Annually the Taiwan Tea Institute offers a tour of Taiwan’s specialty oolong tea districts. The tour is led by Thomas Shu, a tea expert and retailer who is Taiwan’s Tea Ambassador. Visits this year include travels to Wenshan district, the source of Pouchong tea; Alishan and Lishan mountain in the LinSi district where Jade oolong is processed; a visit to the Tung Ting district, known for its Classic Tung Ting; the Muja district known for its Amber oolong; the Tao-Chu-Miao district where Oriental Beauty and Taiwan Green tea are processed and Sun Moon Lake in the Yuchih district known for Formosa Bonita.
Participants will be involved in hands-on manufacture of oolong tea that will include leaf plucking, solar withering, indoor withering, fluffing, tumbling, oxidation, panning, rolling, drying, canvas wrapped rolling, and baking. The group also participates in formal cuppings, with lessons in tea chemistry, baking, and rolling. Stops include a USDA certified organic tea farm and factory, a tour of the Hong Hsing tea nursery and Tea Research and Extension Station HQ as well as several tea museums.