Friday, April 17, 2015

Home coming - Sha Keng Tea Manufactory

Norman and his team have prepared a Grand Cupping for our 2014 TOST friends at Sha Keng Tea Manufactory.  My father is always so excited to meet with our tea friends every year and he enjoys telling the story of how this factory used to make tons of tea for export and also how Taiwan tea industry has been dealing with so many phases of changing.  Oh yes, when this factory finished remodeling for the so called 'container era' - it was just like yesterday and actually back in 1968, and then one of the biggest tea factories in Taiwan.  Most equipments were long gone, only some refinery and baking / blending for domestic demands. 

Formosa Black Tea Factory and Taiwan Tea Art Gallery

Kuanshi is my home town, also one of Taiwan's important tea producing district, where many large scale tea factories here.  Mr. CS Lou is the owner and also one of my tea sensei greets our TOST friends and gracefully guides us to visit his old black tea factory, now converted to be a high-tech steam-fired green tea plant, and also has an amble space designed to be Taiwan Tea art gallery.  Great tea museum that you should not miss while you visit Taiwan.  Photos are full explanatory.  We also have a great forum discussion there at the conference room in Formosa Black Tea Factory.

Yinge here we come again!

Yinge is the Ceramic Town of Taiwan.  Nowadays, more and more tea ware, not only ceramic, are pooled in this place.  TOST always plans to have a short stop here and select one or two spots for our friends to shop tea ware or collectible items.  It is so convenient to travel from Taipei city to we believe our friends can always spend their own time to do private shopping.

Taiwan Tea Corp. San Hsia Refinery Factory -

I have been waiting for this day to come.  TTC's San Hsia Refinery Factory has been very famous and one of the model tea processing facility in Taiwan.  Our 2014 TOST friends are the first group that to be able to visit this place.  Enjoy the slides.   (There is one small corner right next to the factory, used to be the dormitory but converted to be a very nice tea store.  Also, TTC has its organic garden near by... which will be saved for our next visit.)  We are grateful to our good friend also the manager, Mr. Chen's hospitality and introduction.

Visit Tashi (Daxi) Old Tea Factory

TTC ( Taiwan Tea Corporation) owns a few large scale tea factories in Taiwan.  After visited its San Hsia Refinery plant, we come to Tashi Old Tea Factory.  It is huge and remarkable, and we believe you will enjoy watching these wonderful photos.  Make sure if you're here in Taiwan, spend a good day or two there...

Visit TRES Head Quarter in Yangmei.

TRES - Taiwan Tea Research and Extension Station plays such an important role in Taiwan tea history. Scientists here to help develop new cultivars, improve the plantation and management, technique of processing and new equipments R&D...they even get involved with tea and tea culture promotion. Most importantly, the farmers have been lucky to be called in for training and updated with new technology.

Visiting I-Mei Foods

I-Mei Foods has been supporting TOST program for the past few years.  Mr. Luis Ko actually encourages fellow Taiwanese food plants, including tea makers, to adopt good manufacturing practice from the bottom up.  We are invited to have a tour around the facilities, also get treated with a wonderful dinner. 

2014 TOST Certificates Ceremony

How time flies... it is the Closing Ceremony already for 2014 TOST. 
Before we proceed presenting the Certificates to our members, we have Norman prepared the Pouchong teas (*as we have not cupped Pouchong the whole trip) and also the Alishan Jade that we made in Wang Ting back on 10/26, just delivered in time to Dong Wu Hotel,  to be cupped and discussed.  
Steve also enjoys sharing his another talent - Calligraphy, he presents to every member his good words (all tea related) written on red paper as lucky charm to our TOST friends.