Mon, Apr 15, 2013 - Page 11 News List

Farmers promote seasonal tea harvests to compensate for shortage
來喝好茶! 頭份農會推廣春、秋茶

Elementary-school students pick Oriental Beauty (Dongfang Meiren) tealeaves in Miaoli County’s Toufen Township on March 21.
小學學生三月二十一日於苗栗縣頭份鎮採摘東方美人茶葉。

Photo: Ho Tsung-han, Liberty Times
照片:自由時報記者何宗翰

The status and popularity of Oriental Beauty (Dongfang Meiren) tea harvested in Miaoli County’s Toufen Township in the summer and winter has increased to the point where supply no longer meets demand. However, tea produced in the spring and autumn are not very popular, although the Toufen Farmers Association says that tea harvested in those seasons is also good and would like people to try it for themselves.

Hsiao Chen-lin, section chief of the association’s department of promotional affairs, says that teas harvested in the Miaoli area in spring are mostly of the Qingxin Damao variety, and must be picked 45 days before the summer tea. After being lightly roasted to make green tea and oolong tea, the aromas and falvors are quite wonderful, Hsiao says.

Hsu Shih-wen, owner of the Jih Hsin Tea Plantation in Toufen, says that spring teas are harvested around the time of the Tomb-Sweeping Festival, while the Dragon Boat Festival is usually when the first summer harvest takes place. The second summer harvest occurs around the time of the 11th and 12th solar terms of the traditional 24 solar terms. Autumn teas are harvested around the time of the Mid-Autumn Festival, while winter teas are harvested during the 19th solar term, or “the start of winter.”

Hsu comes from a family of tea farmers and won the gold medal in the black tea division of the Taiwan Superior Organic Tea Contest. Hsu says that in the 1970s Taiwan went from exporting tea to marketing it domestically, and started holding tea competitions. Taiwanese have gone from drinking less than 1kg per capita annually to more than 3kg, he says.(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)

苗栗縣頭份鎮夏、冬所產的東方美人茶近來身價水漲船高,供不應求,但春、秋所產的茶葉相對較不受青睞,頭份鎮農會表示,其實春、秋也有好茶,歡迎民眾試喝看看。

頭份鎮農會推廣股長蕭鎮林說,苗栗地區春茶主要品種為青心大冇,必須在夏茶前四十五天採摘完畢,製成輕烘焙的綠茶、烏龍茶,香氣、味道都很好。

頭份日新茶園負責人許時穩說,所謂春茶就是清明節前後採收的茶,端午節左右是第一次夏茶,大小暑採是第二次夏茶、中秋節前後叫秋茶,立冬前後為冬茶。

許時穩出身製茶世家,曾在台灣優質有機茶競賽中,奪得紅茶組特等金獎。他說,台灣茶七十年代由外銷轉內銷,開始賽茶,國人飲茶量也從不到一公斤,增加至三公斤多。

(自由時報記者何宗翰)

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