TYPES OF TEA
Taiwan tea grows on mountains and hills that are often cloaked in mist. The humid and cool climate is ideal for tea gardens. Gifted Taiwan farmers do the rest. Nowadays the little island of Taiwan enjoys the same status, in the world of tea, that Burgundy or Tuscany have among the best wine areas.
Some of the best types of Chinese tea are produced in Taiwan. They are stilled and prepared with art, science and love by Taiwanese tea farmers. Taiwanese drink most of the tea they produce, about 80% of it. Tea is not a tourist thing in Taiwan. Instead tea appreciation is deeply rooted in the local culture.
Taiwan tea also refers to tea that has been grown and produced in Taiwan.
Some of the most well-known are:
2. Baozhong tea 包種茶: sometimes known in English by the older romanization pouchong, is a lightly oxidized tea, twist shape, with floral notes, and usually not roasted, somewhere between green tea and what is usually considered oolong tea, though often classified with the latter due to its lack of the sharper green tea flavours. Its name in Chinese, literally "the wrapped kind", refers to a practice of wrapping the leaves in paper during the drying process that has largely been discontinued due to advancement in tea processing.
3. Dong Ding Tea 凍頂茶: A translation of Dong Ding is "Frozen Summit" or "Icy Peak", and is the name of the mountain in Taiwan where the tea is cultivated. Those plants were brought to Taiwan from the Wuyi Mountains in China's Fujian Province about 150 years ago.
4. Wenshan Baozhong tea 文山包種茶: The popular saying " North Wenshan, south Dongding" shows that they are the best teas in Taiwan. Wenshan Baozhong is a typical bar-shaped tea while Dongding Oolong is hemispherical in shape. Wenshan Baozhong has a fresh fragrant taste while Dongding Oolong is famous for the strong sweet aftertaste.
5. Dongfang Meiren tea 東方美人茶: Also known as Oriental beauty, white-tip oolong, and champagne oolong or baihao (白毫), among other Chinese names, is a heavily oxidized, non-roasted, tip-type oolong tea originating in Hsinchu County, Taiwan. It is an insect tea produced from leaves bitten by the tea jassid, an insect that feeds on the tea plant. Terpenes are released in the bitten leaves, which creates a honey-like taste. The tea has natural fruity and honey-like aromas and produces a sweet-tasting beverage, bright reddish-orange in color, without any bitterness. Dried leaves of high quality exhibit a pleasant aroma, with leaf coloration of dark purple and brown tones with white hairs.
6. Tieguanyin 鐵觀音: The tea is named after the Chinese Goddess of Mercy Guanyin, who is known in Japan as Kannon and in Korea as Gwan-eum. Guanyin is an embodiment of Avalokiteśvara Bodhisattva. Other spellings and names include "Ti Kuan Yin", "Tit Kwun Yum", "Ti Kwan Yin", "Iron Buddha", "Iron Goddess Oolong", and "Tea of the Iron Bodhisattva". It is also known in its abbreviated form as "TGY". These days, this tea is generally only lightly oxidized, making it closer to a green than a black tea.
7. Longjing tea 三峽龍井茶: Sometimes called by its literal translated name Dragon Well tea. Like most other Chinese green tea, Longjing tea leaves are roasted early in processing (after picking) to stop the natural oxidation process, which is a part of creating black and oolong teas. The actions of these enzymes are stopped by "firing" (heating in pans) or by steaming the leaves before they completely dry out. As is the case with other green teas (and white teas), Longjing tea leaves experience minimal oxidation. When steeped, the tea produces a yellow-green color. The tea contains vitamin C, amino acids, and, like most finer Chinese green teas, has one of the highest concentrations of catechins among teas.
8. Alishan tea 阿里山茶: Alishan tea is a high mountain oolong tea grown in the central mountains of Taiwan. It is a relatively new tea to the scene, appearing only several decades ago. Alishan tea originated from the tea estates on Ali Mountain and quickly became popular in Taiwan. It is a slow growing tea and is harvested only twice a year. Besides its deep and complex flavor profile, Alishan tea is known for having a floral and slightly sweet taste to it. The texture is light and creamy on the tongue. This tea is great for multiple infusions and will keep its flavor long after the first steep.
9. High-mountain tea 高山茶: Itis grown at altitudes higher than 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) above sea level, and includes varieties such as Alishan, Dayuling, Yu Shan, Wushe, and Lishan. The high humidity and natural precipitation in the high mountain ranges of Nantou and Chiayi Counties make the region a suitable environment for growing tea plants. High Mountain Oolong is a tea that holds all of its original nutrients that are within the unfermented green tea. It does not hold the usual grass-like taste but due to the fermentation process that removes the harsh ingredients, it allows the tea to taste flavorful.