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.