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Oolong Tea in Lugu, we came up with a plan for an outing the following day. We called our friends who produce our Eco-Farmed High Mountain Oolong Tea, to ask if we could visit for tea the following day. They readily welcomed us, suggesting that we have a soak in their family-owned hot spring along the way. We thought that was a splendid idea! So we picked up our Shan Lin Xi tea farmer on our way out of town and headed to the Jade Mountain National Park region to visit our aboriginal organic farmer friends.
Last year, we helped our Bunun friends prepare for a final exam in a course on Taiwanese teas by conducting blind tea tastings where they had to identify each type of tea. They completed the course, and now are familiar with all of Taiwan's major tea types. Today, we decided to have a casual blind tea tasting by simply brewing up six of our in store selections from 2022, and let everyone guess each tea type. It was just a simple, yet fun way to enjoy tea together and have a few laughs.
We drove home reflecting on how blessed we feel to be living a life immersed in Taiwanese tea culture. We thought it was worth capturing in our blog to share with our tea friends around the world. Diarmuid will board a plane back to Seattle on Saturday, but is committed to visiting annually to get his share of the tea culture that has enriched his life.
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