Taiwan tea scandal

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


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Dec 10th, '14, 07:46
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Taiwan tea scandal

by Teaism » Dec 10th, '14, 07:46


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Dec 10th, '14, 08:46
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Re: Taiwan tea scandal

by Drax » Dec 10th, '14, 08:46

Ugh.

$1-2 per kg.... think of the markup!

I wonder who the other companies were?

And of course, these were the companies who were caught..... :(

Dec 10th, '14, 09:38
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Re: Taiwan tea scandal

by wert » Dec 10th, '14, 09:38

The scandal was exposed months ago.
A few prominent teashops in Taipei are involved.
They are named in the article below...

http://www.appledaily.com.tw/realtimene ... 09/521144/

http://haixi.cnfol.com/chaye/20141209/19653096.shtml

Mar 4th, '15, 02:12
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Re: Taiwan tea scandal

by Bok » Mar 4th, '15, 02:12

Nasty…

In principle, I avoid the pretty packaging-tea in Taiwan. Low key is key!
Never buy anything you haven’t sampled, too much low-standard or fake tea around…

Also one has to keep in mind is that what they spend on nice design they have to recover somewhere else – so you either buy overpriced, or bad tea!

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Mar 4th, '15, 11:13
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Re: Taiwan tea scandal

by debunix » Mar 4th, '15, 11:13

Interesting tidbit buried in that article

"Under Taiwanese law, tea products from China are banned from being exported to Taiwan, with the exception of puerh, a variety of fermented tea produced in Yunnan Province."

Puerh is the only tea deemed worthy of an exception to the law, a tea beyond principle!

Mar 4th, '15, 21:10
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Re: Taiwan tea scandal

by Bok » Mar 4th, '15, 21:10

Probably because it is a tea variety which is (can?) not be grown in Taiwan.

Mar 4th, '15, 22:41
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Re: Taiwan tea scandal

by steanze » Mar 4th, '15, 22:41

Hmm are yancha and dancong grown in Taiwan?

Mar 5th, '15, 01:06
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Re: Taiwan tea scandal

by Bok » Mar 5th, '15, 01:06

Said in other (probably polarising) words, the only tea which is not grown in Taiwan and which is worth drinking is Puerh.

For most other varieties Taiwan has better equivalents or alternatives.
My personal oppinion – but so far I haven’t had a good oolong from China which compares to what is to be had in Taiwan, not even speaking about price and the rip-off risk…

Mar 5th, '15, 04:09
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Re: Taiwan tea scandal

by xiaobai » Mar 5th, '15, 04:09

Michael Turton, a University professor based for many years in Taichung, has an interesting commentary on tea smuggling from China into Taiwan here:

http://michaelturton.blogspot.com/2015/ ... efits.html

There you can read:

"No Chinese tea leaves have been confiscated since 2011..."

Apparently, the law is no longer applied. I can attest to it because I have had so far no problem when ordering over the internet teas other than puerh from China, although not in as big amount as needed by the local fake tea industry...

Another thing you will learn from Turton's blog is that the custom of mixing Taiwan tea leaves with low quality Chinese stuff goes as far as the 19th century (see links in the article above).

These days some of my teachers ("tea masters") spend a great deal of time teaching their students about how to tell apart Taiwan tea from that of Vietnam, Thailand, etc. I guess the public concern is growing, also on the Island... :o

Mar 5th, '15, 04:56
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Re: Taiwan tea scandal

by Bok » Mar 5th, '15, 04:56

Yep, sad…

Everyone knows that as good as none of the countless drink shops in Taiwan (selling bubble tea and others) use Taiwanese tea. Mostly Vietnamese, or as you said, tea from China.

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Mar 5th, '15, 06:40
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Re: Taiwan tea scandal

by kyarazen » Mar 5th, '15, 06:40

steanze wrote:Hmm are yancha and dancong grown in Taiwan?
dancong not much, although there had been attempts.

yancha yes... :) despite the exact fujian wuyi methods of manufacture and the exact cultivar brought over from wuyishan to taiwan.. the tea has a typical taiwanese style vegetal ending note

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Mar 5th, '15, 06:42
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Re: Taiwan tea scandal

by kyarazen » Mar 5th, '15, 06:42

xiaobai wrote:Michael Turton, a University professor based for many years in Taichung, has an interesting commentary on tea smuggling from China into Taiwan here:

http://michaelturton.blogspot.com/2015/ ... efits.html
no surprise at all.. if you dig deeper into the sg/malaysian tea history, generally from giam kay's establishment onwards many things are re-routed to taiwan and japan from sg/malaysia, and allowed merchants to make excellent bucks.

Mar 5th, '15, 10:36
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Re: Taiwan tea scandal

by wert » Mar 5th, '15, 10:36

Every teashop you walked into in Taiwan, you would hear something like this, "We only sell local taiwanese tea, never vietnamese or thai tea."

They would say so without any prompting and almost always without fail. :)

This is not due to the scandal, but for quite many years. Draw your own conclusions.

Mar 5th, '15, 10:52
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Re: Taiwan tea scandal

by Bok » Mar 5th, '15, 10:52

Luckily, there still is one way of finding out the truth – tasting the tea.
This way you quickly learn if to come back to a shop or not.

Even if they add flavours (what also happens quite frequently in TW, sadly) one can taste that, or feel it.

The true thing is difficult to fake, once you have had a certain amount of good tea and know how things should taste. Which is why good, honest tea friends who introduce you to their teas and teashops are so important :D

Mar 5th, '15, 20:31
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Re: Taiwan tea scandal

by xiaobai » Mar 5th, '15, 20:31

A picture of Da Yu Ling 105K High Mountain Oolong.
The corresponding tea leaves are those on the right.

The name comes from the kilometer location where the
tea garden is found on road that crosses this mountain range in central Taiwan.

Taiwanese use a different name for this type of Gaoshan: 高冷茶 (Gao leng cha) because it is grown at more than 2000m (105K at 2500 m).

Almost all teashops in Taiwan and many on the internet claim to sell Da Yu Ling.

The truth is this tea is very rare and probably extremely hard to find outside Taiwan. 105K is a relatively small tea garden. There are others in the same area, at lower altitude. In any case, the total production is small and no one grows tea organically there, otherwise it would not be profitable enough (do not believe those stories that at high altitude there are no plagues to fight and therefore everything is organic. You still need fertilizers because the soil is very poor in nutrients up there).

Apparently, I heard (but still have not confirmed) that new government regulations will ban cultivation in most Taiwan mountains at high altitudes, but they say that 105K will be spared.
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