However, experts and tea industry workers are alarmed by the “invasion” of Oolong tea grown in Southeast Asia or even in China, but packed in Taiwan.
“The hard-won credit of Taiwan tea may be eroded by the imported Oolong tea sold in the name of Taiwan-grown tea,” Hsu said.
While calling on the government to adopt counter-measures to regulate the prevailing malpractices, tea farmers, with the aid of regional associations and local governments, have been pulling all the stops to develop new aromas.
Taiwanese tea traders have also worked with farmers to set up tea production in Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and China, introducing Taiwanese tea trees and Taiwan-developed manufacturing techniques.
However, quality comes first and contests like the one attended by Lin are essential in ensuring that the producers keep evolving.
This time, however, he did not make it in the competition that drew a record 5,729 samples of Oolong tea leaves harvested in the spring from hundreds of farmers island-wide.