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Taiwan Specialty Tea
Miscellaneous Tea Produced in Taiwan
Tea is a beverage product; taste preferences of consumers don't appear to be the same. The natural environments are suitable for tea cultivation and production in many regions of Taiwan. Through few past decades, special aromas and flavors of Taiwan's various teas have been developed, including Paochong, Tungding Oolong & Pomfong teas. We would like to introduce some of the characteristics and producing areas of seven major teas produced in Taiwan.
(1) Green tea: It's a non-fermented tea. There's no withering and fermentation in manufacturing process. The first processing step is panning. Because of different manufacturing ways, the green tea are divided into two categories mainly, one is steamed panning green tea, whose most famous example is the “Sencha” exporting to Japan, and the other is fried panning green tea, such as “Long-Gin” tea, and “Bi-Lo-Chun”. The shape of tea leaves of “Sencha” or “Long-Gin” tea is similar to that of sword and looks green with white pekoes. Its tea liquors look like jade with slightly yellow, and taste fresh. The major producing areas for the green tea are located in Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Miaoli and Taipei counties.
(2) WunShan Paochong tea: The producing area for the tea is located in northern mountain areas. Pinlin, Shidin and Hsintien of Taipei county are famous places for the WunShan Paochong tea production. The shape of Wen-Shen tea is deep-green curl. The tea is special for its light golden-green liquor color and fragrant aroma. Its faintly sweet and smoothness taste comforts your throat.
(3) Semi-ball type Paochong tea: This tea has a common name, "Tungding Oolong Tea". Its original producing area was mountain regions, altitude 500 ~ 800 meters, in Luku of Nantou county. In recent years, its producing area has extended to Minjian, Jhushan townships, Nantou county and many other areas in Taiwan. Tungding Oolong tea is unique for its ball-rolling processing step, tea leaves are so tight that look like a semi-ball type. The appearance is deep green. The liquor color is bright golden-yellow. The aroma is heavy. The mellow and thick taste usually lasts very long in the tongue and throat after drinking the tea.
(4) Tieh-Kuan-Yin tea: This tea is partially fermented, with similar processing of semi-ball type Paochong tea. Its tea leaves are first roasted slightly and then jammed inside clothe bags and rolled into ball-shaped, and is repeatedly rolled by hands. The tea bags are then roasted over bamboo roaster under “medium warm heat” to make tea leaves curved and shrinking. Such step is repeated few times under roasting. The components of tea will be transformed to the one with special aroma and flavor after roasted. This tea still maintains its original aroma and flavor after brewing for few times. The tea liquor color is orange yellow, but slightly red. The taste is mellow, thick, sweet and smooth, but slightly astringent. The flavor of Tieh-Kuan-Yin tea is something like that of pure, normal but weak fruit acid. The hometown of Tieh-Kuan-Yin tea manufacturing is Mutza and Shimen, both located in northern part of Taiwan.
(5) White-tip Oolong tea (or "PomFong tea"): The more white tips there are, the more qualities they have. It is the most special and famous tea in Taiwan. It is only produced in Taiwan among other producing countries. Its processing raw materials are young leaves and tips, which are sucked by the smaller green leafhopper. Then the fermentation process is controlled by hands to make this tea owning special honey and also matured fruit aroma. The major producing areas of white-tip Oolong tea are located in Peipu, Omei, Hsinchu county and Touwu, Toufern, Miaoli county. Shihding, Taipei county and Longtan townships, Taoyuan county have also started to produce and marketing this tea in the last few years. White-tip oolong tea looks mixing white, yellow, red, brown and like flowers. Its liquor color looks shiny amber, tastes durable and refreshing.
(6) High-mountain tea: The high-mountain tea refers to the tea produced from the tea gardens located at altitude of over 1000 meters and is commonly called as high-mountain oolong tea and its major producing areas include the newly-developed tea areas in the mountains between 1,000~1,300 meters in ChiayI county and Nantou county. Because it is cold in mountain areas with heavily cloudy in the morning and evening and shorter average sunshine period, the catechin contents in tea leaves tastes are less. The theanine and other soluble nitrogen contained in the tea leaves are higher than other teas have. Tea leaves and buds are tender. The mesophyll is thick and pectin contents are high. Hence high-mountain teas have some characteristics, such as black-green appearance, sweet taste, refined aroma and enduring brewing etc.
(7) Black tea: It's a fully fermented tea. The good quality black tea is made from Assam tea plants that are grown in Puli, Yuchih of Nantou county and Juisui of Hualien county. Meanwhile, the TRES has propagated and extended the new cultivar-TTES No. 18 since 1999 in Yuchih, and this tea smells like natural cinnamon and fresh mint and is pretty popular among consumers.
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