File: Discovering Taiwanese tea - HIS HISTORY

The history of Taiwanese tea

Tea production on the island of Taiwan began at the end of the 17th century, with the massive influx of Chinese migrants. These came mainly from the Fu Jian region, famous for its An Xi and Wu Yi mountains, which are the cradle of Oolong tea.

Plantations grew rapidly, and Taiwan began exporting tea as early as the late 19th century.

After the opium wars between China and the West, which ended all international trade, Taiwan quickly became one of Europe's leading suppliers of green tea. However, China's economic opening and the rise of new low-cost tea producing regions led very quickly to the decline of Taiwanese exports from the 1970s on.

 Taiwan tea


Taiwan's Oolong among the most reputable

Taiwan decided to change its strategy, opting for the production of high-quality teas destined for the domestic market. The island also specializes in the production of Taiwanese's favourite type of tea: Oolong. In just a few decades, Taiwanese production was profoundly transformed to the point of becoming one of the best in the world today. Taiwanese wines, which represent a very small share of the world market (approximately 17,000 tonnes of annual production) are in high demand in Asia (notably Japan and China) but also in the United States.

Tea is now an essential component of Taiwanese culture, where the art of Chinese tea ceremony was developed to perfection. The famous Taiwanese Gong Fu Cha has now been adopted by the majority of the Chinese mainland and is considered one of the best methods to taste great vintages, and all especially for the Oolongs.

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