Friday, June 17, 2011

Alishan High Mountain Tea

Alishan High Mountain teas are a rather light, floral oolong.
Walking in the early morning I was delighted to enjoy the quiet of the fields of tea,
dew on the tea leaves, and the pickers arriving for a day of picking.
In the afternoon the baskets were collected in the little blue trucks and carted to the processing plant.
The leaves were spread on large canvas or in the flat baskets for a time of oxidation.
The men standing or kneeling to fluff the tea could tell just by the smell when the leaves were ready for the next step in the process.  The tea was wrapped and tightly wound into balls.  Then the balls were tossed into
the machine to warm and roll the leaves where the leaves turned a darker color.  This process was repeated sometimes many times or just a few depending on the results desired.
The farmer went out again about midnight to help with the next steps in the process, then he
again left early in the morning to work again.  During the days of harvest it is an around the clock process
and very labor intensive.

We found up in the mountains that the farmers all worked together to process the tea
and support each other.  It felt very much like a commune of tea growers.

Note: I am away for the weekend, so if your comments don't get posted right away that is the reason. I do love your comments and will post them when I return.
My daughter is graduating from massage school and I am there for her celebration.


Dutchbaby said...

Wow, Marilyn! What a treat it must be for you to see this plantation up close and personal. Nice photos!

Gigi said...

What wonderful photographs, Marilyn, and what a fascinating process! I especially love that the farmers work together and support each other so much. This post makes me appreciate the tea I drink daily even more than I already do!

Congratulations to your daughter! Have a wonderful weekend.

xoxo Gigi

Darlene - The Tea Enthusiast's Scrapbook said...

Hi Marilyn,

Thank you for sharing such wonderful photos from your trip! I also had the opportunity to travel to Taiwan on a tea tour and it looks like we visited some of the same places you did. How special was the family of farmers in Alishan? They took such good care of us while we were their. I'm still working on blog postings of my adventures in Taiwan. I feel so blessed to have taken a trip like this! I look forward to reading more about your trip.

Time Traveling in Costume said...

This has really been a tour of the senses for you. I can just imagine how good everything smells, and it makes me think more about how my tea made it to my table.

Steph said...

First, congrats to J! Yay!
And second, thank you for this wonderful photo montage!

Relyn said...

Congratulations to your daughter. I am so happy for her. She must be pleased.

Linda J. said...

Oh, my! Fabulous photos and post! Thanks so much for sharing with your tea friends.

Mary said...

Lovely tea collage Marilyn - what an amazing crop and how hard the people work to bring us a decent cuppa!

Have a great weekend and congratulations to your daughter on her graduation.


krys kirkpatrick said...

Beautiful pictures. We forget how important tea is in our lives and how it brings a community together.

And...I wish I were related to a massage therapist!
How proud you must be.

Bernideen said...

I hope she gives you lots of free massages! I enjoyed my visit here!

GardenofDaisies (Gayle) said...

How wonderful to see a whole community working together to make this tea business work. And congratulations to your daughter on her accomplishments!!

Jeanie said...

I find all of this so fascinating. I'm just thrilled you were able to experience it first hand. Will it make a difference in how you think of tea as you sell and market it?

Angela McRae said...

I just love gaining this new appreciation for how tea gets to us. And how lovely to learn that these tea farmers all work together -- as it should be!

Congrats to your daughter! If massages are as popular out there as they are here, she will be busy!