Taiwan. Travel futures and logs!

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Re: Taiwan. Travel futures and logs!

Postby ethan » Jan 30th, '16, 22:07

devoted,

There are so many.

Ten Shang's Tea Co. is near Grand Mosque & on Jilin St.
Lin Mao Sen Tea Co. is near Dihua St.

so your friend can see other things & stop in a tea shop

Maokong is a wonderful gondola ride & view & where I enjoyed tasting tea the most & to my own surprise bought a considerable amount of roasted Tie Guan Yins.

Pinglin was not such a thrill but a nice bus ride & through mountains. The shop nearest the tea museum was the only one w/ tea that Jay & I liked. We bought Oriental Beauty that was good & unique to me.

Consulting tripadvisor etc. may be useful for your friend who is not so enthusiastic about tea as us.

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Re: Taiwan. Travel futures and logs!

Postby jayinhk » Jan 31st, '16, 08:19

Ethan,

I'm drinking the Oriental Beauty now. I think it really stands out as one of our best purchases in the Taipei area. I was skeptical about the store because of its location, but wow! This is good tea. Osmanthus, lychee and hui gan.

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Re: Taiwan. Travel futures and logs!

Postby Devoted135 » Jan 31st, '16, 10:52

jayinhk wrote:In that case my suggestion would be to go with the most reliable vendors, even if I've been told they don't have the best of the best. I think you'll still be happy with the price/quality ratio vs buying online.

"http://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0056/216953/web/"

There are a few places I really like for their honesty and consistency, but I can't remember their names offhand--I just know where they are from memory. Sorry I can't be of more help!



ethan wrote:devoted,

There are so many.

Ten Shang's Tea Co. is near Grand Mosque & on Jilin St.
Lin Mao Sen Tea Co. is near Dihua St.

so your friend can see other things & stop in a tea shop

Maokong is a wonderful gondola ride & view & where I enjoyed tasting tea the most & to my own surprise bought a considerable amount of roasted Tie Guan Yins.

Pinglin was not such a thrill but a nice bus ride & through mountains. The shop nearest the tea museum was the only one w/ tea that Jay & I liked. We bought Oriental Beauty that was good & unique to me.

Consulting tripadvisor etc. may be useful for your friend who is not so enthusiastic about tea as us.



Thank you so much! I'll let him know about these, and then cross my fingers haha. I appreciate the recommendations :D

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Re: Taiwan. Travel futures and logs!

Postby Bok » Jan 31st, '16, 22:37

what also helps to narrow down the error margin is to stay clear of certain teas. For example, Alishan is a very popular touristic area in Taiwan, where lots of Chinese tourist go, therefore the assumption is that the tea from there is special. Which it can be, but mostly it is a sales factor… so the chances to get a bad Alishan tea are quite high.

Go for Lishan or Shanlinxi or other lesser known areas.

The second important factor is the price.
Go for the more expensive ones, preferably with no fancy packaging.
Usually what they invest in the box, they take out from the tea quality…
For example for OK-ish tea I would not go lower than 1000 NT for one jing (600g). But even that might be too low, prices in Taipei are in average three times higher than in the rest of the country.

So, if you want good tea, buy expensive in inexpensive simple packs.
And stay away from what shop keepers tell you are popular choices with visitors! Good luck!

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Re: Taiwan. Travel futures and logs!

Postby Devoted135 » Jan 31st, '16, 22:57

Bok wrote:what also helps to narrow down the error margin is to stay clear of certain teas. For example, Alishan is a very popular touristic area in Taiwan, where lots of Chinese tourist go, therefore the assumption is that the tea from there is special. Which it can be, but mostly it is a sales factor… so the chances to get a bad Alishan tea are quite high.

Go for Lishan or Shanlinxi or other lesser known areas.

The second important factor is the price.
Go for the more expensive ones, preferably with no fancy packaging.
Usually what they invest in the box, they take out from the tea quality…
For example for OK-ish tea I would not go lower than 1000 NT for one jing (600g). But even that might be too low, prices in Taipei are in average three times higher than in the rest of the country.

So, if you want good tea, buy expensive in inexpensive simple packs.
And stay away from what shop keepers tell you are popular choices with visitors! Good luck!


This is excellent advice! Thank you!

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Re: Taiwan. Travel futures and logs!

Postby jayinhk » Jan 31st, '16, 23:01

When someone calls their gaoshan offering 'Alishan,' I throw up in my mouth a little and mentally go, "sure it is." ;)

Bok's advice is good--packaging can be an attempt to make up for substandard product. Now, that being said, the Oriental Beauty we bought came in fancy boxes with New Taipei City Government seals...and it's really enjoyable stuff! I discarded the box and kept the pretty can inside (and the tea of course)!

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Re: Taiwan. Travel futures and logs!

Postby KimChristian » Mar 20th, '16, 04:17

Hi folks,

I will be in Taiwan in May, as I know Taibei quite well, this year I will be in Gaoxiong, Tainan and Taizhong.
Anything tea (stores, sellers, tea houses) releated as a guidance would really be appreaciated !

Thanks,

Kim

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Re: Taiwan. Travel futures and logs!

Postby kyarazen » May 9th, '16, 13:34

just came back from taiwan! got the chance to inspect some tea gardens and plantations.. pick my own tea... and get to know the inner workings of the trade on the ground.

tea pickers charge quite a bit for their services! each jin of tea will probably set the tea garden owner about 100 twd, takes about five to six jin of raw tea to produce 1 jin of dry maocha. places like lishan and other premium areas tea pickers can charge up to 5 times more due to competition (shortage of pickers), and sometimes even more if the tea leaves are finer, i.e. tiny buds for baihao oolong.

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Re: Taiwan. Travel futures and logs!

Postby ethan » Jul 9th, '16, 11:28

I am going to Taiwan in September for several weeks. I will be spending a lot of time w/ vendors & vendor/farmer & a bit less w/ farmers who do not sell retail. I will also be drinking tea w/ people not in the business I want to buy for myself & to sell some to teachatters.

I plan to buy some of the best tea in the world & some tea that is the best value, Before, I bought Oriental Beauty from a a farmer/vendor. Her donfang meiren cha was the best O.B. I ever tasted. Her medium quality O.B. cost 1/4 of her top quality & fantastic. I would buy both of these.

I did not buy various qualities of greener oolong. My feeling was that the highest quality I found, an organic dayuling, was vastly superior to other gaoshan from Taiwan & w/o compeition from the rest of the world. (I am not very experienced w/ this category of tea but others who tasted that dayuling have agreed w/ this assessment.) I want to buy that highest quality of gaoshan & nothing less. I feel others can provide plenty of good gaoshan.

I want to have top quality of a medium roasted oolong, a dark roasted oolong, a black tea & any truly excellent unique teas( e.g. a black TGY that has been so dynamic & varies so much w/ how it is prepared).

I am receiving samples of aged oolong & black tea from Sun Moon Lake where I will be staying for several days.

Comments & suggestions are welcome. This is a serious endeavor, timed to get the best black tea & Oriental Beauty of 2016 as it becomes available;, Spring 2016's very best gaoshan that remains from first goes to the very-well connected (that should still be excellent); &, aged oolong that does not get casually sold. I may not succeed in obtaining all that I want to buy, but I hope to make friends & willl return to Taiwan just before Christmas, time for the Winter oolong to come to market.

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Re: Taiwan. Travel futures and logs!

Postby ethan » Sep 15th, '16, 00:46

Update on my upcoming trip to Taiwan: I should be able to find excellent tea. If there is a benefit to buying in quantity, I will buy more than I can use personally & offer tea to you for purchase on Teaswap thread(s).

I will be in Taiwan for 4 weeks, leaving from Thailand on 28th of September.

Before most of the trip revolved around tea. Now almost 100% of the trip will be devoted to tea.

I fractured 2 ribs last Saturday so would not enjoy some of the physical activities I had planned (hiking to view waterfalls etc.). So, tea it is.

In the meantime though I am enjoying a few excellent teas from Tea-Village & from John B. quite a bit; none of reached the high level of Taiwan's best.

Cheers, Ethan

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Re: Taiwan. Travel futures and logs!

Postby jayinhk » Sep 15th, '16, 01:56

Ouch! Sorry to hear about your injury, ethan. How'd you manage to break two ribs?

Good luck with the trip and with sourcing good tea! I've still barely touched much of the stuff we bought in January (except for the green tea and green gaoshan, which I've almost finished). From past experience I know not to let green oolongs and green tea sit around and lose its freshness!

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Re: Taiwan. Travel futures and logs!

Postby ethan » Sep 16th, '16, 02:22

Thanks, Jay. I went flying down a stairwell onto a metal locker. How it came to that, I'll tell you when I see you. Today pain is greatly diminished. It seems the bruising around the ribs etc. hurts more than cracked bone; &, the bruises heal much faster. So, I anticipate w/ prudence in what I do, I should be fine. Sending PM regular e-mail to you for your trip to Chiangmai.

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Re: Taiwan. Travel futures and logs!

Postby ethan » Sep 29th, '16, 09:25

Flight scheduled to leave 7:20 p.m September 28th; left 3:40 a.m. September 29th. I did get here. I am happy to be in Taiwan after a month in Thailand which seems a little less tame than I want at this stage of my life.

Went to Pinglin since if I checked in at 3 p.m. I would not pay for the "night of the 28th". Unfortunately, though Taipei looks unscathed by the typhoon, nearby farms in Pinglin needed attention; so, my favorite farmer/vendor was not able to see me. This evening back in Taipei I tried Dongfang Meiren in a shop whose various ones tasted much more like black tea than Oriental Beauty. Somehow, I did buy something there, a roasted TGY, that the shop called "heavy-baked".

What their roasting does, is tone down strong vegetal tastes which I don't like, without burying them in the taste of roasting. I see having this tea as instructional, in that it helps me focus & understand what I like & don't like. I am enjoying some right now.

Spoke to the shop where I bought a really delicioius black tea last January. I was under the impression that by the time I left the shop then, they would be glad never to see me again. I had tried so many teas that I did not buy. However, I was welcomed & told when it would be a good time to sample tomorrow (late afternoon). I expect I will buy only that black tea tomorrow since it will not make sense to buy teas in Taipei now when I will be right where they are grown soon & also at vendors that specialize in those particular teas.

My hostel does not provide cups or towels now. Luckily I am traveling w/ gaiwan, cup, & towel. Cheers

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Re: Taiwan. Travel futures and logs!

Postby ethan » Sep 30th, '16, 06:58

It's fun to shop for tea & also awkward at times. Today I tried so many disappointing teas. Vendors have pride in their products & a history of drinking & selling the tea that they sell. They are used to the high prices & up & downs of quality. I don't know how to be honest w/o being a bit annoying. I just tell them when a tea displeases me. I am most unhappy w/ Oriental Beauty & roasted oolongs. Fortunately, I haven't tasted what my favorite vendor in Pinglin has, nor been to Maofong yet. There is time & hope.

I did buy 150 grams of a Lin Mao Sen Ren's best black tea. I think it is just a bit below the quality of what I got last January. It's quite good; but perhaps I should not buy this early in the trip. 90 minutes of sampling 2 or 3 infusions of each of 4 different teas, led me to fork out almost $20 on this tea, that's .......that's thinking stupid out loud. I'll stop.

Food in this country is just so good. Off to Tainan for their good seafood & sampling at the shop of Dr Chen. Cheers.

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Re: Taiwan. Travel futures and logs!

Postby ethan » Oct 3rd, '16, 03:56

I stop at most of the small temples that are all over this city for some art & beauty for walks on streets that are so commercial. Also, I try to remember to look up. Often I see old-style, impressive decoration is high up buildings.

At Dr Chen I got woozy (tea drunk) & a cookie tasted as good as anything I've eaten in this city of delicious food. When I was about to leave, I was given a fat organic banana grown along high mountain tea. Never had a better banana.

I was appreciating the tea today unlike Saturday.

I have a modest amount of 4 teas in my hotel room now & will wait to complete my tasting in Tainan before getting more of these. I am not going for a discount for buying a lot & will not get any benefit from buying more. If some of you want me to pick up any tea I mention, please let me know soon, & if there is room in my bag for some extra packets, I will get them to send to you from here (if you live in Europe) or from the States if you life in America. The #18 is long leaves, the rest are handrolled pearls.

I have a 5-year old traditionally processed oolong. As I understand it, this tea has more steps taken in its production. So more days are taken, more wetting & drying. Oxidation is 50 - 70%. I know it is very good & interesting & good for many infusions. I am not sure how tasty it is for me. On a pure taste basis, I like it but while doing so much tasting of good tea, it gets confusing.

Grown & aged by Dr Chen's family, I really like their 7-year old organic oolong. It has a high level of oxidation also. One gets the mature aged flavor w/ notes of dried stone fruit. That taste of fruit is not sweet nor tart, making this aged oolong different than others I've had in the last few years. Really quite special. I am sure I will get a good deal more, though it is expensive. Infusion after infusion & everyone in the store came over for some.

Dr Chen's # 18 is the best ruby black I've tasted here. I like this one. I don't love it. #18 is unique in black tea & a bit too odd for me to enjoy easily. I'll probably just get a bit >than I have now.

The organic championship-winning black tea also presents one w/ a bit of a challenge. It also hits me differently & throws me a little. I like it very much, am sure it is quite special, & think when drinking it outside of a long tea-tasting session, will love it. I never had a black tea good for so many infusions. Everyone in the shop came over for some. Will get more for sure.

Cheers

ethan
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