July in Taiwan Show and Tell Picture Show
Back in July 2012, the hubby and I (and both sets of parents, plus his sister) spent most of our July in Taiwan, hitting up a handful of the more popular touristy spots. I shared some of these photos on Facebook when we got back, but haven’t had time to actually post in more detail, thanks to the craziness that started right after we got back. Here’s my chance to finally do so!
An associate of my uncle’s who runs an award-winning tea plantation.
We did a tea tasting and tried some of the different varieties that they produce.
This one was a green tea, as you can tell by the color.
An oolong, which is what most of the plantations on Ali Shan specialize in and are known worldwide for.
Just noting the amount of leaf used to brew one pot here. However, whole leaves can be re-brewed multiple times with a different flavor resulting from each brewing.
They also produced small batches of coffee.
I just love tea paraphernalia in general.
Some of the awards they have received.
More plaques and signage.
A tea leaf roasting machine.
There are also racks back there of leaves being cured. It was pretty cool to see the process.
Random pretty orchid in a pot outside.
The weather is always on the col and damp side, due to the very high altitudes the plantations are at. You can see across to some of the other mountains in the range in this shot.
From one minute to the next, the cloud conditions were always changing, which made for very interesting driving.
See, clouds here and gone in the blink of an eye.
A viewing platform on the mountainside.
Climbing up to see the tea bushes.
The fog was starting to roll in pretty heavily while we made our way up, so it was hard to get a good long-distance picture.
The weather up there means the plants grow slower and have more tender leaves, which makes a big difference in flavor.
Slow growth also means there are usually only two harvests a year, unlike teas produced in warmer climates.
The leaves are lower in bitter compounds, producing a sweeter tea overall.
Among the most pricey of teas are grown up here.
We stopped at a train station cafe for lunch and I got some mango juice and pumpkin ice cream. Which came with the cutest presentation!
As set of appetizers with cute presentation.
Glutinous rice steamed in a bamboo stem, an specialty of the indigenous tribes.
The rice had mushrooms and meat in it, and the bamboo gave everything a green aroma.
Grilled wild black boar meat, another popular indigenous dish.