Taiwan. Travel futures and logs!

Culture, language, tangibles, intangibles from countries known for tea. China, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, India, etc...


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Dec 28th, '15, 20:22
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Re: Taiwan. Travel futures and logs!

by jayinhk » Dec 28th, '15, 20:22

Off to Taiwan again next month with ethan...and tea is the focus of our trip! This should be fun! :)

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Jan 6th, '16, 13:55
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Re: Taiwan. Travel futures and logs!

by Frisbeehead » Jan 6th, '16, 13:55

jayinhk, are you guys in the tea business or is the trip for personal tea-related reasons?

I hope to someday be able to do these kind of trips with a fellow tea enthusiast :)

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Jan 6th, '16, 15:29
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Re: Taiwan. Travel futures and logs!

by pedant » Jan 6th, '16, 15:29

jayinhk wrote:Off to Taiwan again next month with ethan...and tea is the focus of our trip! This should be fun! :)
i'm so jealous! i went to taiwan for the first time last year, and it was so much fun. i was on my own and do not speak Chinese. tea was not the focus of my trip, but i did make it up to alishan and spent a full day in yingge as well :shock:

i would love to go back some day and really make the trip about tea.. preferably with friends who are more experienced.

i hope you guys have a great time!

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Jan 6th, '16, 21:48
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Re: Taiwan. Travel futures and logs!

by jayinhk » Jan 6th, '16, 21:48

We're going for personal tea drinking pleasure, but ethan will be there for a while after me. I haven't discounted the idea of getting into the tea business, but I'm tied up with school for another semester, and I have an existing business that I need to relocate after that. I'll have considerably more space to work with after the move. :)

Jan 25th, '16, 14:46
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Re: Taiwan. Travel futures and logs!

by ethan » Jan 25th, '16, 14:46

Frisbeehead,

Tea as a business has some allure because I spend so much time & thought on tea. Also I have never been comfortable to find a great tea & then only buy a small amount. And sometimes I have not been allowed to buy retail. (Jun Chiyabari, Nepal does not retail tea; so, I bought the minimum, 10 kg., for example. I sold half of it & finished selling; or, so I thought as w/ all the tea bought now I may want to reduce my amount).

I am back in Thailand w/ 3 kg. of tea from Taiwan. I have 4 kg. of that wonderful black tea from Nepal, a few hundred grams of a white Nepalese, & several hundred grams of other teas; so, what will I do w/ 3 kg. of tea from Taiwan?

Perhaps I will become something of a vendor & list myself as so, but a strange one indeed. I returned w/ only 150 grams of gaoshan that was on the green side (a Da Yu Ling that was so good that I went outside of my budget per gram limit). From Taiwan's highest mountains, I bought dark oolongs & black tea; from lower mountains in the north Oriental Beauty (Dong Feng Mei Ren), medium-roast Tie Guan Yin, & black Tie Guan Yin.

The teas that I bought in largest quantity were those that Jay & both liked w/o reservation. Jay bought some gaoshan that I recognized as good but bothered me for some reason. I often called out "Bitter" while others thought "sweet", but the main point is that there was something to take me away from what was good in the tea. E.g. some black teas made me feel that I tasted treated water or left my mouth too dry; & even though this was slight & flavor was great--I would not get them.

I feel very confident that I bought excellent tea, but how does one market my reactions? And at what price? I went to Taiwan 90% for tea & spent $400 on air, more $ on moving around the different tea areas, etc. So, what did the tea really cost?

I'm going to sit drinking these teas w/ 2 people w/ excellent palates who are in the business; then drink w/ 2 others w/ excellent palates who are not in the business. I think the Oriental Beauty that I have & the roasted & black TGYs are fantastic finds. If all 4 of those testers agree, then I might enter the tea business. I'd throw out a ? here first. Who wants to order (& not 10 or 20 gram samples)? And another ? is, how many people read TeaChat, how many people drink oolong or black tea, etc?

Regardless, Taiwan is a very nice country. The people are polite & friendly. The country is civilized & efficient. Food is great. Scenery in the country is great. Museums are disappointing & only a few of the temples are very impressive, but they are free & worth a look. I did not buy teaware, but quality of porcelain etc. was obviously good (Jay bought some) Cheers

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Jan 25th, '16, 14:51
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Re: Taiwan. Travel futures and logs!

by pedant » Jan 25th, '16, 14:51

ethan wrote:I might enter the tea business. I'd throw out a ? here first. Who wants to order (& not 10 or 20 gram samples)? And another ? is, how many people read TeaChat, how many people drink oolong or black tea, etc?
that's the trouble with online tea biz -- the majority of potential customers would not usually buy large quantities of tea without sampling first. especially expensive tea. not without great marketing... :wink:

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Jan 25th, '16, 21:55
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Re: Taiwan. Travel futures and logs!

by jayinhk » Jan 25th, '16, 21:55

Yup, samples are a necessity in the tea business. Think of all the tea you sampled in Taiwan!

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Jan 26th, '16, 23:38
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Re: Taiwan. Travel futures and logs!

by jayinhk » Jan 26th, '16, 23:38

I'm in the process of registering a .hk address so I can start a blog. Taipei alone was incredible. The density of tea stores is a lot to reckon with, especially without recommendations. I think we did pretty well regardless and got some good tea. Taiwan is an incredible place, and the five days I spent there was really not enough. I'll be back soon enough, however--July is probably the time to be there if I want to buy spring gaoshans and restock on fresh baozhong and Sanxia greens! I think I'll be out there again sooner, however, as work will require me to visit and airfare has gotten really cheap from Hong Kong. There are some really good deals to be had! Learning some Mandarin before the summer would definitely help too!

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Jan 27th, '16, 15:37
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Re: Taiwan. Travel futures and logs!

by Devoted135 » Jan 27th, '16, 15:37

jayinhk wrote:I'm in the process of registering a .hk address so I can start a blog. Taipei alone was incredible. The density of tea stores is a lot to reckon with, especially without recommendations. I think we did pretty well regardless and got some good tea. Taiwan is an incredible place, and the five days I spent there was really not enough. I'll be back soon enough, however--July is probably the time to be there if I want to buy spring gaoshans and restock on fresh baozhong and Sanxia greens! I think I'll be out there again sooner, however, as work will require me to visit and airfare has gotten really cheap from Hong Kong. There are some really good deals to be had! Learning some Mandarin before the summer would definitely help too!
Would you be willing to send me a short list of stores worth going to? My husband will be in Taipei in early March, and I'm nervous that even the locals he'll be with won't really know enough to help him buy tea for me...

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Jan 27th, '16, 21:29
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Re: Taiwan. Travel futures and logs!

by Bok » Jan 27th, '16, 21:29

Devoted135 wrote: Would you be willing to send me a short list of stores worth going to? My husband will be in Taipei in early March, and I'm nervous that even the locals he'll be with won't really know enough to help him buy tea for me...
That is certainly a big risk. It is always astonishing to me how many people in this country of amazing tea know next to nothing about good tea!

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Jan 27th, '16, 22:49
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Re: Taiwan. Travel futures and logs!

by jayinhk » Jan 27th, '16, 22:49

I'm really not the best person to ask as far as stores I think are worthy as I've barely scratched the surface of the Taipei tea scene! What kind of tea are you after specifically?

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Jan 30th, '16, 10:31
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Re: Taiwan. Travel futures and logs!

by Devoted135 » Jan 30th, '16, 10:31

jayinhk wrote:I'm really not the best person to ask as far as stores I think are worthy as I've barely scratched the surface of the Taipei teascene! What kind of tea are you after specifically?
I mostly drink all sorts of oolongs, so I'd love him to bring back both nice green high mountain ones and also roasted ones.

Bok wrote:
Devoted135 wrote: Would you be willing to send me a short list of stores worth going to? My husband will be in Taipei in early March, and I'm nervous that even the locals he'll be with won't really know enough to help him buy tea for me...
That is certainly a big risk. It is always astonishing to me how many people in this country of amazing tea know next to nothing about good tea!
Yes, they are really missing out!

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Jan 30th, '16, 10:52
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Re: Taiwan. Travel futures and logs!

by jayinhk » Jan 30th, '16, 10:52

Not all Taiwanese oolong is good, so sampling is preferable. Will he be anywhere else in Taiwan?

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Re: Taiwan. Travel futures and logs!

by Devoted135 » Jan 30th, '16, 21:32

jayinhk wrote:Not all Taiwanese oolong is good, so sampling is preferable. Will he be anywhere else in Taiwan?
No, just in Taipei for about 2 weeks. Unfortunately, he hasn't been able to drink enough tea with me to know what he's tasting yet. This may be "just do what you can, honey" situation. Hrm... :|

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Jan 30th, '16, 21:54
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Re: Taiwan. Travel futures and logs!

by jayinhk » Jan 30th, '16, 21:54

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!

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