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!
Yesterday, we shared a special Tea Outhing No. 5 with our very good friends from Taichung City, Taiwan. Some familiar faces, and a few new ones, came out to our final Tea Outing in Taiwan before Innofarmer Organic Tea moves to Toronto, Canada. It was definitely an enjoyable afternoon filled with good conversation, laughable moments and, of course, some delicious tea.
I would like to thank those who came out yesterday and to those who came out to some or all of our Tea Outings No. 1 through 5. We look forward to sharing our excellent tasting and healthy variety of tea with friends from around the world.
Next stop: Toronto, Canada (which also includes the rest of North America and beyond!)
When enjoying an afternoon cup (or two, three and more.) of tea, I like to take advantage of the endless possibilities of where, when, how and with whom I can enjoy one of my favorite drinks and pastimes.
Just this week my very good friend Cannie (who is not pictured) introduced me to a local artist who not only enjoys tea but is a true specialist in the art of tea making. Candy, who you can see pouring one of a variety of teas from her collection, welcomed me with open arms into her studio and home to share with me some very special Taiwan tea. In fact, I had the pleasure of meeting her twice - in the very the week - allowing my taste buds to be swept away in a flurry of sweet, sparkling tea.
These two encounters once again helped to remind me of the very special experiences enjoyed during not only the tea making process but also the education that always comes from several hours of interesting conversation. Candy shared with me three very special types of tea: Oolong Black Tea, LuGu High Mountain Tea and GuiFei (Honey Oolong) Tea which is quickly becoming my favorite tea.
I hope to introduce these uniquely flavoured teas to my collection of wonderful, high quality and great tasting Taiwan teas.
Thank you, Candy. It was a wonderful week spent with close friends drinking tea, engaging in conversation and creating new relationships.
“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”