The next day I had arranged to meet Scott, whom I met briefly in Hong Kong. Little did I know an Australian would lead me around Taipei to witness the most amazing tea discoveries and prove that there is still life in the old (TEA) lady! In fact she is healthy and still breathing life into the young people of Taiwan.
Scott was a wonderful host. I admire his deep knowledge not just of tea and Taiwan but everything! He jokingly said he was close to genius! I can’t deny that claim for he knows a hell of a lot about a lot and it was a delight to hear his idioms of knowledge.
Scott led me through back streets, nooks and crannies to show me all these tea gems. We met several people from his tea academy talked and drank tea. Went into numerous other tea shops talked and drank more and more tea.
At this point I need to apologize that we drank so much tea that it all became a blur. I had heard of being tea drunk and this was the first time I had experienced it! Burrp!
What I do remember through photo evidence was that young people were still into tea and tea ware. In one shop I admired the tea plate the shop owner had. It is common in Taiwan for people to have these plates to look, smell and admire the tea before they sweep it into their teapot.
I later found out that the young man sitting next to us was actually the craftsman who made it! I was so happy to see his passion for tea ware and hopefully more people like him can keep these traditions going. It’s like a family recipe of your favourite dish. If the knowledge is not passed on then it will sadly be forever lost.
Long live tea and tea culture!
ps MASSIVE thanks to my pal Scott too!
- Pinglin Tea Museum, Taipei (mrandmrsman.wordpress.com)
- In Taipei, Out Taipei (mrandmrsman.wordpress.com)