Wed, Sep 02, 2015 - Page 5 News List

Pinglin Tea Museum reopens after renovation

By Weng Lu-huang and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Women sort tea leaves in a bamboo tray at the newly renovated Pinglin Tea Museum in New Taipei City on Aug. 18.

Photo: Weng Yu-huang, Taipei Times

The Pinglin Tea Museum, in the misty mountains of New Taipei City’s Pinglin District (坪林), has reopened its doors after being closed for a year for renovations.

The 18-year-old museum decided to paint its traditional Fujian-style red brick courtyard building a deeper gray and changed its interior design to make more “dynamic and dexterous” use of interior space.

Given that the main entrance to the museum is up four sets of steps, it also adding ramps to make it easier for physically challenged visitors to access the facilities.

Presiding over Sunday’s reopening ceremony, New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) said that he hoped the renovated museum would help give its visitors a deeper understanding of Taiwan’s rich tea culture.

The museum now has different rooms where visitors can learn how to make tea, learn the origins of Pinglin’s different types of tea and learn to appreciate tea culture through live presentations and technologically interactive classrooms, Chu said.

Visitors would be able to learn about the different colors of tea that result from different tea leaves, and smell the difference in tea leaves, the museum said.

Museum officials said that the museum will periodically change its exhibitions in a bid to attract repeat visitors and have them see something new each time.

The museum invited “Tea Party,” a group recognized by iF Communication Design last year for being influential in innovating tea culture, to demonstrate how to enjoy tea culture in modern life, as well as asking renowned tea connoisseur Lin Ping-hui (林炳輝) to Sunday’s event.

To help local students learn the importance of their family’s trade and perhaps nudging them to take over from their parents when they grow up, the museum also invited junior-high school students to learn about tea.

We hope that by experiencing tea culture these students also come to appreciate the history of Pinglin and help carry that glory into the future, Sixth Pinglin Tea Room plantation manager Su Wen-sung (蘇文松) said.

The museum also hopes that its reopening special exhibitions on Pinglin tea and the English tea culture would help connection Taiwan’s tea culture with that of the wider world, museum director Liu Yi-ju (劉一儒) said.

The museum is open from 9am to 5pm on weekdays and stays open an hour later on weekends. It is closed the first Monday of each month, Lunar New Year’s Eve and Lunar New Year’s Day.

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