Wednesday, February 22, 2012

2011 TOST - Our first stop: Wenshan Farm (10/17/2011)

Day 1. Beginning at 8am, we departed from our "official home" - Dongwu Hotel, head for Wenshan Farm. All members are requested to wear Taiwan Tea aprons – our special TOST ‘uniform’.

In the bus, we first studied on a map of Taiwan with special points of interests for tea enthusiastic travelers. (*We shall give Kirsten and Tea4U team a big credit to initiate the Taiwn tea map.)

At the Wenshan Farm, our old friend, Mr. Yen, who we have made a special request to get him as our designated guide greeted all of us eagerly. Right away, he geared us up and showed us a number of cultivars growing on the farm grounds. Everyone strapped on a tea-leaf collecting bamboo basket and hat. (This is a request form last year's group - so we all be able to dress up for fun and photos.)

I have asked Mr. Yen to teach and demo how to cut a tea branch to make a new plant. In order to get the exact same cultivar as the mother plant, it is important to cut the stem. Only one large leaf and a little sprout are kept on the branch. The branch is planted in good soil to grow a new plant. It usually takes a few years before the plant is ready to produce new leaves for making tea. We also were introduced the major cultivars in Taiwan - our members were all busy taking their notes while listening to these tea information. We did have chance to pluck some tea leaves there...and we shared the "butt tea" story from 2008 TOST... put the fresh leaves in pocket and wear them for the day, next morning, use these leaves (white tea) to infuse a pot of tea... One thing brought my attention - Taiwan tea fellows now treasure those old tea plants with better approach...they are taking care of old bushes, old tea plants for the cultural and educational study, and they are part of our history. This time, in Wenshan Farm, we have seen a few Assam tea plants that are over 100 years old are well taking care for visitors to see.

Cupping and discussion concluded our time at Wenshan Farm, we had total five different teas (3 grades of Pouchong, a Jade Oolong and one Brandy Oolong FB 27) for our cupping there.

No comments:

Post a Comment