Thursday, June 23, 2011

Tea Institute - A Final Farm Visit

Now you know by now, the first thing we did when arriving at the tea institute
was drink tea.  This was our guide for the day.
The tea institute was again in the hills outside of Taipei.
It was originally begun as a training sight for tea farmers,
but has expanded to include other small groups.
Again there were rows and rows of tea.
Flowers often were included in the landscape of each of the farms we visited.
Now here is where I learned something new about tea.
I always thought there were only a few varieties of tea plants and
what made them different was in the processing.
The processing does make a difference, but what I learned
is that there are many varietals of the tea plant.
This marker is marking one varietal and there were many markers
at the tea institute.  So like a rose has many varieties, so does tea.
I learned that just in Taiwan there are over 300 different varietals.
In China there are thousands of varietals.
Am I the only person that didn't know this?  I hope not.
And then there was more tea to drink.
And we picked tea too.  We were given the special tea picking hats
and baskets to wear.
Here I am in my tea picking outfit.
Finally an oasis in the shade.  It was a hot day.
I hope you have enjoyed visiting tea farms in Taiwan.
I know I did.
Come back tomorrow for a special, small give away.