(Road to Mingjiang Tea Garden)
Previously, I talked aboutmy plan to visit Taiwan’s biggest tea plantation area (Mingjian). Mingjian is being responsible for more than 50% of tea production in Taiwan. The importance of Mingjian’s Tea to Taiwan is like Languedoc-Roussillon’s Wine to France, which produces more than a third of wine production in France. I personally love the wine from Languedoc-Roussillon area due to its diversified variety, stable quality and acceptable price. The Tea from Mingjian is just like this. So I choose Mingjiang as my first stop of tea trip in Taiwan. Here I come, Mingjian!!!
上一次我講到要去拜訪台灣最大的茶產區。 名間鄉的茶葉產出占台灣茶葉總產量的一半以上。 對於台灣茶葉的重要性就好比 Languedoc-Roussillon 對於法國葡萄酒的重要性一樣，此地葡萄酒產量占法國總產量的三分之一以上。我個人這個地區的酒有愛，因為葡萄品種多樣，品質穩定，而價格也可以接受。 基於相同愛好的理由， 我選擇名間鄉做為台灣尋茶的第一站。名間鄉，我來了!!!
The Map of Minjiang ( 名間鄉地圖)
History & Geography
Mingjian used to be a hunting field of Aborigines, with dense of forests and abundant natural resources. About 332 years ago (the 20th year of Kangxi, the Qing Emperor), some immigrants from Fujian, China came to establish a settlement here. As the number of residents grew, the settlement has become a village. It was called ” Lama” in local tongue since there were many low-lying terrain with rain water gathered to become small pools and fords. Later in Japanese occupation era, “Lama” has been changed name to “Mingjian” due to similar pronounciation in Japanese.
Among Mingjian, “Pine Ridge” is the most famous tea plantation region, located at southern of Bagua Mountain with 500 m altitude. Its special terraced terrain, climate (cool morning usually with fog/ Strong sunlight in the noon which are excellent conditions for tea growing and manufacturing), and the fertile red soil make it the most suitable terrior for tea production . Main varieties include Qingxin Oolong, Jin Xuan, Jade, Wuyi, Four Season Spring..ect.
Do you notice the 8 angles? it’s the shape of Baqua (八卦)
Tea Garden & Tea
One of the good thing to visit a tea garden in Taiwan is to enjoy the traditional hospitality of Taiwanese. In this trip, I was wandering around the country road in Mingjiang and checked every tea garden I ran into. The local people are very friendly. They usually welcome a stranger guest (like me) with full enthusiasm and FULL cup of tea (which could easily turns into several pots of tea as the conversation lengthens ) It is an old Taiwanese tradition called ” Feng Chia” (Serving Tea). In 10~20 years ago, it used to be very common that people provided free tea to stranger/ traveler in the market/ rail road station or some public places. Now it could only be found in the countryside.
在台灣，拜訪茶園的一個好處是能感受到台灣人傳統的熱情。在這次旅途中，我漫步在名間的鄉村小道上，拜訪每一個我所經過的茶園。當地人都十分的熱情，他們對一個陌生的訪客竟是投以滿滿的熱情以及滿滿的一杯茶 (隨著談話時間拉長，常常變成滿滿的好幾壺茶) 這是台灣傳統的奉茶文化。在十幾二十年前，在市場/車站/或其他公共場所提供免費的茶給陌生人/旅客是相當常見的。而現在，大多只能在鄉下才能看到。
This is a special tea called Golden Jade which is found and developed by local tea master, Mr. Chen Jinchang (owner of Ridge of Snow Tea) Golden Jade has a beautiful light golden color. It offers elegant fragrance of Jasmine and the perfume of honey. In the palate, it’s both rich in texture and deep in flavor, and ends with a long, clean, pure, sweet aftertaste.
These pictures are taken in Lou Shen Tea Farm. I am very grateful that owner took us in when it rained dogs and cats outside, treated us with hot tea and took us to visit their organic tea farm. Exactly what we talked about the old Taiwanese ” Feng Chia” Culture
Thanks for watching! We expect to see you soon!!!