In case you haven’t seen the latest edition of Tea Magazine, there’s lots of interesting stuff on Taiwan oolongs.
Austin Yoder and Thomas Shu reveal the beauty of some of Taiwan’s tea growing regions and the teas they produce. Yoder especially gives a feel for the people and places he has walked among.
But be wary of any tea-man’s (or woman’s) detailed information. That includes my own. I had always heard, for example, that the effects that create Dong Fang Mei Ren (Oriental Beauty) wulong is more due to the plant’s defensive reaction than to the secretion/injection of saliva from the leafhopper. Just when you think your chain of evidence is solid, you learn something new. I need to investigate these facts further. This too is part of the charming enigma of tea.
The descriptions of the land, people, and tea are captivating, but may leave you with the impression the teas described are inaccessible. If you are not ready to fly to Taiwan to taste the rarefied quality of the obscure masters, there are fine teas at reach here in the U.S. and online.
Of the teas mentioned in the article, here are a few tea purveyors who have quality, and in some cases, award-winning teas.
Da Yu Ling: It is true that few of the major online retailers offer this high mountain oolong. Look to Naivetea.
Nantou Red Ruby 18: Tillerman Tea offers a chance to experience this tea from the Sun Moon Lake district.
Teas are also available through Yoder’s site: Tearrior.com
Walker Tea Review- a tea blog with tea reviews and tea tastings.
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