Taiwan’s tea culture dates back to the seventeenth century, and despite being heavily influenced by China and Japan, it has developed its own distinct tastes and traditions. While it’s possible to delve into the island’s tea tradition anytime throughout the year by visiting any one of the countless tea houses or plantations, visiting during Tea Festivals in Taiwan offers a much more enriching experience.
The village of Pinglin, home of the Pinglin Tea Museum, hosts the annual Pinglin Baochung Tea Festival in May. The region is best known for its Baozhong tea, a lightly processed oolong tea with a floral aroma and aftertaste and a smooth, green tea-like flavor. During the Pinglin Baochung Tea Festival, local performers take to the stage while visitors sample locally grown teas, learn about and participate in the tea growing process, participate in a photography contest and shop for tea products, like soap and cakes.
Shiding, the area known for growing Oriental Beauty oolong tea, has also started hosting an annual tea festival in recent years. The Shiding Oriental Beauty Tea Festival seeks to recreate the tea markets of Shiding in its heyday, when the city was one of the three biggest tea trading cities in Taiwan. Besides tea tasting, activities include scavenger hunts, group hikes and an eco-tour on the Danlan Historic Trail.
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