Latest Taiwan Tea scandal

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Apr 24th 15 3:36 am
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Latest Taiwan Tea scandal

by Bok » Apr 24th 15 3:36 am

Adding to the last one posted a few weeks ago, here comes the next pesticide in Tea leaves scandal: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/a ... 2003616656

Although it concerns a tea drinks chain, not a teashop selling leaves, it still sheds a light on how much fraud is going on in Taiwans tea trade.

Just look a this part of the article:
Chiang said Taiwan imports tea leaves and flower petals from a total of 47 countries, with those from Vietnam accounting for nearly 70 percent.
Imports from 47 countries! Sound very plausibly to me that a good part of that is also sold as Taiwan tea… Buyers beware.

Jul 28th 15 11:47 am
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Re: Latest Taiwan Tea scandal

by Robertjcoons » Jul 28th 15 11:47 am

The great thing is that the Taiwan govt goes after this stuff. In prc it would be a non issue unless someone died.
I've been saying for years now that people need to teach themselves how to identify real gaoshan tea and which ones are fakes. Many people are willing to sacrifice their safety in order to get cheap teas.

Jul 29th 15 2:36 am
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Re: Latest Taiwan Tea scandal

by Bok » Jul 29th 15 2:36 am

True that. Nothing in life is really cheap.
As for the Taiwanese government, although better in that sense than the PRC, they are far from perfect in their persecution of this kind of things. Corruption plays a big part.

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Jul 29th 15 3:26 am
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Re: Latest Taiwan Tea scandal

by kyarazen » Jul 29th 15 3:26 am

Robertjcoons wrote:The great thing is that the Taiwan govt goes after this stuff. In prc it would be a non issue unless someone died.
I've been saying for years now that people need to teach themselves how to identify real gaoshan tea and which ones are fakes. Many people are willing to sacrifice their safety in order to get cheap teas.
would be nice to share images of leaf types, and tasting notes for the benefit of the general public on how to identify the real gaoshan and from which mountains versus the fake ones

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Jul 29th 15 12:08 pm
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Re: Latest Taiwan Tea scandal

by William » Jul 29th 15 12:08 pm

kyarazen wrote:
Robertjcoons wrote:The great thing is that the Taiwan govt goes after this stuff. In prc it would be a non issue unless someone died.
I've been saying for years now that people need to teach themselves how to identify real gaoshan tea and which ones are fakes. Many people are willing to sacrifice their safety in order to get cheap teas.
would be nice to share images of leaf types, and tasting notes for the benefit of the general public on how to identify the real gaoshan and from which mountains versus the fake ones
Agree.
I drank Taiwanese oolong for the last 3 years, yet I am not sure I would easily identify a real gaoshan versus a fake gaoshan! :oops:

Jul 29th 15 1:43 pm
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Re: Latest Taiwan Tea scandal

by Bok » Jul 29th 15 1:43 pm

That is difficult! How to describe taste in words? In my experiences, one indicator of real gaoshan is the very unique coating and aftertaste it leaves in the mouth. The amount of brewings you can do should also at least be 6 good flavoured rounds, before it tunes down. Depends on one's brewing skills of course.

Price is an indicator too, too cheap to be true, it probably isn't ;)
Can't comment on the prices outside of Taiwan, here I know at which price I can expect the thing to be the real deal... So far, most of the Taiwanese teas I had in Europe, none of them was high mountain, although sold as such.

Best way to find out is to have good friends which let you try the good stuff, then you know what to look for!

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Jul 30th 15 3:11 pm
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Re: Latest Taiwan Tea scandal

by kyarazen » Jul 30th 15 3:11 pm

Rolling around taichung now, going to meet a friend whom owns a century old tea garden in nantou tmr. Exciting!

Spoke to a cab driver on tea, he says most taiwanese may not be able to distinguish viet thai tea materials from taiwan stuff if the processing is good

Jul 31st 15 2:37 am
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Re: Latest Taiwan Tea scandal

by Bok » Jul 31st 15 2:37 am

kyarazen wrote: Spoke to a cab driver on tea, he says most taiwanese may not be able to distinguish viet thai tea materials from taiwan stuff if the processing is good
And most people also have no idea how to brew tea…
I guess it’s like most things, true knowledge and skill in any discipline is rare!

Nantou is a lovely area, apart from the tea, so many nice spots for a hike and ejoying the scenery, no doubt you will enjoy yourself!

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Aug 4th 15 8:23 pm
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Re: Latest Taiwan Tea scandal

by Evan Draper » Aug 4th 15 8:23 pm

Let's be clear, the article is about unacceptable pesticide levels in tea. There is no mention of any teas' origins being counterfeited. Now, perhaps we are meant to read between the lines and infer that "it's those nasty Vietnamese teas that are being grown with pesticides, and who would buy anything advertised as Vietnamese?" But it seems to me that there is way too much conflation of "authenticity" and "healthiness/safety/quality". Hey, Britain imports a lot of tea and produces virtually none--yet plenty of American tourists are eager to purchase "British tea." Is that a massive fraud and poisoning being perpetrated there?

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Aug 5th 15 3:22 am
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Re: Latest Taiwan Tea scandal

by jayinhk » Aug 5th 15 3:22 am

Having purchased oolong in Vietnam and having had some very good Taiwanese oolong through SilentChaos, I find the Vietnamese stuff to be much more one-dimensional. Sweet, but with much less origin character. Maybe there is better Vietnamese stuff exported to TW that I haven't tried yet, but both the Thai and Vietnamese oolongs I've tried are sweeter-tasting with far less complexity.

Hopefully I'm onto something there, because I hope I don't get ripped off on oolong in Taiwan! I can see myself spending a lot of time there this year!

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Aug 5th 15 5:41 am
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Re: Latest Taiwan Tea scandal

by the_winding_path » Aug 5th 15 5:41 am

Evan Draper wrote:Let's be clear, the article is about unacceptable pesticide levels in tea. There is no mention of any teas' origins being counterfeited. Now, perhaps we are meant to read between the lines and infer that "it's those nasty Vietnamese teas that are being grown with pesticides, and who would buy anything advertised as Vietnamese?" But it seems to me that there is way too much conflation of "authenticity" and "healthiness/safety/quality". Hey, Britain imports a lot of tea and produces virtually none--yet plenty of American tourists are eager to purchase "British tea." Is that a massive fraud and poisoning being perpetrated there?
I haven't seen anyone pointing the finger at imported teas being "nasty" or being blamed for the cause of pesticides. Rather that there are unacceptable levels of pesticides in teas being sold in Taiwan, more importantly, by CHAINS. Their focus is not on tea, their focus is on making money. Their business is tea. A vast difference and the reason why I don't support chains whenever possible.

as far as tea origin in this thread has been brought up "British" tea is known by tea aficionados to not be an origin but a type of tea. Single origin high grade teas, which "British" tea is not (either of the two for me), are highly succeptible to unscrupulous vendor/seller fraud. In coffee it has, and continues to happen with Jamacain Blue Mountain and Hawaiian Kona among others. It may not have been the focus of the article but it does show that massive quantities of tea are imported into Taiwan and makes thoughtful people wonder where it is all going.