Ping Ling region
Beatriz Arjona experienced tea merchant in a Wen Shan Bao Zhong tea plantation.

 

A travel in pictures, looking for the precious teas produced on the island of Taiwan.
Like the “Oriental Beauty” organic tea, which develops a note of honey and ripe fruit due to a natural reaction to the bite of an indigenous insect. Or like the high mountain “Ali shan” tea, cultivated by the natives of the island who first learned the art of tea from the Japanese settlers.

Local tea masters accompany us for long and slow tastings, preparing the different leaves according to the “gon fu cha”, a concept that contains attention and patience, accuracy and rituality: the time needed to enjoy tea and to give space to the relationships that arise around the table.

In the background, a de facto island-state that in recent years, like many other nations of the Far East, strived (perhaps too quickly) to catch up with the western economies, the most desirable recipients of tea exports.

Andrea and Bea, the couple of expert tea merchants from Bari (Italy), who dreamed and then planned the trip, are here because of this. Taiwanese teas are currently among the rarest and most expensive on the European market. And they must be promoted through the spread of tea culture, an exciting challenge in a country of coffee lovers such as Italy.

All the photographs are by Giuseppe Fanizza.
The trip and the research are produced by Terza Luna, the tea distribution company by Andrea and Bea.

 

 

Ali Shan region
The region gives its name to the prized tea that is grown in these plantations.

 

Ali Shan region
Yan, a young local producer of Ruby Black tea

 

Taitung region
The young producer and tea master Yiming during a tea tasting of locally grown Jin Xuan and Da Ye teas.

 

Taipei
The tea master Yun Li in his shop

 

Kaohsiung

 

Yuchi Township
A “Shishi” at the Kongming Temple.
The “stone lions” or “lion guardians” are often placed at the entrance of religious and imperial buildings as a protection from adveristies

 

Taitung
Buddhist temple

 

Guanxi
Community gardens.

 

Taitung region
A biologist employed at the Taitung Branch Tea Research and Extension Station, one of the government centers where local tea varieties are studied and developed.

 

Taitung region
The Taitung Branch Tea Research and Extension Station, one of
the government centers where local tea varieties are studied and developed.

 

Cha
The Cha ideogram represents the word “tea” and is formed by the ideograms of “tree”, “man” and “grass”. It is used to mark large baskets suitable for the selection and drying of tea leaves.

 

“Gong Fu Cha”
Different kits for making tea according to the “Gong Fu Cha” procedure. The expression “Gong Fu” is literally translated as “work and time”. Together with the word Cha (tea) it could be interpreted as “preparing tea with patience and attention”.

 

Alishan region
The forecourt of a tea farm.

 

Taitung region
Farmers in a tea plantation.

 

Taipei

 

Ping Ling region
The region is known for the production of Wen Shan Bao Zhong tea.

 

Hsinchu region
A freshly picked leaf of the precious Oriental Beauty tea. The brownish spots indicate the presence of the Jacobiasca Formosana, an indigenous insect that feeds on these leaves. The natural reaction of the plant to its bite gives this tea the sweet notes of honey and fruit that make it very precious and refined.

 

Maolan Mountain region
Road decorations and public installations inspired by the tea culture in the agricultural region of Maolan Mountain.

 

Ali Shan region
The farm house of Don Yu, a Taiwanese native who grows and produces the precious variety of Ali Shan Oolong tea, characterized by notes of butter and flowers. Oolong teas are characterized by an medium oxidation compared to the two extremes of green teas and black teas.

 

Ali Shan region
A tea plantation of the same name.

 

Taipei
A Taipei tea master conducts a tea tasting using the “gon fu cha” method.

 

Ynnge
A workshop of a local artisan. The city is renowned for the production of artisan teapots.

 

Taipei
Andrea and Beatriz taste some varieties of tea offered by a tea-sommelier, employed at the Wang Tea company store.

 

Sun Moon Lake region
A family of local producers from the Senlin Tea farm together with Andrea and Beatriz.

 

Taoyuan
A fruit and juice shop.

 

Kaohsiung
Stranger passing.

 

Miaoli
Memorial statue in the Yuqing park.

 

Taipei
Buddhist temple

 

Miaoli
The “Tea Sage Hut” school of tea culture proposes a learning path that uses the “cha do” (“Way of Tea”) as a vehicle for
approaching meditation and spirituality.

 

Taipei
Shop fronts.

 

Taipei

 

Taipei
Mr Hsu, a tea exporter, shows a pack of Pu Erh, an aged and post- fermented tea.

 

Pinglin, New Taipei
A scale model of a tea leaves dryer at the Tea Museum of  Pinglin.

 

Taipei
A method for orchids vegetation on tree bark

 

Taitung
A map of Taiwanese teas in the local tea museum

 

Sun Moon Lake region
A tea plantation in the Maolan Mountain Tea Research and Extension Station, a laboratory run by the Taiwanese government where botanists and researchers work to produce and preserve the varieties of tea present in the area.

 

Sun Moon Lake region
A tea tree monument in the Maolan Mountain Tea Research and Extension Station, a laboratory run by the Taiwanese government where botanists and researchers work to produce and preserve the varieties of tea present in the area.

 

Guanxi
The “mandarine oolong” is prepared by keeping the tea together with parts of the fruit inside its own peel.

 

Taipei
A tea master hand-selects the leaves in the laboratory of Wang Tea distribution company.

 

Sun Moon Lake
The round-lake bus line.

 

Sun Moon Lake

 

Tea leaves