A Grand Adventure: Taiwan 2024

A Grand Adventure: Taiwan 2024
In the Fenghuang sub-region of Lugu, ~1100m above sea level.

Part 1

A year to the day since the last post - I don't think the wait has been in vain. After a brief layover in Taiwan last year bookending the 2023 TT Research Trip, I started planning a true return to form - a month of tea studies, focused on visits to the tea mountains via motorcycle.

Nancy and I, weighing down a tiny 150cc bike.

We began our studies in the teahouses of Taipei, tasting across various terroirs, to orient or re-orient ourselves with the unique qualities of each region:

We rode for hours in the blazing heat and cool wind, through cities, and villages, and mountains, and fields. We felt the air change and clean, the road steepen, the bike hum with pent up energy unleashed, climbing climbing climbing into the sky.

We braved dangerous trails to reach the tea gardens, to taste the fresh harvest, and to see the roasting process.

really, read the sign...

The gardens, the tea we seek and love, is set apart, in deep forest, far from the main growing area further down the mountain. Only a few plots are planted here, allowed to grow in a heavily forested and unpruned state. We kicked down bamboo encroaching on the garden, tasted one variety raw, and the same variety cooked into soup by our farmer contact.

We picked teas of various cultivars growing harmoniously in the garden, 青心 (qing xin), 水仙 (shui xian ), 肉桂 (rou gui), and others, and let it dry into unprocessed maocha some local producers call "white tea" (白茶).

various cultivars of oolong

While this part of the adventure has ended, and 狐狸 has returned to our home in NYC, my adventure is just beginning - after a few short weeks of work here in Asia, I'll be heading to Wuyi for the 2024 TT Research Trip.

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