One of the best things about living in Taiwan is that Taiwan produces some of the best tea in the world. There is an abundance of tea related items that are readily available, as well as expert advise on the subject. If you have never tasted Taiwan tea before, then you are really missing out on one of life’s simplest and greatest pleasures. I have a small collection of teapots from the Chinese school of tea making, which differs significantly from Japanese tea making. The pots are small and the infusions are frequent and of short duration. Each filling of the teapot must be carefully monitored by the tea maker and stopped by pouring out the tea into a pitcher, or gong-bei from which individual cups are poured. The tea cups are small and allow one to enjoy a fresh mouthful with each filling of the teacup. Multiple infusions mean that each infusion is slightly different and the guests may enjoy many different flavors, and also aromas. A good Chinese tea set will include aroma cups from which the tea drinker can savor the aroma of the tea, while drinking it. The aroma of the tea is surprisingly complex and actually changes as the aroma cup cools. This method of tea brewing is literally called gong-fu tea making because it requires skill on the part of the tea maker so as to not ruin the infusion by under, or over steeping.
One of our consortium factories is located on a mountain top where there are many surrounding groves of oolong tea. I always look forward to meetings at that factory because we enjoy some of the best tea in the world while working. It is quite a sight to go up to the mountain in the morning and see the small tea trees shrouded in a fine mist about 1 meter in height. The Hsinchu area of Taiwan is known for producing excellent teas of several varieties.
Life is good. Taiwan tea makes life better.