Saturday, April 18, 2015

2014 TOST's Opening Ceremony with Oriental Beauty Cupping

Visit Tse-Xin Organic Tea Farm

Lunch at Sheng-Kung Old Town...

Visit Muja Tea District to see how Taiwan Tie-Kuan-Yin...

Visit Hwa Gung Tea HQ in Feng Yuan, Taichung

Co-op Refinery Factory in Ming Jian tea district

Machinery Harvest in Ming Jian tea district

Short stop at a Tea Fair in Sun Moon Lake

Visit Dong Feng Tea Factory in Sun Moon Lake

Visit Wang Ting Tea Garden to see the leaves that are plucked for our project...

Outdoor withering

Having a break after the leaves moved indoor to start indoor withering

First fluffing with the leaves that has gone through indoor withering...

Tea chemistry study by Master Steve Huang during the indoor withering

Fluffing the leaves and continue the indoor withering...

Group cupping during the break of indoor withering...

Finished the indoor withering and tumbling...

Group study after leaves poured in tumbler to stimulate oxidation and to be mixed evenly...

The leaves are ready for the further oxidation...

Group study during the tea still undergoing oxidation...

Fixation, rough rolling, and drying...

Group Study after our tea is panned, rough rolled and dried...

Farewell to our host in Alishan...

Ju Fa Tea on San Tseng Ping (3-tier-flat) in ShanLinSi

A modern tea factory in old tea district...

Lien Shan Tea Mr. Lin convinces all of us with this modern and well built factory in the Tung Ting tea district. We have a quick tour and also cupped his fine teas.  I strongly believe this is going to be the trend for Taiwan tea industry.

Visit Piao I (Mr. Shen)

Piao I, a famous brand name for tea ware. Mr. Shen, the owner also the inventor of many house ware, is an old friend of mine.  I remembered I was invited to help him to participate the 14th Pittsburgh International Inventers' Show back in 1998.  Mr. Shen is awarded two Gold medals, one Silver, one Brass medal for his tea maker - which I have been using it in my Tea-One Tasting Class.
When Josephine and I called Mr. Shen that we want to visit his factory with our 2014 TOST group...he is very excited and here is our wonderful evening with Mr. Shen.

How amazing to see an old tea factory still in action...Tung Pang Tea in Puli

Tung Pang Tea is one of the oldest black tea factories in Taiwan.  Hank Kuo is the current in charge and he is a good friend of mine.  We have suggested him to arrange for the visit last year when we were in Puli.   And 2014 TOST friends are the lucky group to be here... Amazing that most the old machines are kept and in action.  We are sure this place will be preserved for a great museum. 


Visit Gin Kwang Fu to trace the root of Oriental Beauty

Visit the home of the Oriental Beauty - Beipu and Omei in Hsinchu County. Gin Kwang Fu is the family own business that pioneered the trade of produces and products from this area.  In the past, we visited Pon Fon Cha Museum to see how the tea was processed in old days., this year we are lucky to visit Gin Kwang Fu and to be shared the stories of the Oriental Oolong trade and also the Chiang's family.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Home coming - Sha Keng Tea Manufactory

Norman and his team have prepared a Grand Cupping for our 2014 TOST friends at Sha Keng Tea Manufactory.  My father is always so excited to meet with our tea friends every year and he enjoys telling the story of how this factory used to make tons of tea for export and also how Taiwan tea industry has been dealing with so many phases of changing.  Oh yes, when this factory finished remodeling for the so called 'container era' - it was just like yesterday and actually back in 1968, and then one of the biggest tea factories in Taiwan.  Most equipments were long gone, only some refinery and baking / blending for domestic demands. 

Formosa Black Tea Factory and Taiwan Tea Art Gallery

Kuanshi is my home town, also one of Taiwan's important tea producing district, where many large scale tea factories here.  Mr. CS Lou is the owner and also one of my tea sensei greets our TOST friends and gracefully guides us to visit his old black tea factory, now converted to be a high-tech steam-fired green tea plant, and also has an amble space designed to be Taiwan Tea art gallery.  Great tea museum that you should not miss while you visit Taiwan.  Photos are full explanatory.  We also have a great forum discussion there at the conference room in Formosa Black Tea Factory.

Yinge here we come again!

Yinge is the Ceramic Town of Taiwan.  Nowadays, more and more tea ware, not only ceramic, are pooled in this place.  TOST always plans to have a short stop here and select one or two spots for our friends to shop tea ware or collectible items.  It is so convenient to travel from Taipei city to we believe our friends can always spend their own time to do private shopping.

Taiwan Tea Corp. San Hsia Refinery Factory -

I have been waiting for this day to come.  TTC's San Hsia Refinery Factory has been very famous and one of the model tea processing facility in Taiwan.  Our 2014 TOST friends are the first group that to be able to visit this place.  Enjoy the slides.   (There is one small corner right next to the factory, used to be the dormitory but converted to be a very nice tea store.  Also, TTC has its organic garden near by... which will be saved for our next visit.)  We are grateful to our good friend also the manager, Mr. Chen's hospitality and introduction.

Visit Tashi (Daxi) Old Tea Factory

TTC ( Taiwan Tea Corporation) owns a few large scale tea factories in Taiwan.  After visited its San Hsia Refinery plant, we come to Tashi Old Tea Factory.  It is huge and remarkable, and we believe you will enjoy watching these wonderful photos.  Make sure if you're here in Taiwan, spend a good day or two there...

Visit TRES Head Quarter in Yangmei.

TRES - Taiwan Tea Research and Extension Station plays such an important role in Taiwan tea history. Scientists here to help develop new cultivars, improve the plantation and management, technique of processing and new equipments R&D...they even get involved with tea and tea culture promotion. Most importantly, the farmers have been lucky to be called in for training and updated with new technology.

Visiting I-Mei Foods

I-Mei Foods has been supporting TOST program for the past few years.  Mr. Luis Ko actually encourages fellow Taiwanese food plants, including tea makers, to adopt good manufacturing practice from the bottom up.  We are invited to have a tour around the facilities, also get treated with a wonderful dinner. 

2014 TOST Certificates Ceremony

How time flies... it is the Closing Ceremony already for 2014 TOST. 
Before we proceed presenting the Certificates to our members, we have Norman prepared the Pouchong teas (*as we have not cupped Pouchong the whole trip) and also the Alishan Jade that we made in Wang Ting back on 10/26, just delivered in time to Dong Wu Hotel,  to be cupped and discussed.  
Steve also enjoys sharing his another talent - Calligraphy, he presents to every member his good words (all tea related) written on red paper as lucky charm to our TOST friends.

Walking around the old tea district in Taipei

After our closing ceremony and buffet lunch, we gathered to walk around the old tea district in Taipei and also visited the baking room in Wang's Tea.

Smiling Faces !

This 2014 TOST group are happy bunch and we do enjoy our study and working plus many fun moments together!