TEA is the favorite drink of Taiwan people. It is present in every aspect of their life, whether as a daily drink or as a symbolic beverage in religious and traditional ceremonies.
Taiwan also possesses important areas of tea plantation, and the quality of tea produced in Taiwan has gained a good reputation worldwide.
The country is privileged for producing tea due to its warm climate, rich soil and abundant rainfall, and the most appreciated variety among many others by tea connoisseurs is the high mountain tea (planted at an altitude between 1000 and 1300 meters).
Cooler temperatures and perpetual mists at the high altitude help to yield a tea that is less bitter, releasing fruity or flowery aroma, with a long-lasting sweet aftertaste.
And one knows that Taiwan possesses more than 300 maintains that are over 1000 meters and 268 of them are over 3000 meters, he or she won’t be surprised that Taiwan is the ideal place for growing high mountain teas.
The students of Mandarin classes with Ms. Kuei-Mi LI recently had been given a chance to taste Taiwan high mountain tea and do the tea preparation by themselves.
The session started by an introduction of different types of tea produced in Taiwan and the instruments used in a tea preparation. After the demonstration by Ms. Li, students were invited to take turns making tea in Taiwan style and serving their classmates.
The students were invited to admire the clear golden color of the tea and smell its fragrance before drinking it, and here are some of their remarks:
“The tea leave has a fresh taste to it and its aroma is inviting. Today I have learned different tea names and how to make high mountain tea. It’s funny and also fun to make and drink.
“It was an amazing experience. I got to do with my classmates. Our teacher made us smell the tea leaves beforehand and it smells amazing. It’s a calming smell, not too sweet, not too sour. It tastes really good, very relaxing and calming.
“The tea has a unique smell, like a natural medicine. It was exciting to learn a new culture and taste the aroma of one of Taiwan’s high mountain teas. The tea tastes delicious, healthy, and sweet.
“It’s like a smell of relieve, and the tea itself is just natural, clean and healthy. I really enjoy watching and taking part in its preparation. It tastes simple and refreshing. The tea has a really good smell and has a lasting taste on the tongue after swallowing.
It tastes like frangipani.”
Ms. Li said that for many students, it’s their first time to see how we make tea in the traditional way; it’s also their first time to taste Taiwan tea.
“Their eyes were wide open during the demonstration, I can feel their fascination by this beverage and the ritual accompanying it’s drinking. Tea is so present in our culture, drinking tea can quench your thirst, lift your spirit, and calm your mind, and it’s also a way to keep social relations.
“We are so lucky to produce some of the world’s best teas, I cannot come to Solomon Islands without sharing our tea and tea culture with my students.”
She added that the tea that she shared this time is from the high mountain de beautiful Alishan, and her students really enjoyed it. She laughed when one student told her that it tastes like frangipani!
Apart from the cultural and spiritual sides, for health purpose, Ms. Li also want to encourage Solomon Islanders who suffer a lot from diabetes or obesity problems to drink natural tea (without sugar of course!).
Since tea is proven to have numerous benefits for the health.