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Tea with the Taiwanese

Sharing the expertise and wisdom of Taiwans tea masters.

One of the joys of visiting Taiwan is taking the time to enjoy a relaxing cup of oolong tea alongside Taiwans numerous tea connesseurs. This was the case when we spent the evening in Taipei, sheltering from the islands third successive typhoon in as many weeks. It was here at Gary Chen's tea house that Gary and I sampled several and alishan and li-shan, high mountain oolongs teas alongside Tan, a retired airlines pilot. Tan explained that he preferred black and red oolong teas in the winter as he felt that they warmed him and was beneficial in digesting red meats. His favourites were sun moon lake black tea, number 18 black tea and oriental beauty. He went on to say that he drank lighter high mountain oolong tea such as ali shan in the summer and preferred to steep these for just 30 seconds at 75 degrees. It was interesting to note that their are many strong differences of opinion amongst the Taiwanese with regards to brewing time and water temperatures, although most agree that its all down to a matter of personal taste.

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