New Taipei City - Taiwan

New Taipei City - Taiwan
TaiwanThis month we visit Northern Taiwan. When Portuguese sailors came across Taiwan in the 16th century, they named it ‘Ilha Formosa’ meaning beautiful island, whereas China regarded it as a ‘mudball across the sea, unworthy of China’. It’s not hard to see why the Portuguese thought the island was beautiful, this mountainous country is also known as the Kingdom of Butterflies, boasting over 400 species! 

Taiwan is a densely populated country, this is in part due to the fact that over half of the island is mountainous and covered by forests! The tropical climate combined with the natural geography of the island means that Taiwan has a significant amount of biodiverse animal and plant species. However the island is located on the ring of fire, meaning that there are over 17,000 seismic events a year - though many of these are imperceivable,

Before the 16th century, Taiwan was a unique island inhabited by native peoples and tribes, a few of which survive today. When a wave of Han Chinese settlers arrived in Taiwan from Fujian, China, they brought different seeds and plants with them. Shortly after this, small tea plantations began to appear and by the 18th century, there was a thriving tea trade occurring in Northern Taiwan. Today almost all tea consumed in Taiwan is grown in the country.

Tea is a huge part of Taiwanese culture today, and it is famed for it’s High Grown Tea which grows slower with less sunlight due to mountain fog. Usually, this is oolong tea, however, we’re providing you with a unique and less common form, a high-grown black tea - Lapsang Souchong. This tea has been carefully grown, dried and smoked to give a highly aromatic, rich flavoured and robust tea with notes of pine and oak, definitely one of the finest.

Why we love Taiwanese
Lapsang Souchong Lapsang Souchong is distinctively smokey, and despite being fully oxidised, it can be steeped a second time. There is such a complexity of flavours in this tea that many either love it or hate it. It has a smooth earthy taste and a strong aroma.

Location: New Taipei City
Country: Taiwan
Capital City: Taipei
Coordinates: 25°13'38.6"N 121°33'18.8"E
Elevation: 400m
Soil type: Clay
Manufacture: Family holdings 
Season: Spring and Winter 
Av temp: 21°C

Fun facts:
> Taiwan experiences 1000 perceivable earthquakes a year.
>  A traditional snack is an oyster omelet and dried watermelon seeds.
> One of Taiwan’s most famous foods is ‘Stinky Tofu’.
>  The number 4 is considered unlucky.
> The Formosan Black Bear is the national symbol of Taiwan.
>  Bubble tea was invented in Taiwan.