History of the Formosa Tea
Taiwan is a small Island alongside China. Due to its location Taiwan received influences from China but also Japan.
The history of tea is very old as the earliest record of tea trees found in Taiwan are back to 1717 in Shui Sha Lian (水沙連), present-day Yuchi and Puli, Nantou County.
The first influence and also the strongest for the tea is from China Fujian.
Fujian is the closest region in China from the island. The vast majority of Chinese settlers are coming from this region.
Influence of Fujian in the Oolong tea farming
During the 18th century chinese from Fujian starting to import and developp the production of tea. The first tea farms were located at this time in the noth of the island. Around Taipei in Maokong (貓空 ) and Pinglin (坪林).
With time the tea farms went south and inside the mountains.
The massive production of tea for exportation only started in 1865 thanks to John Dodd. A bristish tea merchant. He founded the Dodd&Co in Taiwan.
The Tea reached is place of worldwide drink when the British cultivated tea massively in India.
Japan and the influence for black tea
During the Japanese occupation, the island received a special attention to be fully integrated in the Japanese empire. A lot of facilities and area were deveopped during this era.
The black tea is not very common in Europe but widely drink in Asia. So the Japanese started to developp this type of tea.
The main area for black tea in Taiwan is around the Sun Moon Lake.
The production of Tea nowadays
In the late 1980′ the tea production increased a lot, this economic boom also increased the quality of tea. The rise of the indigenous oolong were different from the chinese oolongs.
At this time 8000 tea farms around the island. For 2010 the total production of tea reached 24000 tons and 21000 hectares.
8000 tons of tea are for exportation.
The governement encourage a lot the production of premium tea.
The Taiwanese Tea Research and Extension Station is doing research on the new breeds, storage, packaging. But also this organization train the tea farmers in the organic farming
Because of its landscape, Taiwan sees mostly the developpement of small tea farms. With the aim of producing premium tea, Taiwan has become one the best tea producer in the world.
Taiwanese tea are winning a lot of prizes in worldwide tea competitions. Collectors from all over the world are looking for this teas !
Yueh Cha tea farms
Our Tea comes from Nantou, an area of Taiwan with the longest tradition growing teas !
Nantou occupies a large part of Taiwan, almost all the southern mountains part are in Nantou county.
Teas needs humidity (myst) to grow, and in the area of Taiwan the weather is perfect !
The first tea farms were on the nothern part of Taiwan, but the best location are alongside the moutains !
At Yueh Cha our organic tea is selected from tea farms from Nantou, growing exclusively organic tea since decades.
What teas can we found in Taiwan?
Taiwan tea only brew cured leaves from the same plant, the Camellia Sinensis.
The Chinese traditionnally add falvors to their tea, natural or artificial to some teas. These teas can have Jasmine, Lychee, Herbal, Fruits, and Flowers added flavors. These teas are popular in China but also in Taiwan.
We will not cover these blended teas here.
The way of brewing and maturing the tea will lead to all the different sorts of tea in Taiwan. Climate, altitude, water and soil are also important factors to separate teas in different varieties.
Tea contains caffeine but a cup of tea as less caffeine as a cup of coffee !
Oolong Tea 烏龍茶
Oolong Tea, a tea that oxidized within the range from 8–85% through a process of withering the plant under strong sun and oxidation before curling and twisting. depending on the variety and production style, it is fragrant with a pleasant aroma and has a fruity flavor.
The high altitude and misty mountains are the best growing conditions for Oolongs. Taiwanese Oolong teas are around 20% of the worldwide production.
Finest Taiwanese Oolongs can reach as much as 1000 USD for 1 kg ! (A chinese Oolong can reach 6500 USD for 1kg !)
In the Oolong Teas we can find:
Alishan High Mountain 阿里山高山茶
Black Tea 紅茶
Black tea is a type of tea that goes though the full-oxidized process. Known as “hong cha” in Pinyin means “Red Tea” in Mandarin due to the reddish color of its liquor (or infusion). In Taiwan, you are able taste classic black tea from Jin Xuan or Formosa Black tea , a type of tea tree cultivated from an existing Taiwan native cultivar crossed with an Assam cultivar from Burma. Taiwan has great collection of black tea. It’s time to rinse your mind with a typical but classic aroma of Formosa black tea.
White Tea 白茶
The tea plant comes from Fujian China, and has white hairs on the unopened buds of the plant. It is the same plant as Silver Needle tea from Fujian
This tea has a very mild flavor and a light yellow colour. This is the least processed tea you can drink.
An oxidizing tea in a high-nitrogen, oxygen-free environment instead of oxygen during oxidation. This process was introduced in Japan in the 1980s by Dr. Tsushida Tojiro. It is said that GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid)Tea contributes to lower stress levels, improving sleep, and reducing depression. Yes, a tasty and lovely healthy will surely bring the joy to your mind and brain. In order to meet the purpose, Yueh Cha is providing you good quality of Taiwanese organic hand-picked GABA Tea. Why not to give it a try now ?
Green Tea 綠茶
Like the white tea, the green tea is non oxidized, but it has a stronger flavor. They have a vegetal undertone.
The green tea production in Taiwan is not as massive as the Chinese and Japanese ones. So they are not as famous as the Taiwanese Oolong, but they earned to be known !