Tea, tea and more tea!

Exploring a Local Tea Farm

Just as I said, “I don’t think I can eat anything else,” the lady appeared with a plate of stones and a dish of prawns. In one swift movement, she placed the plate on the table, tipped the prawns on to the stones and covered it with a lid. My fellow diners disappeared in a cloud of steam. When the mist dissipated, she removed the lid and voila, the prawns were cooked – and tasted delicious. I remember thinking to myself, this is not what I expected for lunch today!

Thousand Island Lake

Where was I? Somewhere in the hills above Thousand Island Lake learning all about tea. We visited a small tea farm just south of Taipei to see the tea bushes and pick leaves. The farmer explained the whole process, from leaf picking to tea brewing, showing us the machinery they use along the way. Finally, of course, we had a tea tasting and learned the best way to brew a cup.


Tea-infused Flavors

From there we moved to this restaurant where we enjoyed six, eight, ten different dishes – I lost count! They included tea-infused rice and fish, pork and vegetable dishes, many with tea flavors incorporated. And then the prawns! It was all rounded off with tea-flavored jelly.
I have visited this farm twice now and loved it on both occasions. I learned a great deal about the tea plant and how the leaves are processed and realized how little I had known before. For instance, I thought green, white and black tea came from different types of tea plants. However, it’s actually the way the leaves are dried and processed that gives us the different teas.

Views of the lake from the tea farm
Views of the lake from the tea farm

If you would like to learn more about tea and see how and where it’s grown, then I highly recommend visiting a tea farm. If you’d also like to see the scenery around Thousand Island Lake, then join Yasuko on The Center tour on 18 April.
You can register here:
I can guarantee that after the tour, you’ll appreciate your cups of tea even more!

Lucy Torres is a volunteer at The Center but is more often found on a hiking trail. She loves exploring different routes to find beautiful views and relax in the great outdoors.

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