The history of tea planting in Taiwan is not long and not until the mid-19th century did it become a major economic profit. Its exceptional weather, terrain, as well as evolving tea varieties, planting and making technologies however make Taiwan tea stand out in the world stage again and again. We start from the hub for tea export – Dadaocheng, also the beginning point of the 200-year history of world class Taiwan tea. Tea utensils are also transforming with time, setting forth more aesthetics of craft that shine along with Taiwan’s beautiful tea culture.
Interwoven by nature, human, utensils, food, trade and other elements over time, tea culture is an important heritage of Taiwan that reflects the unique side of this island as a cultural hodgepodge that you find nowhere else like it in the world. Taiwan’s tea and culture have embarked on different paths spanning a long period of time when the world history has been rewritten for a few times. Just when we see tea as a part of life and almost take it for granted, it is a good opportunity to follow the cultural route of tea to take a deep dive into the broad and sophisticated world of tea. That is how we can reconnect and once again pick up our cultural essence that can help us face up to the ever changing and unpredictable future.
Starting from the 19th century, tea was mass-produced in Taiwan and became one of its important export goods. Western trading companies and local tea shops were scattered in the Dadaocheng area. It was the hub for tea trade in Taipei at that time, and people could not talk about tea without mentioning Dadaocheng. We go through the development of tea industry in Taiwan in this article and how that contributes to the prosperity of Dadaocheng and local tea culture. Join us in the tea roadmap and this trip through time!
All kinds of tea activities have become an indispensable part of Taiwan people’s life, from daily drinking to the more sophisticated tea ceremony. Taiwan is the kingdom of tea that is abundant with a great variety of tea, while different kinds of tea utensils are also developed. The writer slowly walks us through what’s special about every tea utensil, which one to use and used in what ways. Today, with better living environment, or to meet the needs of some spiritual practices, people select different kinds of tea and drink them differently, resulting in the diverse and colorful tea culture that we see today.
The special exhibition Tea 3.1415 held by the National Taiwan Craft Research and Development Institute gives visitors a 360-degree showcase of tea culture, from planting, roasting to making and use of tea utensils along with the aesthetic presentation. The show highlights the crafts used in daily life, as well as the interaction between utensils and human body. Visitors get to experience the richness and vibrancy of modern tea culture of Taiwan via various kinds of VR activities, discovering the beauty of this whole new tea trend.
It is all about how the younger generation would like to drink tea, and the use of utensils made of mixed materials during the tea ceremony in this article. Lightly-roasted tea is more like the young people’s taste, while glass, brass, marble, black-iron and other more Western materials could also be seen on the tea table. Tea savoring is more fun and not that serious right now. Mix & match is the new style. All is for discovering richer and more diverse flavors of tea.