Tea performing arts, tea terminology and translation, promote tea studies and innovations. *Contact ,icetea8@gmail.com, Trad. and Simp. Chinese used. Blog since 6/23/2005
Name: Steven R. Jones; Link: http://teaarts.blogspot.com/
===
名字:瓊斯史迪芬Steven R. Jones, 網址: http://teaarts.blogspot.com/

7/11/2009

Taiwan creates a Napa Valley of teas

Taiwan creates a Napa Valley of teas
By John Boudreau
jboudreau@mercurynews.com
Tel: 408-278-3496
Posted: 07/10/2009 08:00:00 AM PDT
Updated: 07/10/2009 08:47:17 AM PDT
http://www.taiwantea.org.tw/DOC/%E5%8D%B3%E6%99%82%E8%A8%8A%E6%81%AF980717-No010.pdf

http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_12805166
TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwan, which has earned an international reputation as a tech design center, is quietly reinventing an ancient industry — tea.
The island of just 23 million supplies the world with semiconductors to power cell phones and computers, and oversees the production of iPhones, laptops and GPS systems. But tea-loving Taiwanese have also applied their industrious minds to the refinement of the centuries-old drink, blending tradition with newly developed methods of cultivation.
In doing so, Taiwan has created its own equivalent of Napa Valley for specific varieties of tea. While its overall share of the world's tea production is small — in 2004, it produced just 21 tons of tea,
Video: Taiwan Tea Culture compared with 835,000 tons grown in mainland China — its quality has few rivals.
"They take their tea-making seriously,"' said Joe Simrany, president of the Tea Association of the U.S.A. "Their oolongs are rated among the best in the world. It's one of the finest-tasting teas out there."
One reason Taiwan's tea expertise has not drawn more international attention is because producers here have more than enough business from local tea connoisseurs eager to pay hundreds of dollars for small batches of the local produce. Local yearly consumption has soared — from just under a pound in 1980 to 31/2 pounds in 2007.
"Every day you get up and drink tea," said Mark Lee, chairman of Taiwan's largest tea company,
TenRen, founded 56 years ago. "At lunch, you drink tea. When friends visit, you drink the best-label tea. And before you sleep, you drink tea."
Lee, who splits time between Taiwan and the United States, has spent decades promoting the tea culture in the United States. Family-owned TenRen is one of the few Taiwan tea companies selling high-end brew in the United States. It has dozens of stores in North America, including in Cupertino, Fremont, San Francisco and New York City.
TenRen's growth in the United States reflects the fact that Americans are drinking more tea from Asia. Some believe it has health benefits; others simply like the flavors and more soothing caffeine experience compared to coffee's jolt. In the past two decades, tea has grown from a $2 billion industry in the United States to about $7 billion today, according to Simrany. Sales of specialty teas, including those from Asia, have jumped from about $250 million a year to more than $1 billion.
Educating tea drinkers
That growth is due in part to the nearly missionary zeal of merchants like Lee. During the early 1980s, he would travel to different Bay Area supermarkets, set up a table with two chairs and brew tea for shoppers. He would patiently explain to Westerners unaccustomed to Asian tea that their brew, full of complex flavors, does not need milk and sugar.
"We emphasize the aroma, the taste," said Chen Hsuan, deputy director of Taiwan's Tea Research and Extension Station in Yangmei, while sipping high-mountain oolong, the signature Taiwan tea.
The government facility, which employs some 60 researchers, contains tasting rooms, labs and small patches of land lined with neat rows of knee-high tea plants. In addition to providing the latest research on tea cultivation, government scientists are continually developing new strains of the crop.
More than 16,000 Taiwan family farms grow tea, and the average plot size is no more than 21/2 acres. Tea farms in other countries typically are at least 10 times larger, Chen said.
Taiwanese were not always so high-minded about commercial tea production, which dates back hundreds of years to the early Qing Dynasty's rule over the island. During the 1970s and '80s, Taiwan transformed itself from an agricultural society to an industrial one.
Despite the shift to a high-tech economy, the government began promoting competitions to boost interest in the local produce and spur farmers to create quality tea. The tea industry, which struggled to compete with cheap teas from countries like Vietnam and Indonesia, invested in costly cultivation processes to grow crops that catered to the newly affluent citizens. Today, the more expensive oolong and paochong teas are picked and processed by hand.
"There was a tea renaissance," said Steven Jones, a Californian who relocated to Taipei years ago and is now a tea arts instructor at the LuYu Tea Culture Institute, which offers a certificate in master tea brewing that is honored around the globe.
Taiwanese drink tea much like Californians sip wine. They sniff for aroma, slurp for taste and carefully eye the color.
"Tea is the spirit of Taiwan," said Gina Chen, a 30-something professional who was buying $200 worth of tea gifts for friends one recent weekday at a chichi East Taipei tea store.
An upscale experience
Cha Cha The, which Taiwanese fashion designer Shiatzy Chen recently opened, resembles a lounge bar. Customers show up for pricey afternoon tea meals and buy designer tea ware and other expensively packaged gifts. "We see this as a huge market," said store manager Jack Wang, who plans to open similar shops in Beverly Hills, New York City and London.
In China, meanwhile, the Cultural Revolution quashed high-end tea development and interest. "China has very good tea, but it doesn't yet have the technique and experience," Wang said. "The Cultural Revolution slowed down everything, including knowledge in how to make tea."
Just as Taiwanese have invested in China's technology industry, they are now looking too improve its tea production. TenRen, which now operates in China, has set up a tea institute in Fujian Province.
The invasion of coffeehouses on the island in recent years — led by Starbucks — has stirred worries that Taiwan's rich tea heritage could be diluted by the gulp-and-go coffee culture. The new cafes offer Wi-Fi, pop music and cakes — the perfect place for students and young professionals to park their laptops.
"It's foreign. It's trendy," said Jones, who has a tea blog, teaarts.blogspot.com. "In Taiwan, they like to follow the West."
It appears unlikely, though, that residents of the densely packed island will fall out of love with tea. Taiwanese teens line up at colorful tea bars on virtually every corner. Workers use cocktail shakers to make zhen zhu nai-cha — known as pearl milk tea in California — a tea concoction with dollops of tapioca. The ever-expanding menu for adventurous tea fans includes green jelly tea, tea-infused pudding and ice cream drinks. There's even wheat germ milk tea. They all sell for about $1 each.
Convenience stores
The ubiquitous 7-Elevens and other convenience stores offer an array of chilled tea drinks, from oolong in a bottle to cartons of sugared green and black teas. Young Taiwanese drink them on trains heading to and from school every day. Restaurants serve fried tea leave snacks, beef noodle tea dishes and cakes made with tea. There are tea arts shows on television.
On any Sunday, when Taiwanese hit the streets with friends and families, tea stores are full of young people sitting on stools and sampling teas — with no pressure to buy. "When people come here, they are not like customers. They are friends," said Sheng-Ru Wang, whose family operates the venerable Wang's Tea, which processes its own tea in its shop.
Jack Wang at Taipei's Cha Cha The says those new to tea should not be confused by the array of choices — that good tea is easy to identify.
"It's what you feel is good," he said. "You have to decide what is the best tea for you. It's like life.".
Brewing a Taiwanese cup of tea
Amount of tea: About a teaspoon of oolong, green or black tea. For puffy teas, use about three teaspoonfuls.Process: Drop tea into a mug. Then add about eight ounces of fresh filtered boiling water.For green tea: First pour hot water into another mug before pouring it into drinking mug so as to cool it slightly and ease the tea"s bitterness.Brewing: Allow about five minutes for the tea to brew. Then pour it through a strainer into another mug.
12th International Wu-Wo Tea Ceremony
Master brewers from around the world will gather at Stanford University on Oct. 18 and prepare tea using different techniques and teas.The event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., is free. Details will be announced later.
For information, visit teaarts.blogspot.com.

茶葉代表了台灣精神2009/07/12 10:20( 星島日報記者江智慧2009/07/11聖荷西報道 )
台灣採茶婦人的照片登上主流報紙聖荷西信使報(San Jose Mercury
News)頭版!該報昨(10日)在頭版及內頁以大篇幅及多張照片,詳盡介紹台
灣茶産業及台灣人飲茶習慣,標題「T是科技不,T是茶葉」(T for Tech?
No: T for Tea)更點出「茶」的新時代意義。
使讀者進一步認識台灣
綠油油的茶園以及兩位頭戴斗笠彎腰低頭採茶的婦女,這幅照片佔據聖
荷西信使報頭版大版面,十足吸引目光,副標題寫著,杯中文化,台灣創造那柏(Napa)型態的環境,精煉傳統飲品。文
中詳述台灣人製茶産業蛻變提升的過程,將台灣優質茶産業及喝茶文化介紹給灣區讀者。
駐舊金山經濟文化辦事處新聞組表示,欣見灣區大報以頭版顯著篇幅刊登專題報道。台灣在發展高科技産業的同時,正
致力將傳統制茶業重新打造為精緻産業,台灣茶品質無與倫比。
「聖荷西水星報」記者卜喬(John Boudreau)久聞台灣製茶産業的盛名,特地於5月間自費長期在台採訪,返美後採訪
台美若幹制茶、品茗專家,發表這篇長篇報道。
全文對台灣製茶産業的復興運動(tea renaissance)成果斐然盛讚有加,「茶葉代表了台灣精神」,相信藉由該報道,
讀者將更認識台灣。
美國民衆愈來愈多喝茶
文中指出,台灣以高科技産業舉世知名,現正重新打造精緻傳統茶藝,建立類似美國加州Napa葡萄酒製造園區的制茶
産業。台灣2008年産茶量僅1.7萬噸(中國産量116萬噸),然而台灣茶葉品質傲視全球。近年來愈來愈多美國民衆喝茶,
一是養身,二是茶有咖啡因味道卻無刺激性。台灣民衆愛茶,因此品茗、茶餐、茶具禮品、珍珠奶茶、茶葉冷飲等産品應運
而生,甚受歡迎。
文中也提到中國有許多優良茶種,但卻無台灣的製茶技術及經驗。
這篇報道的確讓人驚喜,因為台灣茶葉品質好、製茶技術優良、茶業改良場不斷求新求變,例如歐美人士喜愛的紅茶,
台灣台東茶農的紅茶於二年前拿下全世界冠軍,顯現台灣優質茶的競爭力。近來飲茶益成風氣,該報導相信有助於灣區讀者
認識台灣茶。(引用自星島日報)

http://www.taiwantea.org.tw/DOC/%E5%8D%B3%E6%99%82%E8%A8%8A%E6%81%AF980717-No010.pdf