Monday, December 28, 2009

Tea Mountain Love Song (Hakka Tea Song)

Back on September/2005, I was invited to Big Island, Hawaii for the Mealani Tea Conference. There were so many tea enthusiasts meeting there to learn with passion to develop their new tea business in Big Island's west coast at Hilo side, while at the east coast of the island has enjoyed a great success of Kona Coffee. On my way back to Los Angeles, looked out from the plane just took off from Hilo airport to Honululu...I made a wish to hope in a few years, there will be successfully planted and very beautiful tea gardens there...and I humming this song happily....
It is a "Tea Mountain Love Song" originally from Guizhou, China. I use Hakka Taiwanese to change the lyrics and dedicate this song to my friends in Big Island, Hawaii.


I thought about it and I whisper to myself:
Hawaii will soon to have the beautiful tea gardens...
There will be many beautiful young girls plucking the tea leaves in the tea gardens...
Maybe there will be many great love stories on going...

茶山情歌 (用 中國貴州「 茶山情歌」)

捱惦惦介想啊 輕輕介問

Hawaii 有啊冇 恁樣介茶園
茶園肚 有啊冇 採茶介細妹
細妹肚 有啊冇 捱中意介人

(獻給 Hawaii Tea Society)

Gaoshancha in Taiwan (Mandarin Tea Song)

Incredibly, there are more than 150 mountains over 3000 meters high in Taiwan!
I remember at our Taiwan's Geography class in elementary school, our teacher told us with a little bit sadness, 1/3 of Taiwan is covered with high mountains, and 1/3 is hills and terrrace, so it limits our agriculture industry...who will imagine, after a few decades, we will tell our kids that Taiwan is so lucky to have so many remarkable high mountains and the huge Central Mountain Range is truly a big jewel of Taiwan.
Used to be "Tung Ting Oolong" signs posted every where in Taiwan's retails districts...but thing changed...There are many new tea estates have been developed in higher mountains over 1000 meters high since early 80's. These teas earn their fans, especially from the domestic market. Gaoshan Cha are jokingly set prices by the height of the tea garden located. Naturally, the leaf plucked from the Gaoshan tea gardens can be made into all sorts of teas...however, due to the market driven, almost all Goashan Cha in Taiwan are Jade Oolongs and the most popular cultivars are Chinsin, Ginsuan, Tsui-Yu, and Evergreen. Farmers invest all sorts of advanced equipments to handle the solar/indoor withering and oxidation to overcome the disadvantage of shorter sunshine, changing weather and limited flat land on the high altitude.

I have selected this popular aboriginal old song in Mardarin Taiwanese, to praise for Gaoshan Cha, with a sincere wish, which might be shared anong many Gaoshan tea lovers --
Please keep our mountains green and rivers clean,
while we can continue to enjoy wonderful, wonderful Taiwan Gaoshan Oolongs.
Taiwan Gaoshan Cha
Taiwan is indeed a paradise!
There are so many remarkable high mountains and big rivers…

Alishan’s Tsui-Yu Oolong is rolled like green pearl,
and Shan-Lin-Si’s Evergreen Oolong is just super.
There are plenty Ginsuan Oolong grown in Meishan,
and Chinsin Oolong tops the Lishan mountain.

We sincerely hope our farmers can preserve these great cultivars
and also make sure to keep our mountains green and river clean!
Salute! Taiwan Gaoshan Oolongs.
You are truly green gold!

高山茶頌 (用 台灣邵族「高山青」)

高山青 澗水藍
阿里山的翠玉 圓又圓 啊
杉林溪的四季春 沒得比 哟

啊 ---啊 --- 啊--- --- 啊---
啊 ---啊 --- 啊--- --- 啊---

梅山的金萱 梨山的青心
台灣的高山 高又多.....

品種要保存 水土要維護
高山的烏龍茶 寶----中----寶

Monday, December 21, 2009

Classic Tung Ting Oolong (Holo Tea Song)

Hence Mr. Feng-Chi Lin brought the Chinsin Oolong bushes to be planted on the Tungting Mountain in Lugu back in 1855, we are so lucky to be able to enjoy TungTing Oolong.
In 1976, the first Tea Contest organized by Lugu Farmers’ Association did enrich the craftsmanship of TungTing tea’s growing and manufacturing.
The solar wither, indoor wither and oxidation control is typically Pouchong technique, however, the skillful canvas wrapped rolling and lightly baking to stabilize its aroma and taste, makes Tung Ting Oolong so outstanding.
Sip by sip, cup after cup, fine Tung Ting seems never enough for the market.

凍頂烏龍頌 Holo Taiwanese (台灣“農村曲”)

鹿谷凍頂山 青心烏龍湠
比賽眾人來 工夫磨真利
日頭晒啊晒 生葉走水香

急火炒 布球用力揉啊揉
凍頂烏龍茶 滋味”好特別”
一杯又一杯 好茶是 不 夠 賣

Great Gift for Business!

Kingbright USA is celebrating its 20th Anniversary, the owner Mr. Wen Sung asked us to come up an idea for the event to present to their customers and frineds.
This is what we have worked out for the idea...personal Cupping Set, with their logos and messages printed on the Aroma cup and Sipping Cup, and a carry bag for traveling.
The white porcelain cups set are made in Taiwan just to be shipped in time for their Christmas Party on 12/19/2009. We have written up an insert for the Cupping set.

When tea is ready to serve, pour tea into the tall aroma cup., then convert the tea from the aroma cup into the sipping cup. Once the aroma cup is empty, carefully (it can be hot depending on how hot you steep your tea) bring it close to your nose to enjoy the aroma of the tea. Technically, you will use both hands to roll the aroma cup to evoke the aroma that traced in the empty cup. After the aroma appreciation, then you will drink from the sipping cup. Sip the tea and appreciate the taste and the finish of the tea. When come to fine teas, especially Oolong, the aroma is very critical, and tea lovers will treasure aroma in tea as well as its taste.

The tall, narrow shape of the aroma cup provides a large amount of surface area for the aromatic tea compounds to adhere to, so the aroma of the tea liquor becomes much more apparent in an aroma cup. How long has Aroma cup been used in tea drinking might be an interesting story. Many tea pros admit that Aroma cups are indeed a depriving concept from wine tasting. For what it's worth, maybe this set can be used for wine tasting, too. Fine teas and great wines are equally enjoyable!

Applauses to Taiwan Tea Industry (Hakka tea song)

My deepest respect and appreciation to my fellow Specialist, Researchers, Tea Masters and Tea Farmers... in their meticulous and diligent devotion to Taiwan Tea.
I was born in a Taiwan tea family. I was brought up in a tea factory. Over the years, I have seen my father, my brothers and many many more Taiwan tea farmers, tea makers, tea merchants have been working so hard together to try to adapt themselves through different eras of historical changes. There is an important Association, TTMA, has guided all makers all along, and there are Tea merchants Association, Tea Exporters Association for helping out the Domestic sells and Export business. We are proud that there are so many researchers and engineers in TRES are helping the industry to move on. Everytime, when I have my Taiwan Oolong workshop, I remind myself, a million thanks to all these tea professionals in Taiwan for a wonderful cup of tea they have contributed. I dedicated this tea song (in Hakka Taiwanese) to my fellow Taiwan tea men. (*of ocourse, there is not gender limited...)
Applause to my fellow Taiwan tea men
Oh! Oolong Teas, my beloved Oolong Teas!
Taiwan produces several kinds of fine Oolong Teas.
Pouchong has such a pure and clean taste, yet with luscious aroma,
Gaoshan Oolong is extremely charming, just like morning mountain dew,
Oriental Beauty’s natural honey touch and fruity taste leaves no comparison.
With research and development of excellent cultivars for better plantation,
continuous improvement of the equipment and tea processing techniques,
my fellow Taiwan tea men’s efforts truly deserve a big applause.
Over the years, we have seen Taiwan Oolongs earn their fans from
around the World and I tip my hat off to these tea pros in Taiwan!

台灣茶人頌 (用Hakka 改編 黃令先「台灣介心靈日」)

烏龍茶 烏龍茶 台灣特色烏龍茶
包種清 高山醇 東方美人韻味佳
品種改良 作工出眾 茶人用心值得誇
世 界 茶葉舞台 台灣茶展風采

Friday, December 18, 2009

The classic Taiwan Tie-Guan-Yin

Tie-Guan-Yin has an interesting story, that shows how "market driven" has changed tea's production.
In Taiwan, you still find Tie-Guan-Yin with heavier oxidation and baking. The semi-ball shape appears to be larger in size. Not all Tie-Guan-Yin in Taiwan is made of the leaf that plucked from Tie-Guan-Yin cultivars. Usually, tea farmers will select certain tea cultivars, such as: Buddha Palms, Yinjeehonsin Oolong, Ginsuan...besides the genuine TieGuanYin bushes, as long as they are suitable for heavy-rolling and baking to enhance the flavor and taste. Tea pros will definitely avoid Chinsin Oolong or certain tea plants.
On the contrary, nowadays in the origin of Tie-Guan-Yin, Fujien Anxi in China, you often get Tie-Guan-Yin in tiny semi-ball with a lot more greenish finished, which is similar to average Taiwan Gaoshancha. During the last two decades, Taiwan's Jade Oolong has earned its popularity all over the World, including China. Many Chinese tea makers are adjusting to produce their own Jade Oolong as close as Taiwan's version to meet the strong demand. Many will grow the new tea bushes they got from Taiwan (we are not sure HOW?) but also many will use the tea leaves from their current Tie-Guan-Yin tea gardens. Well, not to be surprised that sometimes you get served with a cup of Green Tie-Guan-Yin, and you simply cannot swallow it... Nothing wrong with the tea, just an old wisdom: You can use any leaf to make any kind of tea. However, you have to study the right cultivar and its integrity, use the right leaf and follow the right procedure to make good tea. Tea making is actually a high disciplined practice.
I like to share with you how a classic Tie-Guan-Yin is processed in Taiwan.
I change the Lyrics of a popular Hakka Taiwanese riddle, with new lyrics to describe it:
Tie-Guan-Yin, what a unique name for a tea!
Iron Buddha of Mercy, Goddess Tea...with all sorts of legends.
In 1896, Mr. Chang Nai-Miao brought the first bush from Anxi, China to Muja, Taiwan., together with the craftsmanship from its hometown.
Since then, Taiwan lauched its own Tie-Guan-Yin production.
Just like other Oolong teas: solar withering, indoor withering...
but with heavier oxidation before rolling repeatedly wrapped in canvas cloth till the leaves are semi-ball shaped...
Place the leaves in a bamboo basket and skillfully bake with selected charcoals...
in pursuit of the amazing aroma and its lingering finish.
We are proud to present to you this classic Taiwan Tie-Guan-Yin, and share its legendary story.
鐵觀音 (用 謝宇威 改編 客家唸謠 「月光光」)

鐵觀音 盡傳神
佇台灣 生了根
布球包 揉成型
竹籠裝 炭火炡
焙出 陣陣 茶葉香
入喉 轉甘 韻味長

好茶 拿 來 請 人 飲

讚歎 台 灣 鐵 觀 音

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Bravo! Bunsan Pouchong (Holo Tea Song)

鄧雨賢 is one of the most famous Taiwan composers. I have picked one of his popular piece: 四季紅 to have the new lyrics to desccribe Bunsan Pouchong. This was done just in time for the Annual Meeting of TUF on 12/12/2009 at San Gabriel Hilton.

Bravo! Bunsan Pouchong

Oh! Pouchong Tea, your luscious fragrance enchants me.
Best Pouchong produced in Taiwan’s Bunsan,
and you are World famous!
Step by step, Pouchong is processed with unique craftsmanship.
Fluffing lightly with patience till the leaf is
properly withered and oxidized.
The whole village is filled with heavenly aroma
while Pouchong is fired.
Sip by sip, I am amazed with your pure and clean taste,
and then you leave a lingering sweet finish…
Oh! Bunsan Pouchong, you are simply the best!

(sing in Holo Taiwanese)
包種頌 (四季紅/作曲:鄧雨賢)

包種茶 正清香 乎人聞著會輕鬆
台灣文山e特產 名聲響啊真響
照起工 輕輕手來浪
葉邊紅 著花香
包種 氣味 真 迷 人

Click on this youtube film by TeaGuy at 2011 World Tea Expo