Friday, May 10, 2013

Taiwan: Alishan

Buddhist nun serving tea

We've just returned from four days on the Alishan mountain and at Sun Moon lake, both important tea growing areas in Taiwan. I'll focus first on Alishan. The region is so beautiful!  We were welcomed by the tea farmer like family and stayed at the tea farm. Tea, tea and more tea!

Time for Wu-Wo, too. I'm learning of the concept of "affinity" - and under such, we spontaneously met a group of Buddhist nuns while doing Wu-Wo tea beside a beautiful rock. They invited  us to have tea at their temple.  (Which we did). Beautiful gardens at the temple and ironically, a treasure trove of Taiwanese crackers and cookies.

Witnessing the picking and making of tea is particularly exciting for me. We followed the lifecycle of tea from  picking to processing to packaging. The tea at this farm for this season was picked in four days and we got to see the heart of the alchemy to turn it from picked leaf to dry tea.  This included getting up at midnight to witness "killing the green" - stopping the oxidation with heat. We tasted teas that were finished just hours prior. Majestic views, wonderful people and fragrant, luscious tea. My heart is full of gratitude!

Photos (click to enlarge):  view of Alishan mountains, tea fields and village; grandma and Granddaughter making tea; Wu-Wo; tea withering; "killing the green" to stop the oxidation (using heat tubes); Buddhist nun making tea








10 comments:

Marilyn said...

Oh Stephanie, that sounds so special, especially having tea with the nun. Jim and I loved Alishan and staying at the tea farm. You are having an amazing trip.

Teafan said...

That little girl and grandma - wow!

Linda @ Friendship Tea said...

I am thoroughly enjoying following your tea adventures!

cha sen said...

What a great experience you're having! I've been drinking quite a bit of Alishan lately and am glad to be able to read and look at the photos of its provenance.

Mitra Dunn said...

Wow, wow and wow. What an experience.

La Tea Dah said...

Amazing and beautiful photos! Your enthusiasm can be felt from here! Thank you for sharing!

LaDonna
Gracious Hospitality

The Everyday Tea Drinker said...

The picture of the Buddhist nun serving tea is my favorite so far. Simple, beautiful, and such depth of expression. Tough to do with out a face!

Thanks for taking me places I will never get to see on my own.

South Bay Ladies' Tea Guild said...

Thanks for the post about Alishan! A friend's husband just got back from Taiwan on a business trip, and because I stayed with his wife while he was away (she's legally blind) he brought me some tea from Alishan as a gift. I can't wait to taste it!

Angela McRae said...

Your photos are truly amazing and give me an I-am-there feeling! And I've never heard of "killing the green" but I totally get it. Fascinating!

massagematters said...

What a neat portion of your trip!