Just before leaving Taiwan I took the opportunity to meet for the last time (well, for about 1 year) with one of the farmers that Innofarmer Organic Tea works with and a close friend who also shares a love for tea. Sean, our farmer and Alex (who lives in Taipei) met my wife, son and I at a local tea shop that dates back a dozen decades if not more. The setting could not be more perfect to try yet another wonderfully delicious and silky smooth tea that I just know many people will come to enjoy sometime in the near future and beyond.
As you will gather from some of the pictures below, we were allowed the opportunity to sit in a very quiet, calm and relaxing environment. What was considered to be traditional and the environment necessary to enjoy the company of friends, we were surrounded by coy fish, wooden spacing and an intricate layout of private dining areas. All that would be required to make the morning complete was some fresh water boiled to perfection. Oh, and some wonderful tea leaves to infuse in Sean's favorite tea pot.
Sean, who has been farming on his family tea plantations for many years, is always on the hunt (in a creative sort of way) for the excellent tasting tea and more attractive tea leaves. Tea isn't just a wonderful tasting beverage that offers a laundry list of benefits, but it also attracts a sense of artistry and beauty. The leaves that he produces - along with the flavour - is unlike many other types of tea that I have had the opportunity to explore over the years. So it was with this initial eye-catching pleasure that I tried the tea which he calls Hang Mei Ren Tea, Red Beauty Tea (or Black Tea).
This Black Tea has a slightly stronger flavour than traditional Black Teas. The colour is a spectacular auburn that resembles a deep rosewood, offering up a wonderful fruity smell. As always, enjoying this tea with close friends in the proper setting makes this tea - and just about every other - something very special and incredibly desirable.
After a laid-back and easy morning it was time to head back out into the world to complete our packing and final arrangements before our quickly approaching departure date to Toronto on August 8. As is often forgotten in times of stress and busyness, "With the old and departed comes the new and delightful."
We are on our way!
“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”