The Taitung County Government was originally scheduled to hold its countywide coffee review in the middle of March. Due to unexpected and recurrent cold waves, however, the harvest has been pushed back around a month, and the event has been moved to April 19 and 20. Registration has been extended to March 14.
There are around 16 coffee production and marketing classes offered in Taitung County, with approximately 200 students. Farmland in the county devoted to coffee production covers around 250 hectares, including Taitung City and Daren, Taimali, Beinan, Chishang, Chenggong and Changbin townships. The Taitung County Agriculture Department convened a meeting with farmers and production and marketing class representatives on Feb. 12 to discuss the schedule for the annual coffee review.
Agriculture Department Director Wu Ching-jung says that Taitung County’s coastline runs approximately 176km from north to south. Each area’s climate and soil is different, he says, adding that hopefully the most suitable area for growing coffee can be found by holding the countywide competition.
Wu also says that most of the county’s coffee farmers only know how to grow coffee, not how to roast it or market it. Prior to holding the review, in order to help participants better understand how coffee is made and to improve overall quality, the county government requires everyone to take a three-hour class and select unroasted coffee berries during the event. The government hopes to develop a “Taitung coffee brand” that can eventually become Taiwan’s most famous coffee.
The local government had originally planned to collect coffee beans from the farmers and judge them in the middle of March. Each farmer has to hand over 20kg of beans with hulls intact. Taitung Coffee Industry Development Association president Liao Tien-cheng and local coffee farmer Chung Chang-hua say that this year’s cold weather has postponed the harvest by nearly a month. Coffee berries growing at middle to high altitudes have not been harvested yet, so they suggested deferring the event to a later date. Wu Hsiu-lan, the class president of a coffee production and marketing class in Changbin Township, says that Changbin only started growing coffee two years ago, and so she suggested allowing students to compete in the competition as groups representing their respective classes since the crop yield is so small.
1. harvest n.
收穫；收割；豐收 (shou1 huo4; shou1 ge1; feng1 shou1)
例: The Mid-Autumn Festival is a Chinese harvest festival.
2. countywide adj.
全縣的;全郡的 (quan2 xian4 de5; quan2 jun4 de5)
例: Schools countywide were shut down today due to bad weather.
3. cold wave n. phr.
寒流；寒潮 (han2 liu2; han2 chao2)
例: The cold wave is forcing people to stay indoors.
After the discussion, Wu Ching-jung said that the judging schedule would be put off until April. Beans will be accepted April 14-15 and evaluated by judges April 19-20. Scores of 80 or higher on a 100-point scale will be awarded gold medals and then given standardized packaging and sold by the county government.
(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)