There are many types of tea categorized by the degree of tea leaf fermentation.
Taiwan is an island of high mountains with over two hundred mountains exceeding elevations of 3000 meters. As such, nature has provided Taiwan with a uniquely advantageous environment to grow tea plants;
however, there is nothing quite like the A-li-shan tea from Chai-yi. A-li-shan Mountain is located at the Tropic of Cancer 23.5° North, straddling the torrid zone and temperate zone.
The clouds of high A-li-shan Mountain shield tea plants from the scorching sun, thus providing the optimal water and temperature for the tea plant growth at elevations of more than one thousand meters.
The result is the amazing A-li-shan tea ready to be savored and enjoyed by those who seek it!
Planting of Oolong Tea was first introduced to Taiwan from Xia-men and Fu-zhou by an English tea merchant John Dodd in 1868. Due to Taiwan's climate, John Dodd was successful in his first attempt at planting Oolong Tea in Taiwan.
John Dodd later branded the tea as Formosa Oolong and became a promoter for Taiwan tea to the western countries in the 19th century.
The most famous tea among various types of A-li-shan tea is the Oolong Tea. There is the popular A-li-shan Black Tea grown in fertile soil. The absence of pesticide invites soil-dwelling pests to bite the plant. The fermentation itself gives the A-li-shan Black Tea a unique hint of honey.
There is also the very popular Formosa Black Tea grown in Miao-li. In recent years, the popularity of A-li-shan Black Tea has risen to rival Formosa Black Tea.
So how do you distinguish good tea from the others? Good tea should be bright yellow or bright green in color. In order for the tea to be as rich and mellow in taste as possible, the tea host usually dumps the tea from the first brew to allow the tea aroma to fully permeate through the second brew.
Upon the first sip, the tea aroma should be lingering in the mouth; however, some good teas will taste bitter and astringent temporarily before the tea aroma kicks in.
When you drink good tea, you can most certainly feel the soothing throat and nourishment of your body. This wonderful feeling needs to be experienced first-hand!
The prosperity of tea drinking in Taiwan eventually led to the development of Tea Culture and Way of Tea. The Tea Culture infuses flower, painting and musical arts into the enjoyment of tea in order to promote refinement in leisure tea drinking.
The Way of Tea uses fine tea tasting as an instrument for followers to discuss and study the philosophy of life in order to elevate tea drinking to the way of life, which is an accumulation of thousands of years of fine Chinese culture.
茶道則是以品茶來結合同好和為了將茶飲提升為一種生活方式而一起討論與研究生活哲學 , 這也是中華精緻文化累積數千年的結晶。