A Day of Tea – Tea Culture in Taiwan

Coffee is my day-to-day stimulant, but I love the tradition, history and ceremony of tea. Having been back in Taiwan for close to six months, it’s high time to make time for a full-day tea tour. We meet our guide and tea expert David at the Maokong Gondola entrance, and within minutes we’re watching the jungle pass beneath us through the glass bottomed gondola. Exiting the cable car, the temperature is several degrees cooler than it had been in the city. We make a beeline to our first stop, a museum overlooking tea fields dedicated to Taiwan’s tea history. Mrs. Szato, the wife of venerable Tea Master Chang (whose expertise dates back to the days of Japanese occupation) takes us on a tour, both of the museum, and of Taiwan’s own tea history. Especially telling are collected paraphernalia from a 1914 Japanese expo touting the quality of Japanese products. It…